One game that is popular with toddlers and young children is the “five little monkeys” game. This game recites the old chant about the monkeys jumping on the bed. One by one, the monkeys fall off of the bed and bump their heads. This is an amusing counting game for toddlers, who are just starting to learn to count. Facilitate this rhyme by creating little monkey finger puppets to use to help illustrate the rhyme.
Felt in assorted colors
Crafting the Monkeys
Cut a 3 by 4-inch rectangle from brown felt. Fold the rectangle in half lengthwise. Sew the rectangle closed along the long side and one short side. Round the top seam to create a rounded top for the puppet. Turn the felt inside out.
Cut 2, 1-inch wide strips of felt about 2-inches long. These will make the monkey’s arms. Sew the felt strips to either side of the monkey body by hand.
Cut a curling tail from brown felt and sew it to the back of the monkey by hand.
Cut tiny tan hands and sew them to the end of the arms.
Cut out a 2-inch oval from tan felt. Glue it to the center of the monkey’s body for a stomach.
Cut a round circle of brown felt about 2-inches across. Cut two small semi-circles from brown felt to make ears. Cut an oval snout from tan felt and glue it to the center of the circle for a nose. Glue the ears to the back of the head.
Glue googly eyes onto the face with craft glue. Draw a mouth shape with permanent marker.
Sew the head to the top of the body by hand using a needle and thread.
Make four additional monkeys. Allow the monkey to dry for 24 hours.
Embellish each monkey with other leftover scraps of felt to make each monkey unique. Give one monkey a bow to make it a girl, give another a bright scarf and another a little bow tie. You can even give some of the monkeys bananas or other objects to hold in their hands.
Place one monkey onto each finger. As the rhyme progresses, flip one monkey off of your hand at a time with your other hand. By the end of the rhyme, all of the monkeys should be sitting in your lap. Children will love the illustration of the rhyme with the silly monkeys flying all over the place during the song.