We’re Going on a Bear Hunt Book and Bear Match (Toddler Books & Crafts Series)
Read We’re Going on a Bear Hunt with your kids and then use the free printables to do fun crafts and activities with your toddlers and young children!
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One of my toddler new favorite books lately is We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ by Michael Rosen. If you haven’t seen the YouTube video of the author reading this book, go watch it with your kids now! He’s so fun and entertaining as he reads the book and acts it out.
Actually, acting this book out is going to be part of the activities for We’re Going on a Bear Hunt! First, though, let’s talk about the book.
We’re Going on a Bear Hunt – the Book
This book is cute, fun and entertaining! You can grab it on Amazon, but the YouTube link above means you actually don’t have to own this book to do all the activities!
As you’re reading, here are some ways to get your kids involved:
- Once they know the rhythm, have them say the words with you.
- Camden and I clap on his leg to the rhythm when we say ‘We can’t go over it. We can’t go under it.’
- Ask your child to predict at each place if the family is going to find a bear.
- Read and reread – or listen and watch more than once – because your children will learn more, remember more, and repeat more each time!
We’re Going on a Bear Hunt Activity #1: Acting Out the Story
This book is wonderful for getting some movement in, especially on rainy days when you’re stuck in the house. I remember acting out this book in my preschool dance classes when I was really little, and I love to do the motions with my toddler now!
So, as you read the book, have your child act out each thing – walking through tall grass, trying to walk through mud, tiptoeing into the cave, running from the bear, etc. They’ll have fun, they’ll giggle, and they’ll get some movement and exercise out of it!
We’re Going on a Bear Hunt Activity #2: Bear Hunting
For this activity, you’ll need a little bit of prep time. I like to get this ready after Camden either goes to take a nap or goes to bed for the night.
- bear collecting pages
- small bears for hiding
- optional: laminator/lamination or dry-erase sleeves
Note: Printing your bears on cardstock is option to make them sturdier! I like putting the pages in dry-erase pouches, because Camden can put the small bears in the pouch as he finds them.
Print off your bear collecting posters and your little bears for hiding. Cut apart the small bears, and laminate everything if you’re opting to do so.
Find a place to hang up your bear collecting posters or a place to lay them out. I put mine on a blank wall, but you could set them up on the floor, table or coffee table too.
Then, hide the bears around the room or the house. Depending on how old your kids are, here are my recommendations:
2-3 years old:
Keep the bears to one or two large, open areas. We have an open living room/dining room/kitchen so I chose to do it there. ‘Hide’ the bears very obviously. Lay them on the table, the chairs, the couch, the floor, the coffee table, on top of toys, etc. Young toddlers aren’t going to understand that they have to dig under things to find them, and they might get bored pretty quickly if they’re not seeing the bears. The more you play, the less obvious your hiding places can become.
I would also only hide 2 or 3 of each kind of bear, instead of hiding them all.
4+ years old:
Go wild! You can hide the bears all around the house, and you can make some obvious and some less obvious. I might recommend you take photos on your phone as you hide the less-obvious bears. That way, if the kids can’t find them, you know where they are and can give some hints! The first time you play, you might want to keep the bears fairly contained to a couple of rooms. After that, as they get used to the hunt, go big or go home!
How to Play:
- Read the book with your kids or watch the YouTube video. Act out the book in activity #1.
- Tell the kids you’re going on your own bear hunt. Show them the posters of the different bears, and tell them how many of each bear they’re looking for. Decide if certain kids are hunting for certain bears or if it’s going to be a free-for-all.
- Decide if you’re setting a time limit, making it a race, or just working to find all of the bears together.
- Hunt for bears! As the kids find them, have them put them on the correct bear poster. I taped sandwich bags to my posters for him to put the bears in, but they can just lay the bears on the poster, too.
- When you’re all done, count the bears!
Other Ways to Use the Bears:
- Make patterns with the bears.
- Count each kind. Sort into groups.
- Play bear matching – like the game memory. Use only 4 bears of each color so there is an even number for matching.
Bear Hunt Craft: Make Your Own Bear Hunt Book
Grab your blank paper and crayons or markers and get creative!
Step 1: Choose a few places to hunt for bears.
For our youngest toddler friends – in that 2-3 age range – let them come up with the ideas for places. Realize that it’s definitely going to be places they know well. Camden gave me ideas like ‘outside,’ ‘basement,’ ‘Starbucks,’ and ‘Target.’
For kids who are a little bit older, you can help them come up with more fun/abstract/interesting places.
Step 2: Draw the places on paper.
For Camden, I drew the places and he colored. But the older kids can definitely do their own drawings! Also, siblings could work together with the younger ones.
Step 3: Write the words and come up with sounds.
Write the words:
We’re going on a bear hunt.
We’re going to catch a big one.
We’re not scared.
What a beautiful day.
Uh-oh – a __________
A _______, ______, _______
Can’t go over it. Can’t go under it.
We’ve got to go through it.
(Sound words repeated x3)
With Camden, he said the place and sort of helped with the sounds. I mostly led him to where I wanted him to go. And obviously I did all the writing.
With older kids, have them come up with sounds and maybe the descriptions too. Also, if they know some letters, have them write the first letter of some of the words and then you fill in the rest. Similarly, if they know any of the sight words – like ‘to’ or ‘on’ – have them write those.
Sum It Up!
With all these activities, you can have an entire bear-themed day! Serve teddy grahams for snack, have a teddy bear picnic, and watch The Berenstain Bears on tv! Or, if you want to spread it out, you’ve got a whole week of bear-themed activities here! The best part? All of this is literacy.
That means, even if your kids are currently out of school for the pandemic, these fun activities are helping them with their early literacy skills. Plus, the bears can be used for pattern making and counting, which are math skills. Choosing places for the book is early social studies. This is honestly a perfect combination of skills to count as a full week of school. This is my schooling curriculum for Camden this week, and it can be yours too!
If you want another fun book-tivity, I recommend this Love Monster book + craft from my Toddler Books + Crafts series! Subscribe to my blog to make sure you get all the fun activities sent to you, and head to my Instagram to see the activities in action!
This is such a cute interactive book!
This is a great activity! I am going to save for us later but share with my friends!