AHHH! MONSTERS!

As promised last week, This week’s theme is:

MONSTERS!

I was really looking forward to this one, but also a bit worried; this was my first time doing a craft with storytime so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I planned for a slightly shorter storytime followed by crafting craziness and hoped it would work well.

For this storytime I made another flannel board (I kinda love making them) and I am again, quite proud of how it turned out. It’s a lot less detailed than Rainbow fish, but still pretty cool. We did “Go Away, Big Green Monster” by Ed Emberly . It’s a great read aloud book for a crowd, or for one on one, and it translates perfectly to flannel boards.

pieces of a big green monster

Pieces of a big green monster

big green monster looking kind of scared

Big Green Monster looking kind of scared

GO AWAY, BIG GREEN MONSTER!

GO AWAY, BIG GREEN MONSTER!

The flannel board was a huge hit again and they all had fun guessing what bits of the big green monster were going to go away next and yelled “GO AWAY NOSE” and “GO AWAY EYES”. It’s always fun when we get to one of the last parts and they think the mouth goes away next, but instead, the face goes away! (WHAT?!) so then there are just two, big, yellow eyes and a big, red mouth with chompy teeth sitting on the flannel board and the kids all thought it was pretty funny to see that.

This was the kids' favorite part to see; just some eyes and some teeth, pretty silly

This was the kids’ favorite part to see; just some eyes and some teeth, pretty silly.

It was also a big hit for me. Flannel face for EVERYTHING!

It was also a big hit for me.
Flannel face for EVERYTHING!

Hours of amusement.  Honestly.

Hours of amusement.
Honestly.

I also had a couple other books lined up in case they were feeling extra bookish, and turns out, they were! In both sessions we read all three books, did the monster dance, AND made monster masks! Whew! I even had one boy in my Thursday session ask, after three books, if there were more books!

After the big green monster it was time for “Go to Bed, Monster!” by Natasha Wing. I LOVED reading this book! You get to say a bunch of silly, growly words as the monster, and you get to get all huffy and do some eye rolling as Lucy. It’s a cute story, and the kids were HOOKED. I looked around and they were all glued to the book, silent and still. I ended the book and they all just sort of sat there, looking sleepy, which was perfect because my plan was to read that book, then talk about waking up and doing some dancing. Next up was the “Monster Stomp”

“Monster Dance”

If you want to be a monster, here’s your chance.
‘Cause everybody’s doing the monster dance.

You just stomp your feet and wave your arms around. (Stomp, wave arms.)
Stretch ‘em up high, (Stretch arms.) then put them on the ground. ( hands on the floor.)
Now you’re doing the monster stomp. (Stomp feet.)
That’s right!
Now You’re doing the monster stomp. (Stomp feet.)

If you want to be a monster, here’s your chance.
‘Cause everybody’s doing the monster dance.
Show off your teeth then chomp them down (chomp teeth)
Then roar real loud and spin around (roar and spin)
Now you’re doing the monster stomp. (Stomp feet.)
That’s right!
Now You’re doing the monster stomp. (Stomp feet.)

If you want to be a monster, here’s your chance.
‘Cause everybody’s doing the monster dance.

This was cute to watch, and the parents seemed to get a good chuckle out of it as well, no doubt some of it at my expense, but that’s fine. (hey, I don’t spin as well as I used to )

After roaring, and spinning, and chomping, we read one more book: “Monster Hug” by David Stein. I like the illustrations in the book, but it is kind of quick and might have a difficult time holding their attention if they aren’t feeling it, my groups both did ok though.

After the books and monster stomping, it was time to go crazy and make some sweet monster masks!

The premise for this was quite basic; I put out paper plates and large popsicle sticks / tongue depressors and a few different crafty supplies (crayons, markers, foam shape stickers, pipe cleaners, and pom poms) I gave them glue and told them to go wild!

It might just look like lots of fun, and it totally is, but it’s also a wonderful way to learn!
Not only are crafts often awesome sensory play, but you can often integrate many of the common core standards as well. for example, while the children were creating, I walked around and talked with many of them about what shapes they were putting on their monster if they were using the foam stickers, or if their monster was two or three dimensional; dimensions are still a concept that is typically beyond their learning level and comprehension as far as preschool goes, but not by too much and some children will pick up on it. Talking about  shapes and dimensions introduces Geometry which is part of the common core standards. You are also giving them the chance to exercise their language skills by asking them to talk about their monster and how they’ve decided to decorate it, this covers most of the Anchor Standards of Speaking and Listening’s  Comprehension and Collaboration as well as Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas.

RAWR!

RAWR!

Ooohhh, scary!

Ooohhh, scary!

Not only did the kids have a riot making the masks, but lots of parents talked to me about the craft, why we do them, and how much they liked it. This gave me a great opportunity to tell them why I chose the crafts and books and inform them that not only are they fun activities, but they are interactive, not just as far as common core standards go, but also present the kids with a chance to practice social skills with other people their age or adults. It’s a great way to build relationships and strengthen self confidence.

And, let’s be honest, who wouldn’t want an excuse to have some fun crafting?

As Much as I’d love to do another craft next week, I think I should mix it up a bit and try something else. Maybe TWO flannel board stories?!

Then again, I don’t know, that sounds like a lot of work, and working hard always makes me pretty hungry.

download

om nom nom nom

makes for an excellent Rabbit of Caerbannog sweater.

Turns out, it also makes for an excellent Rabbit of Caerbannog sweater.

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