Five little monkeys jumping on the bed
One fell off and bumped his head
Mama called the doctor and the doctor said,
“For the love of all things holy I am not reading this book one more time!”
I have a love/hate relationship with the book 5 Little Monkeys. After about the sixth time of reading it, all that repetition makes me want to jump off a bed and knock myself in the head.
But the repetition is great for pre-readers: Books that have repeating sequences, like 5 Little Monkeys, strengthens a child’s neural pathways and primes them for learning to read later. For example, all that repetition helps kids add to their vocabulary faster, reports research from the University of Sussex in the UK. And the familiar rhythms of a repetitive book helps that child remember what comes next—a skill that later helps them predict or hypothesize what comes next.
I saw this all in action with Peeper and 5 Little Monkeys. I used to pass the book back to her while we were driving around. After a while, she would “read” the book to herself—including counting down the number of monkeys.
All that repetition really worked!
Turns out the repetitive motion of painting is a great parallel for this story. When I found Raising Fairies and Knights’s Monthly Crafting Book Club, I was in: I wanted to make a fun art project that went along with 5 Little Monkeys, too!
You may also know what a proponent of process art I am. So I didn’t want to create a craft that had a clear expectation of how the craft should look in the end. Instead, I created a project that let Peeper do her own thang while staying true to the spirit of the book. And with my hand-drawn download, you can, too!
5 Little Monkeys Craft
- 5 Little Monkeys download
- 5 rubber bands
- one-hole punch
- Download the 5 Little Monkeys drawings.
- Cut out the monkeys. Leave about 1/2 inch at the top and the bottom. You don’t have to cut closely and carefully around the lines; I left some white space around the monkey drawings because it was easier and faster. (Your kid won’t mind.)
- Using a one-hole punch, make a hole above each monkey’s head and 3-4 holes below each monkey’s feet.
- Cut enough 4-inch lengths of yarn to fill each hole you made at the monkey’s feet.
- Thread a rubber band through each hole above the monkeys’ head (see below).
6. Using the same technique, thread the holes below the monkeys’ feet with yarn (see below).
7. Pour paint onto a plate (or a plastic lid, like I did!). Invite your preschooler to dip the yarn in the paint and have the monkey “jump” on a sheet of paper.
Repeat as often as you want!
Don’t forget to check out the other 5 Little Monkeys-inspired crafts over at Raising Fairies and Knights!