Think back to your childhood and, probably, a treasured teddy bear was there to comfort and cuddle you. Your kids might be the same—Peeper is. Although she sleeps with a stuffed Elmo and a Findus the Cat most nights, a few bears are among her most treasured lovies.
I thought it would be fun, then, to structure a homeschool preschool meeting around a bear curriculum. Grrrrr!
Want to use a bear theme to teach your preschooler, too? Here’s the bear curriculum we used at preschool recently.
I started the bear curriculum by reading two books. First we read The Teddy Bear Picnic (which, by the by, is a song). The kids had such a fun time spotting bears in the book that looked like the teddy bears they brought from home!
We also read We’re Going on a Bear Hunt. It’s fun to do motions for each obstacle the family traverses—wave your arms for the wavy grass, tiptoe when they go through the cave. (FYI, you should totally check out Michael Rosen acting out his book—he is hilarious!)
These books also set up the later activities.
- Bear hunt. I printed and cut out out a line drawing of a bear for each child then hid them in my front yard. The kids were so excited to search for the bears in the bushes, planters and garden. Peeper has been having a blast finding it indoors, too, whenever her usual fun—painting, reading, blocks, etc.—gets a little old.
- Bear decorating. Once each kid found a bear, they colored and decorated the bears with glue, pom poms, sequins and other doodads.
- Feed the bear. I took a large paper grocery bag, cut out a hole for a mouth, and cut construction paper for its ears and mouth. I drew on a face, too, of course. We also learned about the letter i on the day we did the bear curriculum, so I had pictures of i words the kids could feed to the bear. You could do this with anything: letter magnets, play food, whatever. It’s just fun to feed a bear!
- We’re Going on a Bear Hunt sensory bins. Ok, I didn’t quite get around to prepping this, but I think it would be so cool. Check out the sensory bags from Schooltime Snippets for inspiration. Or you could make your own bins—think ice cubes in a plastic tote for the snowstorm, dangling crepe streamers for wavy grass, etc.
To help the kids get all their yips out, we sang Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, Turn Around. It’s so fun to be active, especially because preschoolers learn with their whole bodies!
Next we sang—and signed—The Bear Went Over the Mountain. (I just love the sign for “bear”—learn how to sign the song, too!) Learning signs helps young children sing along and expand their vocabulary, according to the book Signing Smart with Babies and Toddlers.
We had a teddy bear picnic! Each child brought a teddy bear from home, who joined us in the front yard on the picnic blanket. It was seriously adorable.
Do you have any favorite bear songs, books or activities I should add to my homeschool preschool bear curriculum?