Learning about bears is an exciting thematic unit for young learners as they are curious about the world around them. These Bears Themed Activities will make learning so much more fun.
Bears Themed Activities
Play dough, stamps, scissors, lacing beads and cards, puzzles and blocks are set out for the children to choose from, and get creative during this 30 minute period.
Bears Themed Circle Time
Everyday during Circle Time we do the morning routine, which includes the Calendar and ‘Number, Color, Shape and Letter of the week’. We then read a story, sing a few songs and do a group activity.
On every Monday we change the ‘Classroom Helpers’ Classroom Jobs. Each child has a name card on a popsicle stick, and they get to choose their job of the week.
Bears Themed Circle Time Activities
Activity 1: Weekend News
Every Monday morning each child gets a chance to talk about their weekend and what they did. The children then draw a picture in the ‘weekend news’ journal, and the teacher writes down what they have said.
Activity 2: Snowball
Have as many square pieces of paper as you have children. Draw 2D shapes on these, there must be two shapes of each. Give the children the pieces of paper during circle time. Children crumple the paper up into little ‘snowballs’ and then throw their ‘snowballs’ into the middle of the circle. Everyone picks up a snowball (it can’t be their own) and then find their partner.
Activity 3: Don’t Wake the Bear!
Place a teddy bear in the middle of the circle and tell the children this bear is asleep. Use any instrument (tambourines work best) and pass it around the circle without making any noise.
Activity 4: Pass the Rhythm
Make up a quick rhythm with your body for example tap your knees, your head and clap your hands. The child next to you copies the rhythm and it keeps going on around the circle. You can make different rhythms, rhythms that are more difficult or even let volunteers make up a rhythm.
Activity 5: Pass the Bear
This game is bit like pass the parcel, only you use a teddy bear. All you need is a teddy bear and some music. Put some music on and pass the bear around the circle. When the music stops, whoever is holding the potato is out and must stand up and sit outside the circle. Continue until you have a champion.
Bears Themed Songs
Fifteen action songs all about Bears, to get those bodies moving and grooving. Click on the image to head over to the post.
Bears Themed Booklist
Twenty-five of the best story picture books that are perfect for a theme about bears. Click on the image below to read what these books are about.
Bears Themed Literacy Activities
‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ Book Extension Activity
We’re Going On A Bear Hunt Extension Activity: A Moving Book!
This activity takes quite a bit of prep-time, but it is so worth it! It will probably take 30mins to an hour each day for a week to complete the whole moving book.
Cut a strip in all the A4 sheets of paper (about 2 inches from the bottom) with a cutter. Start about 2 inches from the left and stop about two inches from the right. This is where the children will put the stick-puppets through (from the back) to give the impression of a moving stick-puppet.
What you need:
- An A3 sheet of colored paper for each child (folded in half for the book cover)
- A skewer stick for each child (sharp sides cut off beforehand)
- Four sheets of A4 white paper for each child (thicker paper works better)
- One sheet of A4 blue paper per child
- 2 sheets of A4 black paper per child
- A set of googly eyes for each child
- Blue cellophane paper (for the river)
- Green colored paper (to tear in pieces for the trees in the forest)
- Brown colored paper cut in strips (1 – 2 inches wide) for the tree trunks
- White chalk (snowstorm)
- Brown paint (mud)
- Tissue paper torn into pieces (also for the mud)
- A4 green paper (cut into 3 strips lengthwise (for the grass)
How to use this resource:
First of all, make sure to watch this performance by the author of the book, Michael Rosen. I have watched it more than 10 times and can watch it 100 times more! The kids, of course, love it even more than me.
Page 1: Long, Wavy Grass
For the first page of the moving book, give each child a strip of green paper, and show them how to cut it. You can use the image below as an example.
Children stick the uncut part of the ‘grass’ at the bottom of the first page. When they are done they can decorate the page by drawing the sky, some clouds and the sun. They can also copy the word ‘grass’ somewhere on the page, if the teacher feels up to it.
Page 2: A Deep, Cold River
To decorate the ‘river page’, give each child a square of blue cellophane paper and ask them to cut it into pieces. When they are done, they paste it onto the river page. Once again, the children can copy the words ‘a river’ somewhere on the page.
Page 3: Thick, Oozy Mud
The kids loved completing the mud page, and made a lot of hilarious comments. Some were truly disgusted by it all!
First of all, they tore tissue paper into strips and stuck this on the ‘mud page’. They then painted over it with brown paint, which gave it a proper muddy look. When it all dried, the little stick puppets had loads of fun squelching and squerching through the thick, oozy mud.
Page 4: A Big, Dark Forest
This page was quite easy to complete, and still the end effect looked great! Children cut brown paper into long strips and paste them onto the ‘forest page’. These are the tree trunks. They then tear green paper into tiny pieces and p stick them at the top of the tree trunks. And you have a deep, dark forest!
Page 4: A Swirley, Whirley Snowstorm
Show the children a picture of what a snowstorm looks like and ask them to draw one with white chalk on the blue A4 paper, anyway they want. My kids got really into this activity, and some of the pages turned out completely white :).
Page 4: A Narrow, Gloomy Cave
On the ‘cave page’ the children stick a pair of googly eyes somewhere over the page, with a square piece of paper that can lift up over it. During the re-tell of the story, the stick puppets tip toes through the cave, and when the bear finally shows his face, lift up the flap.
And finally, it is time for the stick-puppet to get back to his house. The kids all go ballistic at this point and all that can be seen is a flutter of pages!
Bears Themed Math Activities
Teddy Bear Counters Centers
Teddy Bear Counters are one of my favorite Math manipulatives, and I thought it would be a great ad-on to this unit, seeing that we did the Brown Bear book. I created 6 centers that can be used throughout the year, and that also goes perfectly with this topic.
Place a tray full of teddy bear counters in front of each child and let them sort the counters according to their colors on the sorting mat.
Give each child a set of the pattern cards and a tray of teddy bear counters and ask them to complete the patterns by placing the correct colored bears on the white spaces.
Grab & Count:
Place a tray full of teddy bear counters in front of each child. Ask them to first grab a handful with their left hands and place it on the teddy bear on the left and then repeat with their right hands. They then count and record how many teddy bears there are on the mats altogether.
Roll & Cover:
This game can be played in pairs, small groups or individually. Children take turns rolling the teddy bear dice and covering the same colored teddy bear on their ‘Roll & Cover’ mats. The first one that covered all the teddy bears wins.
Number Cards 1 – 20:
These cards can be used in a million different ways. Children can put the same amount of teddy bears on each number card, or they can put the cards in order from 1 – 20 and then place the same amount of teddy bears in a row underneath each card.
Each child gets their own addition mat, a tray full of teddy bear counters and a dice. They throw the dice, place the same amount of counters on the first teddy bear, and record the number. Repeat for the second teddy bear. When they are done, they add and record how many teddy bears there are altogether.
Bears Themed Art Activity
I found this cute Fork Bears art activity at craftymorning.com. Click on the image to head over to their blog for full instructions.
Bears Themed Science Activity
Science is always one of the best parts of the week. For 3 fun Science Experiments about bears, click on the image below to head over to preschoolpowolpackets.blogspot.com.
Bears Themed STEM
The people at getcaughtengineering.com combined Goldilocks & the Three Bears with an awesome STEM activity where the children get to build chairs for baby bear. Click on the image to find out more.
Bears Themed Snack Idea
I also found the idea for these cute teddy bear pancakes at musthavemom.com. You will need pancakes, blueberries and bananas. Put these all together as seen in the picture, and enjoy! Click on the image for some more bear themed snack ideas.