West Street View

Monkey Business

A monkey themed storytime is always great fun to share. The children were really excited to be back after our break and happy to be together. We began with our name game and introduced a few new faces and then we read If I had a Gorilla by Mercer Mayer. I’m not sure if the children got the idea that all the attributes the animals exhibited were also all a part of the big brother character, but they enjoyed the justice of the weaker character being defended by the stronger character. Children are naturally very cognizant of what is just and fair. We chanted that old favorite “Five little monkeys sitting in a tree’ with our alligator puppet just waiting to gobble down little monkey fingers. Then we read Monkey with a tool belt and the noisy problem by Chris Monroe. This is a rather long story with complicated pictures and maybe not a great choice for a large group, but I knew the boys especially enjoy this little monkey character and his problem solving abilities. It was fun and fast paced and we found the screwdriver tool that will be in our memory box next week.

We learned a new song today called "Alice the Camel" which I hope to sing each week for this session. Here is a link to a Youtube production. The children caught on very quickly to the repetitive verse and loved the silly ending. Gradually we will add hand motions to the music. I then told a drawing story based on Monkey Face by Asch which, unfortunately, is no longer in print. This story is always a big hit and I was rewarded with gales of laughter as monkey presented his mother with his “perfected” drawing of her. This time I presented a picture of each animal that monkey meets along his walk home and the children quickly caught on to what characteristic each animal wanted to add to the drawing. They loved guessing what each animal thought was missing from Monkey’s picture.

I had planned to read Caps for Sale and then have the children act it out, but we just didn’t have time this week. For a craft, we colored precut pictures of a little monkey and then sandwiched pipe cleaners between the pieces and attached a tail to the back so that they were bendable and could stand alone. They came out very cute and the children were remarkably able to manipulate the pipe cleaners into hands and feet. It’s always best to let the child do as much independently as possible. They need to exercise those little fingers and muscles despite our adult yearning for the perfect end result. It’s the journey not the arrival that we prize.

See you next week!

Monkey Dot to Dot from Making Learning Fun

Storytime Supplement