As often happens in a child-led learning environment, while studying the zoo the children enjoyed learning about monkeys so much (and “Dee” especially LOVED the book Caps for Sale — I’ve renewed it from the library twice now!), that we branched off for a bit to learn about monkeys and do a little book study.
Fun with Caps For Sale
Using an idea I found at Delightful Learning, I drew a picture of a palm tree on a piece of printer paper and made copies. Using a brown ink pad, the children made monkeys out of their thumbprints/fingerprints. We added details (faces, legs, tails) with a brown marker, then painted the trees with paints.
Monkey See, Monkey Do
Dee’s FAVORITE part of the book is when the peddler gets angry and the monkeys imitate everything he does. So we had our own little game of this “Monkey-See, Monkey Do”, with Lefty as the peddler.
Five Little Monkeys
Dee had fun reciting the “Five Little Monkey” poem, along with some visual aids, courtesy of Oopsey Daisy.
Five little monkeys swinging from a tree.
Teasing Mr. Alligator, “Can’t catch me!”
Along comes Mr. Alligator, quiet as can be,
And SNAPS that monkey right out of the tree!
How many caps can you stack? We searched the house for as many caps as we could find to see how many caps we could stack/balance on our heads at a time, like the peddler. I believe our record was 11. :)
Oops! Down they go!
This printable came from Kizclub. The children colored the pages and stapled them together into a book, cutting on the solid line.
Another fun printable. The children colored their masks, then glued a popsicle stick to the back.
More Fun with Printables
I greatly appreciate people who use their time and talents to create wonderful educational printables, and then are willing to share them with us all for free. My gratitude to Homeschool Share and Homeschool Creations for the printables used in these activities.
Letter tracing, writing, and spelling
Stacking the caps on the monkey/color sorting
Learning about money: In this activity, I wrote money values (in cents) on the back of the caps.
As Rey took each cap off the tree, he counted out the number of pennies each would cost.
Beginning consonant sounds
After laminating the monkeys and the hats, I added velcro.
Hats could them be changed, each sticking to the monkey.
Great fine motor skills activity for a 2-year-old
Read, build, write
Design a cap
Learning with Games
I am a huge proponent of making learning FUN by playing fun, educational games. The first thing that came to mind, while learning about monkeys, was one of my old childhood favorites, the Barrel of Monkeys! We’ve all heard that old saying, “More fun than a barrel of monkeys”, but I had no idea just how much fun my children, particularly the older ones, would have with the barrel of monkeys. We nearly had monkey wars! To ease monkey tensions around our home, I had to go out and purchase two more barrels!
While the older kids played the game (quite competitively), the younger
kids used the monkeys for color sorting and pattern matching.
I love word games. Scrabble. Boggle. I am a logophile. I had heard good things about Bananagrams, but hadn’t found an excuse to purchase it until we starting learning about monkeys. It just kind of fit the theme. ;) What fun!!! And Lefty (12) gives me a run for my money!
“Players race against each other to build crossword grids and use all their letter tiles.
There’s no turn-taking to be found here—it all happens at once and it’s a race to the finish.
No matter how old you are and how many anagram games you’ve played,
Bananagrams is sure to drive you absolutely bananas … in the best possible way!”
Too Many Monkeys
While taking advantage of the recent Barnes & Noble educator appreciation event, I happened to spy this cute looking card game. It is a hit in our household. All of the “middle” children (from ages 6 to 10) play it over and over again.
“Primo the Monkey was fast asleep until his friends swung by for a surprise pajama party.
Help Primo chase away the primate pranksters by flipping and swapping cards in numerical order. Watch out for elephants and giraffes who want to crash in on the fun.
And if you’re lucky, draw a wild monkey card to clear out the room in one clean sweep.
The first player to stop the monkey mayhem and get Primo back to bed wins. “