This Leonardo the Terrible Monster activity is a fun way to create and teach kids about qualities of a friend, using a popular children’s book.
Leonardo the Terrible Monster Activity
You might know that we love to partner great children’s books with crafts and activities. Today’s hands-on activity is a Leonardo the Terrible Monster activity and it’s one that uses an amazing monster book to help kids talk about the qualities of a friend. Add this to your list of friendship activities, or when working on social emotional skills.
By the way, be sure to check out all of our book activities. It’s been fun creating book related activities! Today’s book is Leonardo the Terrible Monster by Mo Williams. We created a monster craft and game where we talked about friendship.
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Have you read the book, Leonardo, the Terrible Monster? This is such a cool book, all about a Monster who is not so scary.
In fact, Leonardo is terrible at being terrible. Leonardo tries to find the most scare-able kid there is so that he can scare the tuna salad out of him. Meet Sam. Well, it turns out the Sam has had a bad day and is not in fact scared by Leonardo; he’s sad. Leonardo and Sam become wonderful friends.
This book is such a fun read with it’s big, fun font and simple illustrations. It was easy to make a game based on Leonardo the Terrible Monster. This game is all about what makes a friend. We talked about qualities of a friend (and decided scaring our friends is not a good quality!)
Leonardo The Terrible Monster Book Craft and Game
We started by making a monster craft using coffee filters and fork painted fur. For the Monster friend game, you can make a monster craft using any Monster craft, but this one was fun and easy! You’ll need a few materials to make the coffee filter monsters:
- coffee filters
- Plastic Forks
- paint (this is my favorite brand!)
- Paint Brush
- Monster-ish decorations like pipe cleaners, googly eyes, yarn, or any crafting material
To make the coffee filter monsters, first flatten and paint the coffee filters.
Add color and fur texture by pressing the back of the fork into paint and then pressing onto the coffee filter.
Let the paint dry and then glue on details of the monsters. It was fun to see how different each of our monsters looked.
We then used these monster crafts in a friendship game.
Monster “What is a Friend” Game for Kids
Once your monster friends are dry, hang them on the wall for a game about friends!
This color matching game was perfect for my preschooler (and her little sister who loves to do whatever her big sister does!)
Talk about the colors and details of each monster on the wall.
Discuss how each monster is different, but they all have feelings and might end up becoming a great friend. We talked about how friendship doesn’t have anything to do with appearances or visual qualities, but of the specific qualities of a friend, or how a person (or monster) acts like a friend to others.
We talked about what exactly it means to be a friend.
These are some of the concepts covered in our social emotional skills resource, Exploring Books Through Play: 50 Activities based on Books About Friendship, Acceptance, and Empathy, which offers multi-sensory activities while exploring friendship, acceptance, and empathy through popular (and amazing) children’s books.
Then, to play the monster game, we played a version of “I Spy”. I said that I could see a monster who has blue fur.
My daughter would then go over and point to the monster that had blue fur and would name a quality of a friend that the monster might have. This extended the learning of friendship concepts further, and added movement, visual perceptual skills, color recognition, and more.
This is such a great movement and sensory-based preschool activity to learn about friendship skills!
Qualities of a Friend
(according to my kids):
It was fun to talk with my kids (later my 8 year old came over to see what the fun was about and joined us) as we discussed qualities of a friend. Some of the things we came up with were:
- A friend is someone who helps.
- A friend cares about their friends.
- A friend helps people at school.
- A friend asks others to play with them.
- A friend tells the truth.
- A friend takes turns.
What qualities of a friend can you and your kids come up with?
Stop by to see what the other bloggers in the Book Cub Play Dates series have created based on Leonardo, the Terrible Monster. You’ll have all the details you need to create a book themed play date! Monster Matching Busy Bag from Fun a Day Paint Chip Monsters from Craftulate Play Dough Monsters from Still Playing School
Grab our NEW book, Exploring Books Through Play: 50 Activities based on Books About Friendship, Acceptance, and Empathy, that explores friendship, acceptance, and empathy through popular (and amazing) children’s books! It’s 50 hands-on activities that use math, fine motor skills, movement, art, crafts, and creativity to support social emotional development.
You’ll also love these free friendship slide decks that are now on the site:
Writing about Friendship Slide Deck – writing prompts, writing letters to friends, and handwriting activities to develop friendship skills, all on a free interactive Google slide deck.
Personal Space Friendship Skills Slide Deck– Friendship involves allowing personal space, and body awareness and all of this is part of the social skill development that some kids struggle with. Use this free Google slide deck to work on body awareness and personal space.
Colleen Beck, OTR/L has been an occupational therapist since 2000, working in school-based, hand therapy, outpatient peds, EI, and SNF. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. Read her story about going from an OT making $3/hour (after paying for kids’ childcare) to a full-time OT resource creator for millions of readers. Want to collaborate? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.