If big creatures fascinate your little monster, he may enjoy learning about the legend of Scotland's Loch Ness Monster. Nobody really knows what "Nessie" looks like, or if it even exists, but the common image associated with the creature is of a huge snake-like creature. Help your little one discover this world-famous character through some fun hands-on activities.
Help your preschooler practice his fine motor skills with a dough activity. Use play dough, cookie dough, modelling clay or salt dough to make your Loch Ness monster; salt dough can be baked and painted and cookie dough can be baked and eaten! Show your preschooler how to roll the dough with his hands to make a long thin sausage shape. Give him a plastic knife to cut this into four shorter sections and help him make two of these into C shapes and two into J shapes, which you will use upside-down for the head and tail. Show him a picture of "Nessie" in the water to help him arrange his pieces on a piece of blue construction paper to make it look as if the monster is swimming.
Talk about how the Loch Ness monster lives underwater and discuss how he might move about. Challenge your preschooler to move around the room like the monster, using words like "squirm" and "glide." Turn her hand and arm into "Nessie" by putting a long sock over her arm and sticking on two googly eyes. Ask her: "Can you weave your arm up and down like the Loch Ness monster?" Explain how the creature has hardly ever been seen and then get her to hide behind a bed or couch and pop her sock monster up in different places for you to spot, with binoculars if you have them. After a while, switch places and let her do the spotting.
Children tend to like dipping their fingers in paint, so let your preschooler get messy with a fingerprint painting of "Nessie." Get him to dip his finger in some green paint and press it onto paper again and again in a snake shape. Use words like "swirly" and "curvy" and talk about going "up and down" to describe the shape you are making. Talk about how no one really knows what the Loch Ness Monster looks like and encourage him to use his own imagination to design and paint his own underwater monster. Ask him questions like: "Does it have big teeth?" or "Does it have spikes?"
Images of the Loch Ness Monster show a creature with its head and parts of its body sticking out of the water. Find some pictures of this to show your preschooler and then recreate the image in 3-D. Cut the cups from a cardboard egg carton and have her paint them green. Glue one on top of another for the head and stick on googly craft eyes. Glue this onto a blue piece of card stock and then glue single cups behind it in a line, about an inch apart. Glue on bits of scrunched up blue paper or aluminum foil for the water.
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