When encouraging your children to read, allowing them to choose books and topics that interest them is very important. Our twins are in kindergarten, and as part of their monthly homework packet, they are required to have 20 books read to them. We point to words as we read so that they begin to learn them, and because we are pointing to the words, they quite often participate in reading when they recognize the words. We also allow them to ask questions about the story.
Once a week the twins go to the library and choose a book each; the rest of the books they pick from our bookshelf at home. Sometimes we will read the books in bed when tucking the twins in for the night so they get some one-on-one time with us; other days I will snuggle with both twins on the couch and read a book to them, especially if it’s a book that they will both love. Sometimes, though, on days when we have more time, I like to put together a fun afternoon using a book for inspiration.
Recently I was reading the kids Boogie Monster by Josie Bissett. The kids love this book, particularly my daughter who loves to play the CD that comes with it and dance around the room wearing her little “boogie monster legs”.
While I was reading to the twins, I was trying to think of fun things we could do for the afternoon. Then I remembered that at kindergarten the kids use ‘space-men’ made of pegs (similar to those pictured) to assist with their writing skills. They put the pegs between words to practice leaving a space as they are learning to write. At home, when they have been doing homework, I have noticed they use pencils, erasers, and anything else that happens to be laying about to put spaces between their words. So we decided to make fun monster spacers that they can keep in their special homework supplies tub.
These spacers were very simple to make. We began by painting the pegs with two coats of paint. Once dry, we attached a googly eye using a strong craft glue. Then with a combination of Elmer’s Painters Markers and a Sharpie, we added on the fun spots and features.
As a special treat, after their homework was finished, I gave the twins each a monster cake pop. It was the perfect end to a fun afternoon. To make these, you roll a standard chocolate cake pop ball and melt colored candy. Instead of dipping the cake ball into the candy and having a smooth surface, wait until it thickens just a little. Then using a spoon, coat the cake ball in melted candy, swirling it as you go, to create the fun monster look. We used an edible candy eye and a mouth made from a tube of decorator icing.
Do your kids have a favorite monster book? Encourage their love of learning and reading by having them do fun activities based on the book.