Friday, January 29, 2010

Teddy Bears

Bears are always a fun topic. I chose it for this week because of A.A. Milne's birthday on Jan. 18th. He was the creator of Winnie the Pooh.  I would have like to read some Pooh stories, but they don't really fit into the time and energy level of the kids I usually get.  So I brought my husband's old teddy bear from home (his was bigger and more cuddly than mine) and the kids were thrilled.  They all got to have a turn hugging the bear.  We talked about different kinds of bears, what bears ate, and if they were scary or not.  Consensus: real bears = scary, teddy bears = not.

Book 1: We're Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen
This is a fun, interactive book to start with. I have the kids make noises and actions for different parts of the book - rub hands together for the long wavy grass, swim with their arms to cross the river, splurch through the mud, make wind noises for the snowstorm, etc. The most fun, of course, is doing all of the noises really fast when we're running away from the bear.

Book 2: Where's My Teddy by Jez Alborough
Next we did a book with both a real bear and a teddy bear. This is one of those books that I have nearly memorized. I first heard of it when my nephew Grant was 1 and always saying "it's dark and horrible in there". But Eddie, the little boy in the story, bravely goes to find his teddy anyway, and encounters a giant bear also looking for his (giant) teddy. They both are scared of each other and go running back home with their own teddy bears - something which the kids here always think is funny.

Book 3: Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin, Jr.
This is one of my favorite books to read for storytime, or out loud to any kids. A quarter to half of them usually have heard it before, and the rest pick up the pattern easily. No matter the group, we always end up chanting it together, with me turning the page just before they need to figure out what animal is looking at the first: "Red bird, red bird, what do you see?  I see a yellow duck looking at me."  Kids always seem so proud to have "read" a book with me.

I printed out this bear from DLTK's website and had the kids color their bears. Some chose to make rainbow bears, but we did go through a lot of brown markers too. Then we glued cotton balls on their tummies to make them fuzzy. Some made their bears have fuzzy ears, feet, hands, or even eyes too. With the older kids, I had them practice writing their own name, then coming up with a name for the bear and writing that on there too.
One of the moms on Tuesday also showed us the webcam on of a bear in her den with cubs!
This theme was used the week of January 25, 2010.

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