“Where the Wild Things are” by Maurice Sendak

imageIf you haven’t read this book before, then please do, it’s available online free as a read along audio book, here. It’s a classic book, that has aged well. As you probably know, the book is about a boy in a rage, who is sent to his room, from there he enters the realm of “The wild things” he becomes their king and leads them on a wild rumpus, before calming them and heading back home to his supper which is still hot.

This is a great book for talking about emotions and anger and how to deawildthingsandoliver 042l with difficult feelings. The wild ones are also a great example of monsters, which are not too scary for small children. As an aside, the film that came out a few years ago, is nothing like the book, it is very surreal and I don’t think I’d show it to small children. I didn’t enjoy it much myself and think they’d find it confusing and potentially scary.

Activity:
Brief descriptionwildthingsandoliver 038
Read story.
Make masks using paper plates
Take masks out to explore the woods, playing in the “new land” you’ve discovered, taking bark rubbings, collecting souvenirs.
Have a “wild rumpus” in the woods.

Write up of how it worked for us:wildthingsandoliver 001
I decided to make “wild thing” masks. Paper plates are a great basis for making masks, it was very simple to poke some holes in for eyes, draw on nose, beard etc. Cut off some of the top to leave horns, then tape paper sticks (see tips) on the back. Jumbles mostly likes to cut at the moment, so he cut his mask in half, then got sad that his was smaller and swapped it with Daddy’s. You will have to excuse my terrible artwork, but this shows that even if you can’t draw you can make crafts your kids will like. Jumbles and Bean both loved their masks. wildthingsandoliver 078Though for Bean, she was trying to use it as sustenance rather than a mask.

Once we had the masks, we had a quick rumpus at home, before setting out for the woods. In the woods we had a lot of fun squelching through the mud, tripping over brambles (possibly, we should have done “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt” instead) searching for wild things and taking samples (pine cones and sticks) of the woods to take home. We also tried out bark rubbings with some crayons we took with us.

We didn’t actually use the masks while out, but the plan was to dance around with them. We were having too much fun just playing.wildthingsandoliver 014

External links:
Buy Where the wild things are
Borrow “Where the wild things are”
Read along online free version

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2 thoughts on ““Where the Wild Things are” by Maurice Sendak

  1. My three year old adores reading this book! He tries to analyse Max’s behaviour and seems to understand the parent’s frustration. A friend bought him the film for Christmas and he loves that too. I agree it is somewhat surreal but, again, it is a great resource for exploring feelings and relationships.

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