You put the “eeeeeeeeeee!” in Monkeeeeeeeeee!

11 Feb

Monkey storytime! Yay! Makes me so happy I could go swing from a tree. But not eat a banana. Yuck.

Sammy the monkey is one of my favorite puppets, probably because he’s the first one I got. He’s very expressive and excitable. I have to remind him to use his inside voice.  Sammy introduces our theme, and then sits back to listen.

  • Schaefer, Carole Lexa.  Big Little Monkey. Little monkey wakes up and is ready to play, but his family still wants to sleep. So, deciding he is a “Big little monkey” now, he swings off -“bimbalah!”- to find another animal to play with. Encounters with Steady Sloth, Parrot, and Sly Boa are exciting and different, but Little Monkey can have the most fun at home.

    Meet Kiki!

  • Bynum, Jane. Kiki’s Blankie. Kiki never goes anywhere without her Blankie. It makes a nice tent, serves as a napkin, and Kiki won’t wear anything else. But when her blanket is trapped over a sleeping crocodile, will Kiki be able to find the courage to get it back? Preschoolers can surely relate to feeling so attached to an inanimate object like Kiki.

What was Kiki afraid of in that last story? The CROCODILE! So it’s time for a fingerplay break:

5 Little Monkeys swinging in a tree

Teasing Mr. Alligator: “You can’t catch me! You can’t catch me!”

Along comes Mr. Alligator, quiet as can be…

…and he SNAPS that monkey right out of that tree!

4 Little Monkeys… etc.

I have a cool little set of monkey finger puppets I bought from cherylasmith on, as well as a larger alligator puppet. My alligator “snaps” each monkey off my finger, but then spits them out with a “bleagh!” or “Yuck!”.  This ups the hilarity factor exponentially, apparently, as the kiddoes giggle like crazy at this part. He later explains that he doesn’t like the way they taste: “Have you ever eaten a monkey? They DON’T. TASTE. GOOD.”  After we’re done, he asks to go brush his teeth (and this is my excuse to put him away in his bag).

  • Gravett, Emily. Monkey and Me. This is a story with a beat! The kids and I pat our legs as we read together: “Monkey and me, monkey and me, monkey and me, we went to see, we went to see some….” and we try to guess what animal the girl and her monkey are imitating.  Lots of fun! Stories with rhythm and rhyme, like this one, are great for reinforcing phonological awareness skills, as we’re breaking the words up into smaller sounds when we chant them.
  • Cabrera, Jane. If You’re Happy and You Know It. We all get up and sing/act this one together. The monkey introduces the story, and then we clap, stamp, nod, roar, blow kisses, spin around, squeak, and jump around to show our happiness. A good finish! I did change “kiss kiss” to “blow a kiss,” because otherwise kids were actually kissing each other.
  • Other book possibilities:
    • Slobodkina, Esphyr. Caps For Sale=Se venden gorras. A classic story, but my preschoolers don’t seem to get into it until the caps disappear and we have to figure out where they went. Otherwise a little long for them.
    • Williams, Susan. Ten Naughty Little Monkeys. The kids start this one with me, as they know it so well! Then, when the story changes, they continue to make noise as if they’re saying it with me.  Cute! Another great chanting book.

We’re having lots of fun with our monkey business.  What are your favorites?

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