Waking up the Bears

I fell a little behind in posting last week when I got a few days off, but we are having a one week break from story time, so hopefully I will get caught up.  Last week was our last week of the winter story time session and we read books about hibernating bears.  I know that it seems a little backwards to do a hibernation story time at the end of winter, but really it worked out rather well.  I discovered that most of the hibernating bear books end with the bear waking up, which tends to happen in the spring!  So, what better way to end winter and usher in spring?

Our letter of the day was H for Hibernation.  I had already used B earlier this year and this gave us an opportunity to learn an new word.  A few of the kids actually knew what hibernation meant, so we talked a little about when animals hibernate which also led to a discussion about the order of the seasons.

The first book that we read was Baby bear sees blue by Ashley Wolff.  This is a brand new book and it is perfects for story time.  A curious little bear wakes up to sees something bright peeking into his cave and discovers the yellow sun.  He and mama go exploring and baby bear encounters a variety of colors in nature.  The illustrations are colorful and translate well for an audience.  I had all of the kids shout out the different colors that baby bear was seeing which made for great audience participation.

Our second book was Kevin Henkes' Old bear.  This story has nice, simple text describing an old bear who went to sleep and dreamed his way through the seasons.  Each season is illustrated with the colors dominant to that season so I was able to have the kids guess the season as we turned the pages.  And, of course, old bear wakes up to discover that spring has finally come and he is no longer dreaming.  When he woke up I had the kids guess what the bear would see, was it snowing in winter or would he see something else?

In the bliss of my long weekend I totally forgot to make a flannel board - oops!  Luckily, I had Sleepy bear by Lydia Dabcovich on standby with the other bear books.  This book could actually make a good flannel board as well, but we just read it.  I did add audience participation with this one as well.  There is very simple text in this book, a phrase per 2 page spread, so it is short.  But in the book the birds leave and come back (kids tweet each time), leaves and snow fall (falling motion with their fingers), bear sleeps (pretend to sleep), bear wakes up (stretch), and bugs and bees come back (make a buzzing sound for each).  This kept even the wiggly kids involved, so it actually turned out really well.

There are some really fun teddy bear songs, so we added those in this week.  The Wiggles have a song called Rock-a-bye your bear where you clap, sing, spin, and put your hands in the air.  There isn't really a lot of rocking your bear, but there is a decent amount of action to keep kids moving.

The Wiggles have another song called Here comes a bear that I use frequently.  In this one the kids act like bears, kangaroos, snakes, and wombats.  We act like each animal and throw in a few growls for the bear.

Georgiana Stewart has an entire album called Teddy bear tunes.  There are several songs that could be used in story time but this week we used one called Whee! There goes teddy.  In the past I have had kids bring in a teddy bear, but since it was not a teddy bear theme we used scarves instead.  The kids held the scarves down by the ground and then flung them 'whee!' into the air.  Then we dances with the scarves between verses.  There were lots of giggles with this one and the scarves worked well because when I have used bears they all throw them into the air but they held on to the scarves.
 Our craft was this sleeping bear that I found here with storytime katie but it was originally used as a fall craft.  So, I just gave the kids spring colored tissue paper and some bug and flower stickers to make it more spring like.  

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