By Awnali Mills
Monster storytime happens to be one of my favorites. It has fabulous books to choose from, and it’s an invitation to pure silliness. The books I chose were Bedtime at the Swamp by Kristyn Crow, and Go Away, Big Green Monster by Ed Emberley.
Since it was the beginning of a session, I changed things up a bit. I had a music CD playing to start, and I greeted all the kids at the door with my new puppet mascot, Biscuit. He gave anyone who wanted one a puppy kiss. I had lots of takers! He brought a letter for us, “M” for monster, and we talked about other things that start with the letter M.
Biscuit went away, we did a stretch, and then Gulp came out to play.
All of the kids were given a laminated letter of the alphabet. Gulp told them how much he loved to eat letters, and the kids fed him their letters (Nom, nom, nom!) I tried to get them to tell Gulp what their letters were before he ate them, but they were so focused on feeding the puppet that I was incidental to the whole process. And, I suspect many of them didn’t recognize the letters. They loved feeding Gulp, and some of them got a huge kick out of snatching the letter away just before Gulp bit. This made Gulp sad, which just seemed to make it even funnier. This led me to my EL tip, which was “Talk about all the letters around you, like in signs, and what sounds those letters make. That’s really great for kids!”
Then, we read Bedtime at the Swamp. The kids helped with the refrain: “Splish, splash, rumba rumba, bim, bam, boom!” They really got into it and did a great job while I voiced all the characters.
Then, we did our Five Little Monsters flannel. The kids got up with me and jumped around, singing the song (Five little monsters jumpin’ on the bed…), and shouted out the number of monsters each time. We also talked about what each color was as I put it on the board to start with.
After that we read Go Away, Big Green Monster. The kids shouted “Go Away!” with me when it was time, and did a great job. Next, I brought out our star monster, an idea I got from my friend Kathy, and Miss Tara’s Storytime. Gulp came out and led the singing.
“A hunting we will go, a hunting we will go!
We’ll catch a monster and give her a _________ star
And then we’ll let her go!”
The children took turns putting stars on our monster. Each one was a different color, and they first had to show the class the star, everyone would shout out what color it was, and then put it on the monster.
Our last song was Monster Monster which I got from Storytime Katie:
Monster, monster, turn around
Monster, monster, touch the ground
Monster, monster, reach up high
Monster, monster, touch the sky
Monster, monster, find your nose
Monster, monster, find your toes
Monster, monster, find your knees
Monster, monster, sit down please
For the finale, I pulled out flannel monster shapes and let kids add eyes, mouths, horns, and noses to create their own monsters. I left the flannel up during after-storytime play time, and kids played with it the entire time.
During playtime, a caregiver came up and told me that the little girl I had been talking with had told her, “I don’t have a teacher yet, but I have my liberrian!” My heart melted!