A bear listening game I play with my 3 & 4 year olds is called 'Bears Like Honey' and it goes like this... We all sit in a circle. One child is chosen to be a bear and sits in the center with a musical instrument e.g. sleigh bells (imaginary honey pot). All the children chant "Isn't it funny how bears like honey, buzz, buzz, buzz. I wonder why he does. Go to sleep Mr. bear, don't peep Mr. Bear." (At this point the child in the center pretends to sleep and a child from the circle pinches the honey pot/bells - and shakes them loudly and hides them behind their back, everyone hides their hands. We all shout "Wake up Mr. Bear, someone has stolen your honey!" the child in the center then has to try and remember where they heard the sound coming from when the bells were shook. They say the name of a child they think has got it, that child either shows their empty hands or the instrument. When the culprit is found then it is their turn to be the bear in the circle. A really good test of listening skills!
My kids love to go on a "bear hunt" At group time we sing the song and read the book, "We're going on a bear hunt." Then, I go outside and hide plastic bear counters all over the playground. The kids then come out and find them. I make sure to say, we're not hunting to hurt or kill the bears, we're just trying to find them and put them back into their cave. The kids will want you to hide them over and over!
Laminate a sheet of paper with several bear shapes in different colors. Use these to sort gummy bears, then eat and enjoy.
Draw a picture of a honey pot and cut out 2 for each child. Glue around edges leaving top and center unglued. Stuff with bits of honey colored felt. Paint a craft stick and at one end glue a piece of Velcro. Use this as a dipper to collect pieces of the felt honey. Feed to teddy bears.
Using thick cardboard, draw bears wearing different colored t-shirts. Then draw corresponding party hats of the same color. Cut these out and laminate and stick magnets on the back. You should then have about six bears and hats to match (green, yellow, red, blue, orange, purple). I sing a song called 'Party Hats' which my Pre-school children love. The song goes "Gavin likes the green hat, green hat, green hat. Gavin likes the green hat cause he likes green." Do this to all of the bears making up names with the same letter of the color (eg./red-robin). At the end of the song sing 'All the bears have party hats, party hats, party hats. All the bears have party hats cause they like parties'. Use these on a double-sided magnet board and also use as a transition song.
When doing a bear theme don't forget to go on a Bear Hunt. This is how I do mine:
(Start tapping legs one at a time with the children) Chant We're going on a bear hunt (children repeat) We're going to catch a big one (children repeat) I'm not scared (children repeat) Cause I've got my flashlight (pretend to hold up a flashlight into the air) (children repeat) Do you see what I see? (shade your eyes with your hand) (children repeat) It's a tall tall tree (children repeat) Can't go over it (children repeat) Can't under it (children repeat) Can't go through it (children repeat) We'll have to climb up it (children repeat) (pretend to climb up a tree and come back down)
Start over again go through as many obstacles as you can. i.e. tall grass (rub hands together) river (pretend to put bathing suit on and swim) mud (walk slow) mountain You finally come to the cave. make it as scary as you like, whisper, walk slow, turn on your flashlight if your scared) Pretend to see the bear and scream (I brought my teddy bear and through it into the middle at this point, it was great for effect) and run (tap legs very quickly) backward through the mud river and tall grass back to your home where you can lock the door! My best advice is to really throw yourself into the fun and try to make it somewhat real.
This game is called Mr. Bear Are You Sleeping? One child is the bear and they go a short distance away from the larger group. This child lays down or sits down and closes their eyes and pretends to be asleep. The large group holds hands and says quietly "Mr. Bear are you Sleeping" The bear continues to sleep. The large group gets a little closer and asks the question again softly. This continues until the large group gets up to the sleeping bear. When they are real close they ask the question very loudly. "MR. BEAR ARE YOU SLEEPING?" The bear then roars and tries to grab the children who woke him from his sleep and the children run away screaming in excitement. The children then take turns being the bear.
When teaching four-year-olds the concept of more/less, I make a chart of thirty bears (2 rows of 15 each. Then I give the children baggies of teddy grahams (2 different kinds - I used chocolate and honey. They count how many of each kind they have and color the correct number of bears on their chart (example 12 brown and 3 yellow). I have to check to make sure they counted right and when it is, the children tell me which one has more or less. Then, they get to eat them! I used the remainder in the box to eat for snack. The amounts I picked for them to do was based on how high the children could count. If they couldn't count past ten, they were not given more than ten of any color. The children LOVED this!
For a bear themed activity, I made bingo cards that Iprogrammed with ABC stickers that had pictures as well as the letters and smiley faces in primary colors. You can program them to fit into your skill area. I can play it a couple of ways: Colors only (cover a space that is blue) or Letters (cover a space that has an A or cover a letter space that your name begins with) USE TEDDY GRAHAMS CRACKERS FOR THE MARKERS.
After reading the book "Brown Bear, Brown Bear" I brought out a teddy bear finger puppet. Each child had a turn to use it while the other children chanted "Brown Bear Brown Bear what do you see?" The child with the finger puppet replied, "I see something (color) looking at me" The other children try to guess what brown bear is talking about.
One of the thing I like to do with my group of 4 year olds is to pretend to be bears going on a hunt for honey. I have the children make headbands with small bear ears to wear while on the hunt. We also paint the top of small brown paper bags with yellow paint to make it look like honey dripping over the edges. I then write "Pot O' Honey" on their bags. We then hunt in the classroom, or outside, for small plastic bags that have been filled with Honeycomb cereal. The kids have a great time hunting for their honey and then we enjoy some for our snack!
Goldilocks and the Three Bears Choose 3 children to be the bears Daddy, mommy and baby bear They stand away from the other children with their backs facing the rest of the class. The rest of class sneak up on the bears and need to ask the bears Who is Home? The bears can answer Momma, Daddy or Baby. The class keeps sneaking up until the bears respond Goldilocks to their question "Who is Home" The bears then chase the children. Whoever they catch becomes a bear. (This game is similar to What time is it Mr. Wolf)
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