Gluing down some tissue paper.
The kids created their own monster masks using paper plates as a base. I cut some eye holes, and then they got started decorating their masks. We started by placing tissue paper over the plate to create the monster’s skin. Once we’d glued the tissue paper down, A chose to leave her tissue paper loose around the edge as a bit of a frill. L chose to push the edges of her tissue paper around to the back of the plate and glue it down.
Gluing the edges down.
The kids used some crepe paper to add fur, felt and foam for horns, mouth and ears. L added a silver tail to her mask too. And then it was glitter glue and more glitter glue. A used lots of glitter glue to create some pretty sparkly teeth that haven taken a couple of days to dry in our damp weather.
Adding a glitter glue nose.
I added a large pop-stick to the back of the plate to help support the mask, and then another large pop-stick at the bottom of the mask for the kids to hold it.
A adding purple fur.
Glitter glue teeth.
When I took photos of the kids using their masks, they growled and roared for me. They also ran out wearing their masks to scare Big L when he got home from work.
L modelling her monster mask.
A modelling her monster mask.
The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler, paperback picture book, published by Macmillan Children’s Books in 1999.
A little mouse strolls through the woods, several predators offer for him to join them for a meal. He frightens each of these animals away with his description of the fictitious monster, the Gruffalo, but then he actually meets one. The Gruffalo thinks he would like to eat the mouse as well, but the mouse has a clever idea to escape becoming lunch.
This is a beautifully written and illustrated picture book that is extremely well loved in our home. The kids can recite this story because we have read it so many times. I love it too, and I am always happy when one of the kids choose it for story time. The story is written in rhyming text, and the mouse’s description of the Gruffalo is delightful. It is amusing and original, and not at all scary. It is a wonderful book to share with children of all ages. The Gruffalo is a must have for every child’s book collection.
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, children’s paperback, first published by Harper and Row in 1963, this edition published by Red Fox in 2000.
Max is wearing his wolf suit and being a bit naughty, so he is sent to bed without any dinner. While he sits in his room, a forest grows, and an ocean appears, with a boat just for Max. He travels over the water to the land where the wild things live, and rules them, but he is lonely in the land of the wild things and he wants to go home.
This picture book is an award winner, and considered a children’s classic. It is a simple story with plenty of illustrations. Where the Wild Things Are is not my favourite picture book, but it’s okay. As toddlers my kids thought this book was terrifying, mostly due to the drawings of the wild things. Now that they are a bit older, they like this story fairly well, just not before bedtime.
Humf is a Furry Thing created by Andrew Brenner, children’s boardbook, published by Igloo Books Ltd in 2011.
Humf is a little purple monster, and he is also a furry thing, just like his mum and dad. He thinks he might like to be a feathery thing like his friend Loon, or a scaly thing like a lizard, or maybe a slippery thing. But maybe he likes being a furry thing best after all.
Humf is one of our favourite friendly monsters, along with his friends Loon and Wallace. There have been times when the kids have wanted to watch him on TV over and over, until they know the episodes backwards and forwards 🙂 So finding some Humf books was exciting. Humf is a Furry Thing is a sturdy boardbook with colourful illustrations, and a simple story great for sharing with a toddler or pre-schooler (older children can still enjoy Humf too!)
My little monster!
Using some green paper and green cardboard we made some monster horns to wear. I cut the green paper into strips, stapling two together and then placing it around the each child’s head to get the right size for the headband.
The monster headband.
I cut out some horn shapes from the green cardboard, and then we stapled two horns to each headband. Then the kids used glitter confetti glue to decorate their monster horns. They became very sparkly, and A described her horns as monster tiaras (currently she would like to be a princess when she grows up).
A spreading glitter glue.
L adding glitter glue carefully.
My big monster!
Monster themed finger food just right for a snack or party is monster fingers. A chose to use cheese sticks for this activity, while L chose to use carrot sticks. We used dried strawberries for the finger nails. I was going to use pecan halves or slivered almonds for this, but we’d run out, and the kids couldn’t wait for me to go to the store. I think the dried strawberries worked well though.
Adding dip to the finger to stick the fingernail on.
I broke the cheese sticks in half and cut the carrots into sticks. The kids used a little bit of french onion dip to stick the fingernails to the fingers. We could have used cream cheese or something like that to stick them together too.
Adding a fingernail.
This was pretty quick and easy, fun and tasty. The kids pulled theirs apart to eat them though, as the dried strawberries were quite sweet while the cheese and carrot were not, and they didn’t like the mixed tastes. I think they would have eaten them together if we’d used the nuts instead of strawberries. We can use nuts next time we feel a bit peckish for some monster fingers.
A plateful of monster fingers.
A Monster Wrote Me a Letter by Nick Bland, paperback picture book, first published by Scholastic Australia in 2005.
When the boy intercepts a letter from a monster that was meant for the monster living under his bed, an unusual play date occurs. Both the boy and the monster are rather nervous about their play date and they each try to do some things to impress the other. The boy puts out prickles and piranhas, while the monster bathes and combs his hair. The play date is a roaring success (pun intended!) as they teach each other some new things.
This is a delightful story with rhyming text that my kids want to read over and over. It is amusing and different, and very entertaining. This is a perfect book for preschool through lower primary school, but all ages can enjoy this funny tale. I certainly do!
With some frosting, lollies and fudge writing gel, we turned our plain vanilla cupcakes into monster treats. Big L cooked the cupcakes for us and then we decorated them as a family. It was lots of fun, and we ended up with some awesome cupcakes!
The kids enjoyed spreading the frosting onto each cupcake, though A kept leaning through the work area, and ended up with three shades of frosting all over her. She even tried licking some of it off her elbow!
Spreading the frosting.
Adding mini marshmallows.
Once the frosting was completed we used a range of lollies, including some strawberry jellies, mini m&ms, yoghurt buttons and mini marshmallows, and some writing fudge, to create our monsters. L used some frosting to stick mini marshmallows together to create long horns. Big L made a Cookie Monster cupcake, complete with mini cookie in his mouth. A just liked using lots of m&ms and marshmallows (and eating them when she thought we weren’t watching!). I used the writing fudge to add pupils to my monsters’ eyes.
Big L’s attempt at making Cookie Monster from Sesame Street.
The hand-print monsters worked so well, I thought we would have a go at painting monsters. And if it involves paint, A is always keen!
A started by painting a monster with lots of legs and arms, and then she told me she was going to paint a mermaid monster, but then she changed her mind, and painted a pink, blue, green and purple blob. When it was dry, she turned this blob into a monster using markers, paper cut-out teeth and eyes. She even added a heart on the monster’s chest. She also used markers on her first painting to add details such as eyelashes, pupils and a tongue.
A’s blob monster.
We made some squish paintings to use for creating more paint monsters using markers after they were dry.
L made a magical cat monster with blue and yellow magic all around it, and a large green tail. There was a monster with one eye in its bottom, and lots and lots of brains all over its body. According to L, this monster also has the ability to shoot brains from its sides to defeat its enemies. Her third monster was a hypnotising monster, with swirls for eyes and nose and green spiky horns and swirly arms. If you look at this monster for too long you would come under it’s control, and you would have to do anything that it wanted you to. L has a very good imagination!
L’s magical cat monster.
L’s brain monster.
L’s hypnotising monster.
Two hand print monsters.
Paint hand prints.
A was more than happy to paint her hands to make hand prints for this activity! She made some paint hand prints on some white paper, and we put these aside to dry. She also added some fingerprints to one of the paintings. Another of her hand print paintings was pretty messy, as she placed her palm on the paper over and over again, but it was still useful for making monsters out of.
Painting her hand for the prints.
Creating a blue hand print.
Once the paint had dried, we used markers to create monsters from the hand prints. A used one of her paintings with the hand prints upside down, using the fingers for monster legs. She gave each leg some claws, and each monster a head and spikes. These are very happy monsters.
L didn’t do the painting with us, but A let L use the messy hand print painting to make a monster out of too. L enjoyed drawing her monsters. Her green monster has eyes on each one of it’s spiked tentacles, and a really big bottom, while its pink friend is a one-eyed blob monster.
L’s monster drawing using A’s messy hand print painting.
Two hand print monster with fingerprint eyes.