Friday, June 13, 2008

Summer Theme-A-Week: Bears, Bears Everywhere

*I signed this post up on Carisa's TotSchool linky because, even though my kids are older---it is SO adaptable!!!! If my babies were still 1-3 year old, I would still do a bear theme and just adapt the activities to their age and skills. Just wanted to throw it in the ring!

We are wrapping up our first theme of the summer which was chosen by my 4 year old. It has been a very easy theme and that is good since we had a busy week. We didn't use all of the ideas my sister and I brainstormed due to all the busyness, but that is the beauty of these themes. You do what you have time for.

I told you about getting ready for the bear theme in this post. So, after you have gathered the books, made a collection, and brainstormed some ideas, it's time to get down to fun!

We kicked off the week with our cousins. The girls put on a smashing rendition of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. We read the book first to the younger girls so they would remember exactly how the story goes. My sister and I sat on the couch while the kids scrambled around gathering what they would need for the play. (Three chairs, three bowls, three blankets).

"MMM. This porridge is JUST RIGHT!" said Goldilocks.

(They took turns being all the different characters.)

Mama bear's chair was too soft, so then she tried baby bear's chair.

"Someone's been sleeping in MY bed. And there she is!" said Baby Bear.

At lunch, they had a picnic and watched bear movies. We found all the bear movies at the library and at our house so it is a free activity (provided I return the movies on time!)

For art, we made these cute little bear bags. All you need is a lunch sack, wadded up newspaper, a stapler, paint, and construction paper. You can also use googly eyes if you like. First, stuff the sack with the newspaper, fold down the top and paint the whole thing. We made brown bears, but you could make any kind. After the paint dries, add ears, eyes, a nose and mouth. Aren't they cute?

My sister also made these circle bears with her girls. She's such an over-achiever.

For math, have the kids sort the bear collection by different characteristics. You can also do Gummy Bear math by sorting, making patterns, counting, and graphing the different colors. We intended to do this, but ran out of time.

The only "schoolish" type thing we did was color and make these Itsy Bitsy Bear Books. This required us to open up at least one non-fiction bear book. We learned a lot about the different types of bears and it was very enjoyable.

Other possible activities:
  • Jumprope rhyme "Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear."
  • Have a teddy bear picnic with a tea set and stuffed animals. Serve honey on bread. (We plan to do this later today!)
  • Look up the history of teddy bears on the internet (Sweetheart and I did this)

Famous bears to think about when doing a bear theme:

  • Corduroy
  • Pooh
  • Berenstein Bears
  • Paddington Bear

We read many, many bear books this week, but the award winner was.....

Deep in the Forest--this wordless picture book tells the story of three people who go for a walk in the woods and a naughty baby bear who visits their house while they are away. Precious!

We had a great time with bears this week. Look for the next Summer Theme-A-Week post next Friday. Have a great weekend!


  1. Beautiful children!

    Give them lots of hugs.

  2. That looked like great fun! We may have to try that at our house.

  3. Great idea, I have been reading about your summer theme weeks, what a great idea! I enjoyed reading this post of the many activities you all did!
    :) Carisa

  4. Great ideas! We have many great books on bears. I like your acitvities. I love to take a book and add an activitiy to bring it to life for the kids. Theme weeks sound so fun! We kind of do this with the theme of our lapbooks!
    Have another great summer week!

  5. We did bears when my "big" kids were the babies. Their favorite things were the bear headbands we made, and the cave I made with blankets and chairs. This post brought back some good memories...


I don't get to talk to a lot of actual grown-ups during the day, so your comments make me really happy! :)