How to… make a mythical monster field guide.

At the beginning of the summer we held a Mythical Monsters Family Fun session inspired by some of the weird and wonderful mythical beasts  in the Aberdeen Bestiary. Participants became mythical monster spotters for the afternoon and created “field guides” for imaginary beasts. It was a simple but effective activity that appealed to many age groups so Sarah and I thought we should share it as a “How to…”.

What you need:

  • a piece of A3 white card
  • a piece of A4 clear acetate
  • sellotape
  • drawing materials (pens, pencils etc)
  • Coloured paper for collaging
  • pictures of animals (print out, magazine cuttings etc.)
  • scissors
  • glue stick
  • glitter (optional but messy!)
  • Mythical Monsters fact sheet

Fold your sheet of A3 paper in half to create an A4 booklet. Open your booklet and on the right hand page use your animal pictures, coloured paper and drawing materials to create a monster collage. Use the worksheet to help you think about the features of your animal, such as where it lives, what it looks like and how it protects itself. You might want to make up a completely imaginary animal, or you can combine parts of  real animals to create a crazy combination. As you can see below, Sarah combined snakes and a hedgehog to create a “three headed hedgesnake”!

Once you have filled in your worksheet stick it into the inside of your booklet on the left. Make sure you come up with an original name for your monster. I made a “duquiraffe”  using parts of a duck, squirrel and giraffe.

Now that you have the inside of your field guide completed you can create a habitat for your monster. We did this by sticking the A4 piece of clear acetate to the right hand edge of your open field guide. You can then fold this inwards so it lies over your animal collage. Use coloured paper and card to create your monster’s surroundings, such as trees, water or desert. Sarah’s hedgesnake lives in woodland areas, while my duquiraffe likes to live in parks and swim in boating ponds.

The last thing you need to do is decorate your front cover. You can use anything you like for this and make it as colourful or as simple as you choose. Lots of glitter was used during our Family Fun session which added a lovely sparkle.


Our Family Fun participants came up with some really fantastic mythical monsters and create brilliant field guides for spotting them. If you make one we’d love to see it. Email us pictures at: and you might even see your monster in another blog post. Good luck monster spotters!

Posted by: Lynsey


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