R was 15 months old at the time of this activity
That’s Not my Monster by Usborne Books: R loves this series of books! They have lots of things to touch and feel inside and always have beautiful illustrations. We also like to search for the mouse on each page. They offer a plethora of descriptive words in each book. These books would be great to explore with older kids who need ideas for adding descriptive words to their writing.
1. I Spy Monster Parts
I adapted the ziplock bag paint activity into an I spy game. When R was about 12 months old, I had tried the ziplock bag painting activity with her and she showed very little interest in it. So this time, along with the paint, I added water, some dish soap and plastic “monster” parts (eye balls, fingers, teeth, ears, nose, etc) to the ziplock bag to try and engage R more. It definitely worked better this time! R squished the paint around and would find an object. I would them name it for her and get her to point to the equivalent part on her own body. The game lasted less than 10 mins, but I considered it a success!
a. Reverse the game! Ask the child to point to a part on their own body and then ask them to find the equivalent part in the bag.
b. To encourage writing with older kids, have them record a list of monster parts they found in their I Spy bag on a piece of paper. Use a clip board to hold the paper for added fun!
2. Monster Blow Art
I put blobs of watered down paint onto a damp piece of paper with an eye dropper. R attempted to blow the paint around with a straw. Sometimes she got the hang of it, other times she tried to brush at the paint with the straw, or she blew any where but the paper and still other times, she rubbed the paint by hand. This is an activity I’ll try with her again when she is older and has better coordination! I added googley eyes and mouths with marker.
a. Discuss what each monster might be feeling and have the child add expressions to his/her own monsters.
b. Cut out each blow monster, add a popsicle stick to the back and use the monsters as puppets. Have the child develop characteristics for the monsters based on their chosen expressions
c. Older children can use their monster puppets as inspirations for writing a monster story.
3. Fly Swatter Monsters
R LOVED this activity! I put three blobs of paint (not watered down) onto a piece of paper and R whacked the ish out of the paint! She screamed and cheered and growled as she did it! Just a warning, this is a really messy activity as the paint splashes a lot. I’m definitely going to do it again with her since she had soooo much fun! I used formation of the paint splatters to create an outline of a monster that I then cut out.
a. Have the child create the monster outline him/herself.
b. Use this as a colour mixing activity by adding only two primary colours at a time. Use all the fly swatter monster to create a whole monster family and have the child name each member.