Sunday, February 8, 2009

Curious George/Monkey craft and books

I'm posting a book-related monkey craft we had fun with yesterday. Inspired by a post on Just For Fun about Friday book projects, as well as the wonderful crafts at No Time For Flashcards, we've been trying to begin incorporating some crafts into daily life around here. At 14 months, the bibliophile can't participate all that much yet, but I'm working on it. You may have gathered by our recent posts about buses and birds that the bookworm has a thing for "B" words. We've been working on a craft for that all week, and I'll post about it soon, but in the meantime, we took a little break to enjoy another of his favorite letters: M. And, specifically, monkeys. I'm pretty sure his love of monkeys began with these two Curious George books:

Curious George at the Zoo A Touch and Feel TV Board Book (A Touch and Feel Book) (Board book), by H. A. Rey. This cute book about George hiding in various places around the zoo (and the animals around him) is full of fun textures. He seems to enjoy locating little George on each page (hiding behind a plant or in a basket, etc.) even more than the textures, with the exception of the last page. This has been pretty consistently one of his favorites.

Infant's Interest: The "bumpy basket" on the last page was extremely appealing for awhile.

Curious George Bigger and Smaller Lift-the-Flap Board Book (Board book), by Editors of Houghton Mifflin Company. The flaps on this one are a little different, folding out to cover three words (like "big, bigger, biggest" or "messy, messier, messiest") rather than just a window like most flap books. The flaps are fairly thin, but have held up very well. The text is pleasantly non-annoying, George is as cute as ever, and the flaps cover useful concepts.


"George is curious about...being neat. George is clean. But it's hard to stay that way! Getting messy/Messier/Messiest"

We also have this set, which I haven't gotten around to reviewing in full yet:
Curious George Four Board Book Set [BOX SET] (Board book), by H. A. Rey.

So, to honor George the monkey, as he's known around here, and get through the hour before bedtime last night (dried off by this Monkey Hooded Towel), we devised the following little craft.

Materials: 3 pieces of construction paper (two shades of brown, one background any color), one black and one green crayon, one glue stick. One pair of scissors. We also used a small sticky circle I bought at a going out of business sale for 10 cents, but it's not necessary.

Directions: Give your little one the background paper and a green crayon and ask him/her to draw some grass for the monkey to hide in. In the meantime, cut a circle out of the dark brown construction paper, and two ovals (one slightly larger than the other) out of the lighter brown paper, as well as two ears out of either paper. If you are using the sticky cardboard circle, just unpeel the backing, lay it down on the paper, and cut around it. Get your glue stick and, depending on the ability of your little one to handle it, get some help applying glue to the back of the pieces and laying them down on the background paper to assemble your monkey. Our little guy doesn't like the stickiness of the glue on his fingers much, but he liked to hold the cap and help press down each piece as I lined it up. Take your black crayon and draw on little eyes, a nose, and a mouth. Because our bookworm loves flaps so much, I decided to cut out an extra square of brown paper and glue it down so that he can help "find" the hidden monkey. Write in a message at the top of the paper, and you're done. (I suspect the flap will need to be reinforced with something other than a glue stick if it is going to see any major use.) Googley eyes would make this very cute too, but we didn't have any on hand (waiting until I'm sure he's past the stage of eating them!).

What did the bookworm REALLY do?
: Selected the background paper. Scribbled the green "grass" onto the background paper. Helped to press the monkey face pieces down. Said "muh! muh! muh!" when finished to assure me that, yes, the finished product does resemble a monkey. Played with the flap afterward.

Isn't the weighted monkey book end pictured at the top of this post adorable? We bought him a monkey and frog one for Christmas. I see from google that there are also dog and cat versions. Uh oh, a dangerous discovery.


melanie said...

My daughter loves Curious George. I'm sure she'd love this acivity!

sandy said...

Curious George is so fun! This is a great activity! Thanks for participating:0)

caribookscoops said...

My daughter is a huge fan of Curious George. She just had her Curious George birthday party a few weeks ago and it was hit. This would have been a great craft for us to do at the party, but I am sure she would love to do it at home with just me.

Jen said...

I love Curious George and what a cute activity!! I started early with my girls and would help as well with the difficult parts. Great resource suggestions.

Creative and Curious Kids!

jennwa said...

That is a great idea.