One of the most cherished stories from my childhood is “5 Little Monkeys Jumping On The Bed”. I remember being fascinated with jumping on the bed and with the visual of all those silly monkeys bouncing all over the place. This is still a song and story that captures kids imaginations and interest. I decided to create a manipulative that could be used in the telling of “Five Little Monkeys” and then set in a center for kids to retell and use their imaginations to create their own stories.
I love to use my hot glue gun and this project was a lot of fun! Here are the DIY directions for creating a manipulative to help students explore the concept of subtraction and so much more…
Then, place a piece of cardboard on top of the filler that you chose. Cut it out to fit the top of the bed. I cut it a little larger to overlap and fold down into the inside edge of the bed.
Hot glue a piece of foam or felt to the top of the cardboard. This will be the sheet for your bed.
Hot glue the cardboard to the top of your filler. I hot glued the felt to the sides of my filler (the cardboard boxes).
Hot glue the cardboard boxes or foam rubber into the base of the bed.
Fold the felt or foam over to create the look of a comforter. Hot glue the felt or foam back on to itself.
This is not a necessary step, but you can hot glue ribbon across the top and bottom of the comforter. This is just to add the cute factor.
Hot glue the end of the pillow (see #1 below) about 1/2″ from the bottom of the pillow (see #2 below). Then, hot glue #2 back on top of #1. This will keep all the edges of the pillow underneath. It will make it more durable for kids to use, because they will not be able to reach the hot glued edges.
The last step is to create your monkey manipulatives. You will need finger puppets or some other small plastic monkey. I used small plastic finger puppets. I included the affiliate link at the bottom of the post.
You can see a more indepth post of creating manipulatives out of finger puppets here. The basic gist of it is to fill the puppet with cotton balls or hot glue to give it a little heft. Then place a layer of hot glue on top of your filling. Add a piece of Velcro to the wet hot glue. As the hot glue dries, it will strengthen the bond to the Velcro.
To keep all my manipulatives consistent, I always use the soft Velcro on the base (in this case, the bed) and the rough Velcro on the manpulatives. This allows me to use any manipulative with any base.
Hot glue the Velcro to the top of the bed. I wanted to have five monkeys, so I added five pieces of Velcro to the top of the bed. Add as many Velcro pieces as you want!
Add your monkeys to the bed and you are ready to play!
Thanks so much for joining me for the DIY tutorial on making a “Five Little Monkeys” manipulative. I hope your kids have a great time learning and exploring with these little guys.