Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Monsters. Fears. Thing's that scare us. October's Eve.
Pat yourselves on the back teachers & parents, you've nearly made it through the challenges of September!! Oh happy day! Blink your eyes and before you know it the wild roller-coaster toward the holidays + year's end is at hand. Blink and it's October..... October and all things filled with fright!!!

Welcome to a round-up of all sorts of creativity devoted to the creepy crawly, heebie-jeebies that can be found in October. Monsters. Creatures. Costumes. Fear-filled-fun. Read-a-louds. Art project possibilities. You're come to the right spot!! WELCOME!

What traditions do you have in your family for scary stories? Campfire tales? Spooky nonsense? What traditions do you have in your classroom? Does your center/school participate in Ye Ol' Halloween adventures? How so? How have your observances and events changed over time? How do you include the child whose family does not 'observe' Halloween? Curious minds want to know!! Here's your chance to share!!

I'm on stage at last weekend's Children's Literature Conference sharing my original children's song, "Monster Spray" with the EC (Early Childhood) community and children's librarians alike. We're learning the sign language together. The picture below is the 'big ending.' I'm real big on big endings, as the brain research indicates that we're most alert at the beginnings & the endings of songs, of presentations--we want to go out with something memorable. With a bang! Anchor the experience! For all times sake!! TA-DA!!!! In this case, colored water in a neatly labeled spray bottle provides for the anticipated special effects. This is the point where the eyes of those 4 to 7 just about pop out of their heads!

MONSTER SPRAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I wrote this little dittie on my drive home from my performance at the Bryan Library eons ago. I had just purchased some bulletin board type 'happy monsters' at the teacher's educational supply store on their town square. As I drove those several hours to home, I remembered my early mommy-days, and my early mommy-sleep-deprived-nights.

There was a phase when my youngest daughter woke EVERY SINGLE SOLITARY NIGHT with fears of monsters-in-her-room. (As I put this together in my memory I think she was probably about three years old.) Every night I would tuck her back in with the assurance that there was no such thing as a monster. My assurances did absolutely nothing to stop her Creepy Monsters from awakening her + MOI. Then one night I used some innate learned-it-at MommySchool reverse psychology. At 2:17 a.m. I asked her in my sleep-stupor, to tell me where the monsters were. She trembled and pointed up to the high shelves above the window, the ones lined with stuffed animals. 

I instinctively pulled out my invisible container of monster spray and sprayed that high shelf: psssssssst!!! Take that!! Where else? Under the bed? Take that: psssssssssst!!! In the closet? Take that: Pssssssssssssttttttt!!!!  Honest-to-goodness!!!! She crawled back into bed and slept through the rest of the night. BINGO!!!!! I'm no dummy. The next night we took our invisible container of monster spray & sprayed all of the corners of her room BEFORE bed time and guess what? She slept through the night!!!! AND SO DID MOMMY!!! Blissful sleep. Fears conquered. An invisible tool & creativity.

"Once upon a time in my dark, dark room there were monsters -- CREEPY MONSTERS: big tall hairy ones, invisible scary ones, irrational airy ones, airy ones, airy ones......... Monsters in my room!"
"When the sun goes down, that's when monsters go to town, all the monsters -- CREEPY MONSTERS: big tall hairy ones, invisible scary ones, irrational airy ones, airy ones, airy ones...... Monsters in my room!"
"Each and every night, I am filled with so much fright, from the monsters -- CREEPY MONSTERS: big tall hairy ones, invisible scary ones, irrational airy ones, airy ones, airy ones..... Monsters in my room!" 
 "It is hard to sleep, what with monsters stacked so deep, all the monsters -- CREEPY MONSTERS: big tall hairy ones, invisible scary ones, irrational airy ones, airy ones, airy ones.... Monsters in my room!"
"Monsters, monsters, better run away! My mom bought me: Monster Spray!"
"Take that: psssssssst! Take that: psssssssssssst! Take that: pssssssssssssst!"
"Now it's safe to play, I am armed with Monster Spray: NO more monsters, NO more monsters!!! No more hairy ones, no more scary ones, no more airy ones!!!!! MONSTERS ARE ALL GONE!!!!!!
******** This is such a fun song to share during family events. I always have the daddies in the audience use their deep, low voices to be my 'echo' on the phrase: CREEPY MONSTERS. Then I assign the mommies the eerie phrase: airy ones, airy ones and we all practice our 'sound effect' voices making those words as high & as squeaky as possible. A true crowd-pleaser!!

******** [Here's the visual reference that I will pin to my Pinterest board entitled: Monster Spray. It is a collage of the two pictures above that I joined together easily in Picasa. Once the collage is saved then I could super-impose the words to the song using Picasa's Picnik setting. Voila. A visual reference that could bring a new teacher here on a monster scavenger hunt! Welcome!! My monster pinboard collection currently has 219 cyber-pins for your further inspiration. Click here for all of that nonsense inspiration.] 

Children ALWAYS ask me what the ingredients are in Monster Spray. Being a 'master teacher' (thank you Mimi Chenfeld) I always respond to their questions with a question. In this case, "What do you think?" I typically get their wheels turning by suggesting that I think monsters are probably afraid of vegetables. They will then start calling out their most feared vegetable and we start air-chopping up broccoli, cauliflower, lima beans, carrots et. al. and putting it all into a pretend bowl.

My two favorite ingredients that children have suggested for Monster Spray are SUNSHINE, "you know monsters are afraid of sunshine"...... and my all time favorite? LISTERINE!!! I kid you not -- a preschool child told me that one!!! So our pretend Listerine makes our spray liquid-like. 

[I could ramble on for pages about monsters and things that frighten us. We grow by our staring down our individual fear, by picking ourselves up and by putting one foot in front of the other. As a two-time early Breast Cancer survivor, the month of Pink-tober & fear mean something all together different to me.... but today we're talking about Monster Spray. Enough on that subject for now. Let us prepare our children to face their fears -- however large, however small -- let's give them meaningful tools for the journey ahead, whatever they encounter.] 


Back to the Children's Literature Conference. As we were packing up for the day, our Early Childhood teacher in attendance, in charge of the training classes at the joint-vocational for high school students there at MCCTC-ECE, one of my long standing supporters, went running down the hall........................................... 

She returned with this amazing project created last year by her then JUNIOR in HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT(!!!!!) Lisa Barcley, in response to the picture book, "There was an Old Monster" by three generations of the Emberley family. [Click on this link to the Scholastic site telling sharing details, giving the book's lyrics and a song download. People the recording is an awesome rhythmic rap of sorts, fun percussion.... you'll LUV it if you haven't heard it before.] 

Spoiler alert: the lion gives a ROAR, swallows the monster and he is no more. 

(Notice how Lisa has made the monster's tummy see-through for the creatures swallowed.
Her lion also as a see-through feature, to 'see' the monster once it is swallowed.)

Golly gee-whiz. If Scholastic is giving away their song as a download, I feel compelled to offer my "Monster Spray" as well...... only I'm going to make you work for it!! I have just learned that I can easily email my songs out & about across the countryside. [Click here to read my blogging buddy in IDAHO's post at SharpenedPencil. Janae was the very first person to prompt me to email one of my songs. Her first graders are singing and signing my "Red, White and Blue" in their recent observation of 9-11. She tells all about it in her post, complete with a YouTube video.]

To earn your emailed copy of Monster Spray you can do any of the following in my comment box: 
  1. Follow me on FB Networked blogs..... over there in the left side-bar.
  2. Follow me thru the big Google world of blog followers also left side-bar. 
  3. Follow me at Twitter as: Kweezlequeen. 
  4. Follow my new FB fanpage: RainbowsWithinReach
  5. Follow me over at Pinterest!
  6. If you've already done all of those, leave a comment with something that creeps you out.
BE SURE TO LEAVE YOUR EMAIL with your comment!!! 
The whole point of blogging is the sharing. The easy manner that we share is to link-up. I welcome any of your earlier posts on this subject, or what you anticipate doing in October!!!
Tell your blogging friends..... let's share the ideas that have worked successfully!

This opportunity to receive a free Mp3 has been added to a linky at Cornerstone of all types of free resources for teachers. Click right here to see the other supportive freebies.


  1. I might have to get some of that spray, Debbie! (I do have a little bottle of "stay on your spot" spray that works wonderfully! I might have to run to the Magic teacher Store and pick some up! :)

  2. I fear spiders!! Here in the desert we have some nasty (deadly, even) creepy crawlers that make their homes in my backyard. Eek!

    I second Ayn! :)

  3. I added two of the same link, Debbie, by mistake! I'm sorry... anyway, I can't wait to hear the monster spray song. Thanks for the offer!
    Mrs.Miner’s Monkey Business

  4. Thanks to each of you for adding your insight & expertise..... I'm so grateful. I know that there will be so many classrooms & family rooms that will be implimenting these great ideas.

    You're all the best!


  5. oh how fun!!! do you make dinosaur spray too? my toddler needs some... :)
    i linked


    ps- heading from FL up to your neck of the woods this weekend and this Florida girl is going to FREEZE!

  6. Laurie from Mom Loop here. I think I did all those things. Right now....I'm about the most creepy thing around, need a shower and some face paint.

  7. My mom used Monster Spray with my brother and I when we were little. I have been thinking about adding it to the nighttime routine for my 2 year old. Something that creeps me out are the noises that our house makes at night.... I know it is just "settling", but it still just gets me every time.


  8. I have nothing to add as we're not doing anything monsterish. While We don't do a whole month of Halloween celebrations, we do have fancy dress on the day & I plan to read a couple of moster books & songs as well. I'm a big believer on recognising celebrations from around the world with my children, but I personally have resisted the move toward including Halloween in Australia as it is an American tradition & we live in Australia. PLease don't take that the wrong way, but as a youngish country wee need to hold to our own traaditions, especially as we seem to be becoming more Americanised each year.

  9. I would love a copy of your song Debbie! I am a follower on all your sites:)

  10. Thank you for the invitation! What fun!!! :) Kristi

  11. WHoooooHOooehooooooooo!!!! We're growing and growing!!! LUV'ing these ideas. It's awesome that they are so diverse. Thanks to everyone for contributing and making this hop so amazing!!!

    For whatever reason my computer is not allowing me to comment at other people's blogs right now?!?!?!?! What's up with that?!?!?!?! I wish I could pop in at your blogs and leave some comment LUV. You'll just have to know that I appreaciate your support and getting things hopping around here!!!


  12. Alynn ( 10, 2011 at 12:03 PM

    Found you on Pinterest and though the idea of this song sounded wonderful, especially at this time of year. Can't wait to hear it.


  13. I just signed on to follow you on FB Networked Blogs. I am so excited about receiving your song. Thanks for the song and the monster linky list. What a great Halloween happening. Lisa B.

  14. I have done several....Pinterest, FB, Networked blogs, and can't wait for your song!!! Thanks!

  15. Your monster song and spray are great, Debbie! I was lucky that I wasn't afraid of monsters as a child and neither were my kids. But, I was terrified of the salamanders in our basement when I was a child. I've stumbled, reviewed, and pinned your post to my Halloween Pinterest board: Of course, I got sidetracked pinning lots of fun ideas from your linky!

  16. Monster LUV'ers!!!!

    I've been attempting to send my "Monster Spray" song to everyone here, but several of you forgot to leave me an email address. Ye gads!!!! If you're still looking for some spray, please email me: debbie at RainbowsWithinReach dot com and I'll happily send it your way!!

  17. Would love to have Monster Spray!

  18. I'm following from the Blogaholic Social Network Halloween Hop! I hope you have a fun and safe Halloween! I'm following through Google Friend Connect, Facebook, Twitter, etc. if applicable!
    It would be great if you followed me back!

    Much Love,

  19. I just signed for almost everything you are posted on. Can I please get a copy of your monster song. Are you also offering a pattern for your monster spray anywhere. I need me some that. You are truly amazing. I wish I could attend one of your classes. Unfortunately due to finances I rarely can afford to go to any conferences that are offered. Someday, someday I will. I live in SoCal are you ever out this way? Please let me know. I am a family daycare provider/preschool teacher. Thank you again for being such a true inspiration you are a big part of my curriculum. God Bless. Mrs. Valerie (still in the making, no words yet)

  20. I'm your newest goggle follower!

  21. i fear my children getting lost susanll67@aol.

  22. fearing not teaching my children enough


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Thanks for your support! I am so appreciative of your pins!

Thanks for your support! I am so appreciative of your pins!
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