Teddy Bears are so cute, and cuddly, and a great theme for preschool! There are so many games and activities you can do around this theme that will draw your preschoolers into learning! This theme page is filled with preschool activities and ideas for all areas of your classroom.
Let the Theme planning begin!
You can either scroll down through this page to see all of the preschool activities for your theme or click the link below to go to specific preschool activity types you are looking for.
Teddy Bears Theme Art
Materials Needed: Precut teddy bear shapes onto different colors of construction paper; provide glue, paint brushes, sawdust and googly eyes.
The children brush glue all over their teddy bears. They attach eyes and then sprinkle with sawdust!
VARIATION: Instead of sawdust, you could use fabric scraps.
flour, salt, water, paint (tempera), small squeeze bottles (old glue bottles work great!), construction paper cut into teddy bear shapes.
Mix equal amounts of flour, salt and water together. Separate into the bottles. Mix liquid tempera paint to each for color.
The children paint their bears by squeezing the paint out of the bottles. As they dry, the mixture will puff up a bit and harden.
Materials Needed: wildlife magazines, toy magazines, scissors, glue, paper
The children find pictures of different types of bears in the magazines and cut them out.
They glue them onto the paper to make a bear collage.
Discuss the types of bears they find (grizzly, polar, teddy, etc.).
Theme Block Center Ideas
Encourage the children to make caves and homes for the animals.
Theme Circle Time Ideas
Circle Time is such a great time for children to learn the social skills of being together as a large group AND to learn more about your theme!
Goldilocks and The Three Bears
Read your favorite version of this story. Assign children to be Papa Bear, Mama Bear, Baby Bear and Goldilocks. Reread the story having the children act it out. Read it several times to give each child a turn to act and encourage the other children to be the audience and applaud.
EXTENSION: Have masks for each part available for the children.
VARIATION: Have felt board pieces available for the children. Include the bowls, chairs and beds and have each child place their piece on the board as you read the story.
Bears Are Walking!
ITALIC Sung to The Ants are Marching One by One
The bears are walking through the woods
The bears are walking through the woods
To eat. and play.
They catch some fish. They eat them, too.
They munch on berries, quite a few!
Then they run around and climb
Up a tree!
There goes one!
There goes two!
Teddy Bear Compare
In advance, send a note home for teddy bear day! (Be sure to have extra for those who either do not have a one or forget theirs).
Have the children bring their bear to circle.
Have some discussions about them!
Give each child a minute to tell their friends something about their bear (great chance to teach the others about patience and waiting their turn!)
Set up three bins (laundry baskets or simply pieces of paper) and ask kids to sort their bears. "If you think your bear is large, place it here". etc.
Place all the brown bears here. Blue bears here. (Some children may have multi-colored bears. Let them decide which color pile they want to put it in).
This is a traditional song to sing while the children pretend to be bears or to do WITH their bears!
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, turn around.
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, touch the ground
Continue with verses and make some up, too!
...wiggle your shoes...that will do.
...climb the stairs, say your prayers
...turn off the light...say good-night!
BOLD Story Time!
Let your children lay down at circle while you read some favorite bear stories!
Snack Recipe Ideas to Cook Up for Your Theme!
Cooking with children helps develop their math skills and helps them to learn how to follow directions. It also allows for some great conversation! Ask many questions while cooking with your children to encourage conversation! Be sure to ask specific themed questions while making these fun snacks!
Bears eat berries and so do we! Provide different types of berries (check for allergies first!) in different bowls.
Have the children scoop a couple of spoonfuls of each into a bowl.
As they eat, do some math and science with them! Such as:
What colors are they? Are they large, small, medium? Which are larger, smaller?
How many of each type do you have? How many all together? Do you have more red or blue?
Ingredients: 1/2 cup sugar; 1/2 cup honey; 1 egg; 2 cups flour; 1 teaspoon baking soda; pinch of salt; powdered sugar.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and grease a cookie sheet.
Have children help place the sugar, egg and honey into a mixing bowl. Mix well.
Have children add the rest of the ingredients excpet for the powdered sugar. Mix well.
Give each child a teaspoon of the mixture for them to roll into a ball and then place on the cookie sheet.
Bake for about 8 minutes (bottoms should be light brown).
Remove from heat and take off of the cookie sheet right away (so it does not continue to cook).
Have children sprinkle some powdered sugar on thiers and enjoy!
Theme Ideas to Transform Your Dramatic Play Area
Goldilocks and the Three Bears
Provide bear masks and have bowls, chairs and beds (use blankets or carpet squares or other items you have available for the beds) and let the children not only act out this story but add to it or change it as they play!
In the Cave
Transform your dramatic play area into a cave by adding a box or a table (covered with a blanket). Provide some items to go on a bear hunt such as binoculars, a picnic basket, etc.
Theme Ideas for your Easel--More Than Just Painting
(Although that is always THE favorite in our classroom!)
Painting With Fur
Cover some sponge paint brushes with faux fur to paint with today!
Theme Large Group Games
that help build their muscles while they have fun together
Have a bear game to help your children learn spatial awareness and directionality!
Hold your bear BOLD UP UNBOLD to the sky.
Hold your bear DOWN near the ground.
Place your bear UNDER something in the room.
Place your bear ON something in the room.
Place your bear NEXT TO something in the room.
(You can choose the place in the room or let the children find a space!)
Bears LOVE fish, not just berries! For this game, precut some colored fish shapes. Place some streamers or jumpropes or tape on the floor in the shape of a very long river.
Place the fish in the river.
The children catch the fish.
You can add instructions to this to encourage some math such as counting and patterning. Encourage them to catch 2 fish of the same color. Or encourage them to catch a red fish then a blue one then a red one then a blue one...which color would come next!
You can add letter recognition as well by printing letters on each fish.
VARIATION: Use dowel rods (or I have used paintbrushes from the classroom rather than purchasing dowel rods). Tie 8 inch pieces of yarn onto the end of the rod or brush. Tie a magnet (the kind with the holes in the middle--they look like black life saver candies).
Place metal paper clips on all the fish.
The children use the rods or brushes to fish in the river! Great eye/hand coordination activity!
Going On a Bear Hunt?? OF COURSE YOU ARE!
There are so many versions of this song! I love Dr. Jean's version on CD but you could also use your favorite version of the book!
Set up the areas you will need (river, tree, bridge). Walk with the children and name the areas for them.
Now go to the beginning, where you will start and end...the "house".
Read the story or play the CD and have the children act it out!
Theme Ideas for Your Library and Literacy Activities for your Preschool Classroom
Book Suggestions for the Library
Bear Loves Opposites! by Kiki Thorpe
Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey
Corduroy by Don Freeman
Goldilocks and the Three Bears (choose many versions!)
Jamberry by Bruce Degen
Teddy Bear Picnic (there are several such as by Jerry Garcia and one by Jimmy Kennedy)
The Teddy Bear by David McPhail
Teddy Bear Tears by Jim Aylesworth
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear by Michael Hague
Up Bear, Down Bear by Trudy Harris
When the Teddy Bears Came by Martin Waddell
Who Wants an Old Teddy Bear? by Ginnie Hofmann
Theme Activities to help your Preschoolers develop those small muscles in their hands!
Provide the colored bear counters and have the children sort and classify in different ways.
Big, medium, small (compare to the Goldilocks story) or by color.
count them: How many big? Medium? Small? Red? Blue? etc.
VARIATION: Provide muffin tins with numbers written in each one (or use bowls) for the children to place the appropriate number in each section.
In advance, cover some shapes with faux fur. Hole punch.
Have the children lace these shapes for a great sensory/texture change in lacing!
The reading of the book UNDERLINE Curdoroy just screams button sorting! Provide a variety of colors, types and sizes of buttons and let the children explore them and sort in the different ways they can think of.
Of course, add some suggestions of how to sort them.
Theme Music and Movement Activities and Ideas
to get your Preschoolers Movin' and Groovin'!
sung to Mary Had A Little Lamb
Let's all clap our hands to the beat; hands to the beat; hands to the beat.
Let's all clap our hands to the beat. To the beat of the Teddy Bear Rap!
Use other movements such as stomping your feet, marching in place, waving your paws, etc.
You can do this with bears or without!
The Bear Hokey-Pokey
You put your bear in, you put your bear out.
You put your bear in, and you shake it all about.
You do the Teddy Bear Hokey and you turn yourself around.
And that's what it's all about!
Where Are You Bear? Or, a REAL bear hunt!
Ok, well, not with REAL bears! Hide some bears (small, plastic ones and stuffed animals) either in your playground before you go outside or in a large room.
Tell the children they are going on a bear hunt! It's like hide and seek only with the toys!
Play different tempos of music and encourage the children to make their bears dance or move in a way that matches the beat.
When the music stops, they and their bears need to freeze until the music plays again.
Teddy Bears Theme Activities for the Senses!
Fish in the River
Add water, toy fish and bears!
Bears in the Forest
Add sand, twigs, plants (real or artificial), twigs, leaves, and bears.
Teddy Bears Theme Science Activities
Sometimes bears get boo-boos, too! Provide a table with different types of bears and doctor kits complete with bandaids, bandages, etc. Let your vets get to work! Discuss how bears really do get hurt in the wild (traps, bee stings going after honey, falling from a tree, fighting with other animals or other bears, etc.)
Writing Activity Ideas for Your Theme!
NO ACTIVITIES HERE YET!
Send me a suggestion using the "Contact Me" link to the left! Please be sure to type the name of the theme in your email to me!
Miscellaneous Activities for Your Preschool Babies Theme!
Teddy Bear Picnic
Have your snack or lunch outside (or inside!) on a blanket!
Take your bears on a parade through your school! Use instruments as well while visiting other classrooms!