In this blog, I’m going to share an all time favourite game in my household – the Monster Box. It takes a bit of prep but the kids will love making it. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve used it. It’s fantastic as it’s so versatile and can be used to teach almost anything including words, numbers, basic or difficult concepts…
To create the Monster you’ll need:
- A washing powder box / cereal box
- Colored card / construction paper / paint
- Colored pipe cleaners
- 1 x pom pom
- Small buttons
- Scissors & glue
We stuck different colored cards around the box
For the monster’s hair – I punched holes into the top of the box with a pair of scissors and then Kai and Emm poked the ends of pipe cleaners through.
Then we stuck on multicolored buttons for the eyes and a big orange pom pom for the nose – but you can use anything you like!
Finally, I cut out a smily mouth and we had created a friendly monster
Playing monster arabic games:
Like I said earlier there are so many ways to use the monster box. Sticking to this month’s theme, I’ll show you how I use it to teach the arabic letters.
You’ll need arabic alphabet flash cards, which you can download at the end of the post. See my previous blog for how to construct these.
For Emm, I first laid out 4 cards on the floor, face up, then I called out a letter for her to post into the monster’s mouth. I initially put the matching card on the monsters head so that she could look at it and find the matching letter in case she didn’t know the sound.
I made it more exciting by adding some commentary – “the monster is hungry and needs some letters to eat”. Then using my monster voice I said “I want to eat Emm!!” and she laughed, saying “no!” I went on to say “oh ok, I want to eat alif ”…“feed me ba”…etc.
Another way I played the game was by placing 12 cards face up and Kai and Emm played against each other. I put a card on the monster’s head and then I would say in my monster voice “I’m thinking of eating the letter seen!” “quick feed me the letter seen!” and they would shriek with delight, trying to find it.
The first to find the letter won a point (to be honest I stopped counting or giving the points as just them finding and posting the letter was enough of a reward). I occasionally had to hold Kai back to give Emm a chance, but adding the competition worked beautifully.
3. Practice understanding and naming
You can adapt the game to practice the final two stages of learning; understanding and naming. I’ll be talking more about these stages with more games in another post but I wanted to show you how flexible the monster box is.
I simply removed the letter from the monster’s head so there’s no visual cue and I called out a letter. Kai and Emm would then both scan to find the correct letter and post into the monster’s mouth. This tests understanding.
Then I made the activity harder and got Kai to call out the letters for Emm to post.
Why not try teaching your child how one letter can be written in different ways but produce the same sound.
For example, you could teach upper and lower case English alphabet letters. Place the upper case letter on the monsters head and have all the lower case letters placed on the floor, then ask the child to find the correct matching lower case letter. You can download english letter flash cards at the end of the post.
Arabic letters look different depending on if they’re at the front, middle or end of a word. You can use the box to test this also by placing different formats of the letter on the monster’s head and get the child to match it with the correct full letter on the floor.
I would absolutely love to see how your monsters have turned out so please please share your pics on facebook or message me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more info about the importance of matching and other fun matching games check out my previous blog.
Download free printable Arabic alphabet flash cards
Download free printable English alphabet lower case flash cards
Download free printable English alphabet upper case flash cards