Today you can listen to our Monkey Puzzle story, which is read by Susie. Enjoy!
Personal, social and emotional development
The baby monkey is missing his mother, something many children will have experienced, and they may even have been lost. Talking to children about their experiences may help children learn some vocabulary relating to feelings such as ‘worry’, ‘anxious’, ‘nervous’ and ‘scared’.
You can also use this as a learning opportunity to talk about what children should do if ever they were lost and whom to approach for help.
The baby monkey assumed that the butterfly would know babies look like their mothers. With older children, you could look at how easy it is to think that everyone thinks the same as us – for example, ‘because I like apples, you must like apples’.
This is a lovely book to help children learn vocabulary, especially for descriptive words such as ‘hairy’, ‘slimy’ and ‘baggy’. You could build on this by playing games with children – for example, put out a range of objects or cuddly toys and ask the children to guess which one you are talking about based on your description.
Once children are familiar with this book, check if they can hear the rhymes within the text. You can also choose some words such as ‘bat’ or ‘small’ and see how many rhyming words children can think of, or play games where children have to shout out or ring a bell when words that you say do not rhyme.
This book can be used to encourage children to look for particular items and to count them. For example, can they spot the crocodile in the river or the caterpillars on the leaves? Or can they find the smallest and largest animals in the story?
This book could also be the starting point for playing puzzles with children. You could hide a picture of the mother monkey using positional language such as ‘next to’ or ‘under’ and encourage the child to find it.
Also look out for jigsaw puzzles in your house featuring some of the animals from the story, such as the elephant or butterfly. Puzzles can develop children’s problem-solving skills, as well as their understanding of shape and size.
Understanding the world
Discover more about the animals in the story. With older children, search the internet for information by keying in such questions as ‘where do bats live?’.
You could also carry out a caterpillar and butterfly hunt and in the garden or on your walk and talk to children about their lifecycle.
Here is a lovely picture of Yassi's caterpillars in her house.