The monkey is part of the primate family, and all primates have the ability to climb trees. There are some species who do not live primarily in trees; these animals are unlike the monkey. Monkeys, however, tend to stay in groups. These groups are called troops and can range in numbers up to two hundred.
The monkey is an highly intelligent creature who has features most common to humans. They have eyes that face forward, and they use their hands much like we use ours as humans. The monkey almost always has a tail, and they have become adept at using it as if it were a hand.
Your class will love the books and activities surrounding these wonderful creatures. Your class will love this preschool theme on the monkey.
There is a book titled Busy Monkeys (A Busy Monkey Book) by John Schindel. This book has beautiful photography taken of the monkey while they are going about their business. There are close-ups of the creatures along with text that is short and concise enough to keep the children’s attention. This book will bring the world of monkeys to your classroom.
There is a second book titled Funny Faces Charlie Monkey by Rodger Priddy. This board book is packed with actual sounds that are featured in the stories. There are buzzing noises from flies, and it even has text that will peak your children’s interest. This book is said to have a rhyming scheme throughout that will tickle their ears.
Both books are a good way to introduce one of the main attractions for every zoo in the world: the monkey. Both books will intrigue the preschoolers as they step into the world of the monkey.
- Book Discussion – After you have read the books to the children, have them talk about what they like about the monkeys. Ask the children if they know where monkeys live. Ask them if they know what monkeys eat. Ask them if they have ever been to a zoo, and have them tell the class what the monkeys did while they were there. Talk to the children about the foods the monkeys eat such as fruits, spiders, and berries. Talk to the children about where the monkeys sleep and how they travel from tree to tree to keep away from predators.
- Monkey Craft – Materials: You will need paper plates with ridges, construction paper, glue, astapler, markers, scissors, brown paint, one half inch ribbon, and large doll eyes. Instructions: Help the children paint the paper plates brown and let them dry. Cut two circles, one smaller than the other, and snip off one corner from each so that they all look like the letter C. Glue the smaller one inside the smaller one and let dry. Glue both circles to the back of the plates for the monkey ears. Using the markers ,draw large circles for the monkey’s eyes and glue the doll eyes in the middle of them. Using a dark marker draw two circles for the nose, and underneath the nose draw the monkeys mouth. Staple close to a two inch strip of ribbon to the very top of the monkeys head.
- Monkey Sock Puppet – Materials: You will to gather a brown sock for each child. (Optional): The socks can be fuzzy and any color you desire. The fuzzy socks are better for gluing. You will need to gather brown and red felt. You will need large doll eyes for this project. You will also need scissors, glue, markers. (Optional): You can buy beads or anything else that will allow the children to personalize their sock monkey from the craft store. Instructions: Cut two circles for ears, two large hearts for hands, and a snake-like pattern piece for tail. Cut two medium circles for the inside of monkey’s ears. Cut one smaller heart or circle for the nose and a tongue. Glue the red felt to the ears, and glue the ears to the socks. Glue the nose, eyes, tongue, tail, and hands to the monkey and let dry.
Bringing a small piece of the zoo to your classroom should prove to be both fun and educational. They are one of every child’s favorite animals to talk about and will be fun for your group, too.