Tot School: Bears

Do your kids LOVE Brown Bear, Brown Bear as much as mine? This story is such a classic I just had to plan a week theme around Bears and our favorite Brown Bear books.
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Here were our plans for Bear Week:
And here is what we actually did:
Our favorite bear books for the week were:
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle
We're Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen
Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle
Hibernation Station by Michelle Meadows
Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle

 Brown Bear Mixed Media Art:
For this project I lined up scissors, glue, paper, markers, crayons and dot stampers in every color from the Brown Bear book.  Then I printed small versions of each animal for Madelynn to decorate any way she wished.
 Bear Track Stamping:
To create this stamp I did my best to carve a paw shape out of a potato to create a stamper. To make it easier for Madelynn to hold I also cut a wedge out of the top of the potato on either side for the handle.  Then Madelynn used brown paint and *lots* of paper to stamp bear tracks galore!
 Bear Painting:
I intended to have Madelynn practice dot stamping with a cotton swab for this painting project but she decided to use her cotton swab as a brush.  I took her lead and love how her bear looked "fuzzy" when she was all finished!
 Puffy Paint Polar Bear:
After reading Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?  we created our own version of the cover art with my favorite homemade puffy paint. First Madelynn painted the polar bear cut out that I prepared ahead of time, then we glued it onto the blue paper. After that she added snow to the scene to complete her picture. *To make your own puffy paint just mix together equal parts white glue and shaving cream.
Brown Bear Roll & Move: 
Our first gross motor activity for the week was inspired by Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? First, I created a quick die with 6 of the characters on it. Then we rolled the die and decided how each character would move. Here are the animals and actions we used: Brown Bear-bear walks, Red Bird-flap wings, Blue Horse-gallop, Green Frog-hops, Goldfish-swim on tummy, and Yellow Duck-waddle.
 Teddy Bear Hide and Seek: 
Madelynn recently discovered how fun it is to play hide and seek, so we switched it up a little to match our theme this week with Teddy Bear hide and seek.  We took turns hiding the bear and counting to 10 before searching for our furry friend.
 Bear Balance Relay: 
For our last gross motor activity for the week, we used colored counting bears and took turns running back and forth while balancing them on a spoon. At the end we dumped them in a cup.  I set out 4 cups so that we could make it a sorting activity as well, but Madelynn wanted to see if she could fit all the bears in one cup instead.
 Graham Cracker Bear: 
I feel like this may look a little more like a dog than a bear, but hey I tried ;) I used a graham cracker,  jumbo marshmallow (cut in half for mouth, then cut in quarters for the ears), chocolate covered raisin, candy eyes, and a food coloring marker.
 Cinnamon Bear Tracks: 
These bear tracks were super easy to make. I just took a tube of biscuit dough, separated them, snipped the ends to look like claws, brushed them with butter, then sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar. Yummy!
 Teddy Bear Rice Cake: 
This teddy bear snack turned out super cute! I love when our snack is easy and Madelynn loves being able to help.  To make this snack start by spreading peanut butter on a rice cake. Use banana slices for the ears and nose. Add chocolate chips and/or chocolate covered raisins for the eyes & nose. Delicious and adorable.
 Polar Bear Paws: 
I love these paws because this snack literally took about 3 seconds to create. Start by slicing jumbo marshmallows to make flat circles.  Add mini peanut butter cups and chocolate chips. And that's it!! Easy Peasy :)
 Brown Bear Retell Bin: 
Our sensory bins were so fun this week! In this sensory bin: white beans, felt characters from brown bear, scoops, and cups.
 Bear Hunt Bin: 
In this sensory bin: split peas, blue gems, trees, cotton balls, paper tube, play dough, rocks, and little people.
 Bear Patterns Sensory Bin: 
In this sensory bin: water beadscolored counting bears, pattern cards, scoops, tongs, and bowls.
 Hibernation Sensory Bin: 
In this sensory bin: split peas, rocks, small box caves, sticks pine cones, and bears.
Polar Bear Retell Bin: 
In this sensory bin: rice, "cages" (boxes with rubber bands), and animals from Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? (I used animals from our Fisher Price Alphabet Zoo)

That's it for this week! Next week we will be traveling to Space!

And here are the themes that will be coming soon:
And if you want to catch up on our past Tot School Activities, you can find them all here:








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