Developed by:Purple Ely
Sometimes a Thursday could seem like a Monday, especially if your child is determined to disregard the morning routine and totally oblivious to the school bell or your 9am conference call! Thankfully, Monster Morning is the perfect storybook app for reinforcing the importance of morning routines.
Prepare to use the app by introducing one of these activities:
Boogie to the Monster Mash song before making a mash-up monster of your own. All you’ll need is plain paper, crayons/markers, three people, and a ghoulish imagination!
- To start, fold a blank piece of paper into thirds.
- Have the first person draw the monster's head on the top third of the paper. Think about the number of eyes, nose shape, hairstyle, etc. Meanwhile, have a second person purposefully looking the other direction to keep the drawing a surprise. That's important for the next step.
- Once the top third is complete, fold the paper so that that picture is hidden from view. Then pass the paper to the second person to draw the monster's belly while the others look in the opposite direction.
- Finally, fold the paper again to hide the first and second drawings. Give it to the third person to add legs.
- Two minutes later, it's time to unveil the group masterpiece - a silly, uncoordinated, adorably mismatched monster.
Adapted from Kiwi Crate.
Peril choses to have a healthy breakfast to start her day, which is a great lesson for kids. Reinforce the importance of healthy eating foods using laminated pictures of foods from magazines. Before playing, cut faces out of two shoeboxes, making a large hole for each mouth. One mouth should be smiling (Healthy Herbert) and the other should be frowning (Junky Jenna). Ask your child to sort the foods into the two mouths based on its healthiness (Healthy food = Herbert’s mouth; Unhealthy food = Jenna’s mouth). Talk about how healthy foods give us energy and help strengthen our bodies.
Help your child get the most out of an app experience by trying the following activities:
Sequencing is an important skill for children to develop. Through sequencing, children understand that events occur in a specific order, which leads to a broader awareness of patterns and predictability. (Sequencing is also significant reading skill, as readers need to know that fiction stories usually encompass a beginning, middle, and end.) Practice sequencing with your child by introducing time order word such as first, second, third, next, after, and last. Talk to your child about what each word means and how we use sequence words in our everyday lives. For instance, if you took a trip to the park, ask your child what s/he did first, second, and third. Or if you read a recipe together, talk about what ingredients needed to go into the bowl first, next, etc. Return to Monster Morning and discuss the sequence of events that Peter and Peril do when they first wake up in the morning.
Rhyming words are words that sound the same at the end, and this story is full of rhymes! As you go through each page, ask your child to identify the rhyming pairs (i.e. “way/play”, “cream/agleam”, “go/toe”). When children are able to recognize rhyming words, they strengthen their ability to notice, think about, and work with individual sounds in words, an important precursor to reading.
Extend the app experience with a real life activity:
So Fresh and So Clean
Just like Peter and Peril, children need to practice good hygiene in order to develop a healthy lifestyle. But let’s face it: kids this age sometimes need to be motivated to wash their hands with soap or brush their teeth properly. To make routine hygiene practices more fun, try one of these exciting ideas from education.com:
- Pretend to be a “germ detective” and use a magnifying glass to examine your child’s hands and teeth. Give him a “secret mission” to wash his hands or brush his teeth.
- Let your child pick out a special soap and toothpaste at the store that he'll use to wash his hands and body and to brush his teeth. There are many "cool" soaps out there, such as soaps in the shapes of animals and scented foam soaps. When your child is involved in the selection of products to use, he will feel that he has ownership of the hygiene process.
- Use a “puppet helper.” Have your child choose a puppet that will be a washing buddy in the bath or remind him to wash hands when he gets home. Talk in a funny voice with the puppet to differentiate the puppet from the parent. Being "helped" by a puppet and being nagged by a parent will get different results from your child.
What’s a Good Filter for the Morning Routine?
Take photos of your child going about his/her morning routine. For example, you may start with sitting up in bed, brushing teeth, eating breakfast, etc. Aim for about 4-6 photos in all. Laminate these photos into task cards or create a morning routine poster for visual support of what needs to be done in the morning. You may even want to put a phrase below each photo explaining the activity to up the literacy ante. Reinforcing morning routines will not only increase your child’s level of independence, but it might also help you get out of the house on time!
In one particular scene, readers have to help Peril with buttons. Interesting factoid: buttons make for great art projects! One crafty idea is to create people, animals, or monsters out of buttons. Simply glue buttons onto a piece of sturdy paper using bigger buttons for the body and smaller buttons for the arms and legs. (You could draw such details as the hair or toes using a marker.) Try different colored buttons for an added flair. Another idea is to make button notecards using this template. Just glue buttons onto the stems, fold the card, write a message, and voila! Instant snail mail.