There's so much to learn about bears including facts about hibernation, habitats and what animals need to survive. Most preschoolers are quite fascinated by bears because they're large, a little bit scary and they take long winter naps -- something most preschoolers would be highly opposed to. Bring the world of bears alive in your preschool classroom with a variety of hands-on, interesting and thought-provoking activities.
Plan short bear-related activities. Read picture books about bears, such as "Goldilocks and the Three Bears," or have the preschoolers color pictures of bears to display around the classroom.
Show preschoolers photographs of bears that you cut out of magazines or print off the Internet. Include pictures of brown bears, black bears, grizzly bears and polar bears to give students an idea of the different types of bears. You might also show pictures of bears eating, playing with their cubs, catching fish and hibernating to illustrate how bears live.
Create a bear's den in your classroom. Use large bed sheets draped over tables or a huge cardboard box, such as a refrigerator box to create your den. Encourage the children to pretend to be bears using the den as their play area. Talk about what bears do to give preschoolers a few ideas. You might remind them that they roar, use their sharp claws to catch fish and scratch their backs on tree trunks.
Give each preschooler a small cardboard box, such as a shoe box, colored paper, glue, scissors and assorted craft supplies. Ask students to make their very own bear's dens. When they're done making the dens, give each student a plastic bear figurine, which are available at toy stores and some teacher supply stores. Let the preschoolers play with their den and bear sets.
Discuss hibernation with the preschoolers. Compare hibernation to a really long nap. Ask the students to bring in a teddy bear and have them snuggle their bear friends in one area of the classroom to "hibernate" while your class does other activities.
Classify bears. Use stuffed teddy bears or plastic bear toys. Ask the students to help you arrange the bears according to size or color. You might also classify the bears by where they live, such as brown bears that live in the forest and polar bears that live where it snows.
Plan a field trip to the zoo. Most zoos have at least one bear in residence and the trip will give the preschoolers a chance to watch real bears in action.
Items you will need
- Picture books about bears
- Coloring sheets featuring bears
- Photographs of bears
- Large bed sheets
- Cardboard boxes
- Colored paper
- Plastic bear figures
- Teddy bears
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