Halloween may provide an ideal window, but there’s really not a bad time for Laura Numeroff’s book,  Ten Step Guide to Living with Your Monster.  From the same author who wrote the “If You Give a…” series, this whimsical spin on monsters explains how one should select and care for a new pet monster.  It’s hard to hang on to any fear of monsters as this story shows them playing the banjo, blowing bubbles, and drinking from the bathtub!

I wrote about this book last year, explaining how to use it to create a whole language journaling activity.  This year, combine that writing activity with a sculpture!  Using classic playdough and add-ons like craft eyes, toothpicks, beads, and pipe cleaners, children can bring their monstrous creatures to life, supporting their creativity and small motor skills simultaneously!  Strengthen language skills and math concepts as well by talking about these monsters as they’re being built, introducing descriptive words, counting and comparing accessories as they’re added, and getting your children to share their ideas about what these monsters might be like.
Finish it off with the whole language activity, recording your child’s dictations with the monster’s name and story, and you’ve got yourself one enjoyable, high-powered, and open-ended learning activity! 
Enjoy your pet monsters!



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