World Book Day activities: Finding the animals in Monkey and Me

To round off our week’s worth of activities to celebrate World Book Day, we did an easy peasy and fun activity inspired by Monkey and Me by Emily Gravett.

Monkey and Me

This is such a sweet little book. I wasn’t sure we’d get a lot of mileage out of it after our initial reading as, on first glance, there isn’t a great deal to it. However, ToddlerGirl seems to really enjoy it and has been regularly pulling it out of her book basket and bringing it over for me to read to her. This could be down to a number of factors. Gravett’s illustrations are beautiful: soft pencil lines, with some lovely expressive details. I also love how the text is laid out visually to pair with the images perfectly. In addition, there is a catchy refrain throughout the book (“monkey and me / we went to see / we went to see some…”) and then a variety of animals are introduced. It is simple, yet utterly engaging.

For our activity, I collected as many representations I could find of the animals featured in the book: penguins, kangaroos, bats, monkeys and elephants. Some were soft toys, some wooden. We don’t have anything remotely like a bat so I cut two very simple bat shapes out of black paper. I also drew a blank on kangaroos, so used a printed picture. I then dotted these round our living room for ToddlerGirl to find. They weren’t really hidden but in places that she would need a little prompting to find.

After naptime, I brought ToddlerGirl downstairs and we read the book together. I then asked her if we could find any of the animals in the book in our living room; I turned to the first animal page, to show her what we were looking for: the penguins. I had put these on the window sill and ToddlerGirl quickly spotted them. We had a look at the penguins and, to make the game a bit more active for ToddlerGirl, I did some penguin waddling and invited her to join in!

Next, we hunted for the kangaroo picture, which I’d put in her cosy corner. We did lots of kangaroo jumps around the room, which ToddlerGirl particularly enjoyed as she is just a little obsessed with jumping at the moment.

After this came the bats, which were on top of her cardboard den (a bit like a bat cave!). I couldn’t have guessed it, but ToddlerGirl loved these the most. We flapped them around the room, which worked really well with the floppy paper. This lasted quite a while until she ripped the wing off one bat, then the other… Oh well! We did a little flying like a bat, waving our arms up and down, before moving onto the next animal: the elephants, which were on the television stand. ToddlerGirl does a great elephant impression, so we did that a few times and then stomped round the room like a big elephant. Mummy waved her arm around to simulate a trunk as well. I had once again kept the blinds and curtains wide open so our neighbours were probably wondering what on earth I was doing at this point!

Finally, we searched for the monkeys, which I’d placed on ToddlerGirl’s toy shelves. We did a few monkey impressions before reading the book one more time.

I wasn’t sure how long this activity would keep us busy for but ToddlerGirl took to it really well and we probably had a good twenty minutes or so of fun with this. Considering how incredibly easy it was to set up, the effort expended to play achieved ratio worked out very well. A sweet activity to round off our bookish week.

I’ve really enjoyed all our activities for World Book Day and have been inspired to think of more games we can play alongside some of the books we are reading. ToddlerGirl has seemed to totally ‘get’ each activity, possibly because it is slightly familiar already having stemmed from a book we’ve been reading. I feel we’ve had so much value from these particular books as the activities have helped to bring them alive. And they have been easy ways to fill our day, something I am always looking for!

Did you do any book-inspired activities for World Book Day? I’d love to hear about them :)

(N.B: This book contains affiliate links.)

You might also like to read about our other World Book Day activities:

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