before five in a row · Crafts · Preschool

Caps for Sale – BFIAR Preschool


One of our latest Before Five in a Row books was Caps for Sale: A Tale of a Peddler, Some Monkeys and Their Monkey Business by Esphyr Slobodkina.  We had such a blast with this book and it also served as a tester for a new product I’m considering for next year.  Recently, I’ve read a  bunch of great reviews about Ivy Kids, which is a book themed monthly subscription.  Each month, they send you an actual book along with 10+ activities to go along with it.  Since one of their previous boxes was for Caps for Sale, I figured it would be a perfect way to complete another BFIAR book while seeing what we thought of their boxes.

Most of the activities included this week came straight from the box.

As with each new book, we just sat down Monday morning and read the story.  We took the book and snuggled up on the couch, which is a perfect way to start the week if you ask me since M and J both join in for this.  Caps for Sale is a story of a peddler who sells caps that he carries around on his head.  One day he takes a walk to the countryside after failing to sell any caps and takes a nap under a tree.  When he wakes up, he finds that monkeys have taken all his caps and are up in the tree wearing them.  He humorously attempts to trick the monkeys into giving him back his caps.  M thought the story was laugh out loud funny, who could want more?

After reading the story, M got to work turning herself into a peddler!  She decorated her own peddler cap and coordinating monkey.  It’s always fun for me to watch her so intent with what she’s doing.  She had a clear plan for her hat (she drew a treasure map on it) and her monkey had to be all pink since it was a girl monkey.  These are great since she will be able to use/play with them over and over again.


Once the cap and monkey were finished, we added some finishing touches (mainly the stick on mustaches that came in the box) and M was her very own peddler. She thought wearing a mustache was hysterical and immediately went to show off her new look to her dad, who was working from home that day.


We then decided to mimic the story.  I gathered up as many baseball caps as I could find around the house and we used them to see how many caps she could balance on her head.  She held an impressive 9 caps when sitting down and 3 when walking around like the peddler.


We also practiced counting using the pictures in the book.  M counted the number of hats the peddler wears (13).

Using the material provided in the box, we also delved into the world of monkeys this week.  There was an All About Monkeys booklet that contained some basic facts as well as a memory game using different species of monkeys.

Using monkey finger puppets, we had fun singing a few monkey themed songs!  While M had fun with the songs, this was the highlight of J’s involvement.  He continued to play with the finger puppets all week.  We sang “Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed” and “Five Little Monkeys Sitting on a Tree.”  If you’re not familiar with either of these, there are cute

No week would be complete without a good craft, so M made a paper bag monkey.  She set up the monkey so she could use the bag as a puppet once it was finished.  (In case you were wondering, no her monkey is not missing a leg – that is the tail, which M insisted be glued to the front of the bag instead of the back!)

Included in the box were a bunch of different games that M really loved playing this week. In the “Get Back the Caps” game, she worked to get the caps back from the monkey and onto the peddlers head.  I was impressed that she wanted to recreate the exact pattern worn by the peddler in the book since we hadn’t even discussed that he always wore them in a certain order.  We also played an alphabet BINGO game and a standard board game that had you acting like monkeys.

We had a monkey race that used dice to see which number was rolled most often.  I really liked that it got her using a die, identifying what number was rolled and graphing the results.  At the beginning of the game, she was counting the number of dots on the dice after each roll but by the end, she was remember what number was what automatically.


M loved every activity we did this week and I was really impressed with Ivy Kids for a number of reasons, two of which were that the activities could be spread out over the entire week and that I can add on sibling materials for only $5 additional.  Not that J will be able to participate in everything next year, but for $5 it will be nice to include him.

Especially since almost everything we do is literature based, I think we will be taking a break from our Green Kid Crafts subscription in favor of this one come September.

With baby # 3 due only 6 weeks away, I’m trying to squeeze in each of our remaining BFIAR books before then.  I thought it was going to work out but the arrival of some beautiful spring weather (finally!) has caused us to take a more relaxed approach lately.  We’ll see how the next few weeks go!

I hope you’ll come back to see our next Before Five in a Row adventure with I am An Artist – a perfect book for Earth Day!

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