As many times as I have done bear-themed storytimes over the years, I can’t believe I haven’t posted about one before. Well, here goes…
This month my outreach storytimes have been filled with bear stories, songs, and activities.
Bear & Hare: Snow! by Emily Gravett; illustrated by the author
Friends Bear and Hare spend the day playing in the snow – making snowballs, sledding, and building snow animals. Toddler, Preschool
Bear Sees Colors by Karma Wilson; illustrated by Jane Chapman
Bear and his animal friends explore the forest, taking in all the bright colors they see around them. Toddler, Preschool
Bear’s Big Breakfast by Lynn Rowe Reed; illustrated by Brett Helquist
When Bear wakes up hungry, he goes in search of a food that starts with the letter “b”. Toddler, Preschool, Early Elementary
A Bedtime for Bear by Bonny Becker; illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton
Bear must have absolute quiet at bedtime, so he is a little reluctant when his friend Mouse sleeps over – until a strange noise makes him glad to have some company after all. Preschool, Early Elementary
More Bears! by Kenn Nesbitt; illustrated by Troy Cummings
As an author creates his story, he is encouraged by the voices of young readers to include “more bears” until the book is overrun with the furry animals. Preschool, Early Elementary
Note: This book lends itself well to interactive reading. As I read this book, I held up a sign with a picture of a bear on it every time I got to a place with “More Bears!” in the text. The kids really enjoyed shouting along every time I held up the sign.
Tea Party Rules by Ame Dyckman; illustrated by K.G. Campbell
A real bear takes the place of a stuffed teddy bear at a little girl’s tea party, but will he be able to follow her rules in order to have some cookies? Preschool, Early Elementary
“The Bear Went over the Mountain” traditional
“Down by the Bay” traditional (I held up illustrations of the rhymes as I sang the song)
“Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear” traditional
Activity: “Book Bear” flannel game
This flannel story is similar to the “Little Mouse” flannel that can be found in multiple resources. In that flannel, you hide a mouse behind houses of various colors and have the children guess where the mouse is hiding. In this version, I hide a bear, which I call “Book Bear”, behind one of eight book-shaped flannel pieces and have the children find him. We’re fortunate enough to have a die cut machine at my library, so I used our book shape die cut to make eight book pieces, each a different color.
Before I begin the flannel with the children I explain to them how it works, hiding the bear behind one of the books as I talk. Then I place the books on the flannel one at a time, being careful not to let them see which one has the bear behind it. After the books are all on the board, I go through the colors with the kids and then let them start guessing. With each guess, I point to the particular book, and ask them, “Is Book Bear behind the (insert color) book?” Then we chant together, “Book Bear, Book Bear, are you under there?” Then I pull the book off to reveal either a blank space or Book Bear. I usually try to finagle the game so that Book Bear is under the last book I remove. This flannel story (and its many variations) is ALWAYS a hit, and kids of all ages love it.