Sensing Monsters

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R was 16 months old at the time of this activity

Book: 

1001 Monster Things to Spot by Usborne Books: 1001 Monster Things to Spot is a wonderful book to enjoy with kids of all ages. Right now, R can enjoy the pictures and growls at the monsters, later, we’ll have fun searching for all the monsters and monster things!

Activity:

1. Monster Sensory Bin

IMG_8069R really enjoyed the monsters sensory bin and played in it for over 45 mins.  I’ve put it out a number of times since, during independent play time, and she is still very engaged!  I included a variety of fun purple coloured textures (such as feathers, spiky balls, a rubbery ball, small and large beads and more), some wonderful smelling orange coloured potpourri and a mix of containers (a small round cardboard box and lid, small wooden scoops and fillable monster fingers).  The base for the sensory bin is made up of black beans and split chick peas.  To add to the monster theme, I included monster parts such as eye balls, teeth, and fingers so that we could practice naming the parts.

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Monsters Munching Coloured Crayons

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R was 16 months old at the time of this activity

Book: 

Ten Little Beasties by Rebecca Emberley: Ten little beasties is another great book by Rebecca Emberley that has awesome, colourful pictures.  This book is definitely an easy read and encourages counting backwards and forwards.

Activity:

1. Cardboard Box Pull & Feed Monster

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R fed her cardboard box monster some alphabet letters.  As she put letters inside, I sang the alphabet song aloud.  She joined in with some mumblings.  The box was made simply by cutting a hole in the top for a mouth, painting it and adding embellishments.  I also attached ribbons through the box for R to pull on.  She enjoyed tugging one side of a ribbon and watching the other side shorten and then pulling on the shortened side to pull the ribbon back out. I knotted both ends of the ribbons so that they couldn’t be pulled all the way out of the box.

Extension Activities:
a. Have the child name the letter as s/he feeds it to the monster.
b. Ask the child to tell you the sound the letter makes as s/he feeds it to the monster.
c. Ask the child to think of a word that starts with the letter as s/he feeds it to the monster

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Mud Puddle Monsters

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R was 15 months old at the time of this activity

Book: 

Mud Puddle by Robert Munsch: R listened intently as I read the “Mud Puddle” by Robert Munsch.  I absolutely LOVE Robert Munsch (a fellow Canadian!!) and all his great stories.  We even have some of his board book versions of his classics.  R’s favourite Munsch story is “The Paper Bag Princess”.  The paper back version of the Mud Puddle is quite long, so I shortened the story as I read it to her to hold her attention.

Activity:

1. Mud Monster

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R had fun patting, mixing and squishing mud using her hands and making a monster with popsicle sticks (paddle pop sticks) and large googley eyes.  She loves the texture of soil and often play in it.  I had added water to the soil to make it more of a muddy consistency.  R examined it closely when it stuck to her hands but didn’t like it being there.  She would play in the mud and then try to shake it off.

 

Extension Activities:
a. Discuss where a mud monster might be found with the child.  Have the child find the best location for a house of the mud monster and have him/her build one
b. Talk about what features make a monster a monster.  What parts are missing in our mud monster?  Have the child add other items to the mud monster to represent other monster parts.

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Whack-a-Monster

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R was 15 months old at the time of this activity

Book: 

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.

Activity:

1. I Spy Monster Parts

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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!

Extension Activities:
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!

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Melted and Tossed Monsters

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R was 15 months old at the time of this activity

Book: 

If You’re a Monster and you Know It by Rebecca Emberley: To kick off Monster Week, we read “If You’re a Monster and You Know It”.  It’s a super fun book that you can easily add actions to.  The scholastic website has the song form of the book available for download for free.  R enjoyed listening to it off of the computer and doing the actions with me.  We listened to the recording all week and R would always stop to dance along and do the actions with me.  Her favourite part was wiggling her warts (we’d scrunch our nose up and wiggle it).

Activity:

1. Slime Monster

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R really enjoyed the texture of the slime or oobleck I made for her.  It was made with 2 parts cornstarch 1 part water plus some drops of green and blue food colouring.  The slime is hard when you press it, but will pour out of your hands. I added sticks and big googley eyes as “monster” components to R’s invitation to play.  She enjoyed digging at the slime and poking it with her finMy husband and I had a lot of fun playing along with her!

Extension Activities:
a. Use this slime recipe to discuss non-Neutonian liquids and how it demonstrates both the properties of a solid and a liquid.

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