“Leonardo the Terrible Monster” is my absolute favorite book to read aloud- if you haven’t seen it, check it out!
I love this book for so many reasons!
- It’s by Mo Willems, one of my all-time favorite children’s authors. I swear, pure gold flows out of his pen!
- It’s hilarious and quirky and fun
- It uses great vocabulary words like “researched” and “unsuspecting”
- It actually has a great message at the end about empathy and choosing to be kind
Kids love it too! I used to have a sweet little kindergartener who would beg me to read it every day while we waited for the buses, but he couldn’t quite pronounce the name, so he would just ask “Can we have Nanardo today?”… and how could I say no to that? As a result, I am now a Leonardo-reading pro (practice makes perfect!). Here’s a top tip- when Leonardo says “Then WHY are you CRYING?”… take a big breath before you turn the page! The faster you can read all of Sam’s reasons, the longer the kids will roll around on the floor with laughter. Trust me on this one.
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Since this book is such a hit, I’ve been thinking for a while about an awesome activity to go along with it, and a little monster play-dough invitation seemed like just the thing!
Here’s the invitation to play:
Orange and Purple Playdough
For the recipe I followed, check out my post; Pumpkin Spice Play-Dough Cupcakes. Instead of pumpkin spice, I scented this batch with some vanilla and banana extract! (I feel like monsters smell like bananas. Why not?)
The above link is where I got the idea, but I made mine slightly differently- instead of acrylic paint, I used sharpies. They were quick and easy to make, and came out looking really cool!
I cut them into thirds so they wouldn’t be too long.
Red Glass Gems
From the dollar store- these things are so awesome for sensory play!
I thought it might add a nice fine motor component and allow the kids to add some funny little details to the monsters (they could always try and use them to make all of Elenor’s teeth!). You can find directions for dyeing rice here.
You could add any number of other cute or scary small parts!
Once your play dough and parts are arranged, you can read the story, talk about what makes the monsters scary (or not!) then present them with the play-dough and let their imaginations lead the way!
What would you add to this play-dough kit? Leave a comment and let me know!