Storytime Spotlight: Bears n’ Berries with the Preschool Pack

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I LOVE bears.  There’s so many fun books, songs, rhymes, flannels… and so many different angles you can take!  You can do polar bears, teddy bears, bears in spring, bears hibernating in fall, forest friends… you get the idea.  Since spring has finally come to Colorado (*crosses fingers*) this week I went for what I call a “bears n berries” approach.

Here’s some of the fun books I had ready to read:


Welcome/Opening Songs:

  • I snuck into the story room wearing a fun “explorer” hat and a pair of binoculars.  I tiptoed in, ran behind the flannel board and looked over the top with my binoculars, then whispered “Has anyone seen a bear in here?”  The preschoolers all said no and I asked, “Do you promise?” then stepped out from behind the board.  Then I pointed to the books that were lined up and yelled “Aaah!  I thought you said there weren’t any bears in here!” and they laughed their little heads off over how silly I was.  🙂  After they assured me the bears in the books wouldn’t bite, I popped in the CD and we sang/danced to…
  • If You’re Happy and You Know It- Traditional
  • Shake My Sillies Out- Raffi
  • After singing and dancing we took a bow.  My hat fell off, which the kiddos again seemed to really enjoy.  I’m thinking I might have to make wearing a hat a story time tradition.  🙂

Letter of the Week: R

  • Sing ABC song
  • Find letter R on ABC chart (play hot/cold with pointer)
  • Write letter R in the air and on the ground
  • Give clues/kids guess letter R word pictures
  • Kiss your brain!

Fingerplay: 2 Little Black Bears

At this point I also talked about our ECRR skill, which was writing.  I shared how fingerplays can strengthen fine motor skills children need to write and encouraged the parents to make fingerplays a part of their daily routine, such as at bedtime.  We practiced this one together once, then went and taught our grown ups!  🙂

Two little black bears eating strawberries,

One named Michael and one named Mary.

Run away Michael, run away Mary!

Come back Michael, come back Mary!

___

credit: Sunflower Storytime

Book #1: Spring is Here by Will Hillenbrand

We really enjoyed the actions in this one- especially snoring!  By the end though we definitely had some wiggles, so it was time to go on a bear hunt!

Action Song: Going on a Bear Hunt by Greg & Steve

My favorite version of this song by far.  We stood up and stomped around the room for this one.  After storytime I had a ton of parents asking for the song title/artist, so I knew it was a big hit!

Transition: If You’re Ready for a Story

If you’re ready for a story have a seat,

If you’re ready for a story pat your knees!

If you’re ready for a story, if you’re ready for a story,

If you’re ready for a story look at me!

Do you remember what Bear did when Mole finally woke him up?  That’s right, he ate food!  What do bears like to eat?  That reminds me, I know a finger song about bears and berries!  Can you…

Fingerplay: Pick Berries High (tune of Peas Porridge Hot)

Pick berries high (reach up high)

Pick berries low (reach down low)

Pick berries on the bush, nine in a row (clap 9x)

Some like them red (raise one hand to side palm up)

Some like them blue (raise other hand palm up)

Here’s one for me- yum! (pretend to eat berry)

And here’s one for you (hold out hand)

___

credit: adapted from Artsy Toddler Storytimes

Flannel: Baby Bear’s Big Feast

20160519_105658 copy.jpg

As always, this kind of flannel story is a big hit with my preschoolers.  They love helping me with the actions in the story and the twist ending!  I always leave the flannel up afterwards so kids can tell the story again after craft time.  This has helped a lot with the crowding issue at the board- they know it’s my turn now, but they will have their own turn later.

Little Bear and his Mama woke up from their long winter’s nap (stretch and yawn). Little Bear was so hungry his tummy went grumble grumble.  Mama Bear was hungry too, so they stepped outside their cave and looked around.  In the clearing was the tree stump where they always ate their feast.  Little Bear hopped up and sniffed around- sniff sniff sniff.

“Mama, where’s the food?” he asked.  “I’m hungry!”

“We have to go get it, silly,” Mama Bear said.  “Why don’t you go get the blueberries?”

“Okay!” Baby bear jumped down from the stump and ran to the woods (pat knees quickly to imitate running).  He looked high (pretend to look high) and he looked low (pretend to look low).  He looked all around until he thought he saw some blueberries, then he went back.

“Look Mama, blueberries!” he said.

“No Baby Bear,” Mama said, laughing.  “That’s not a blueberry.  That’s a – (pause to let children respond) fish!  This time go past the stream.”

So Baby Bear went running back to the woods again (pat knees).  He looked high (pretend to look high) and he looked low (pretend to look low). He looked all around until he thought he saw some blueberries, then he went back.

“Look Mama, blueberries!” he said.

“No Baby Bear,” Mama said, laughing.  “That’s not a blueberry.  That’s an – (pause to let children respond) orange!  This time go past the stream and the orange tree.”

So Baby Bear went running back to the woods again (pat knees).  He looked high (pretend to look high) and he looked low (pretend to look low). He looked all around until he thought he saw some blueberries, then he went back.

“Look Mama, blueberries!” he said.

“No Baby Bear,” Mama said, laughing.  “That’s not a blueberry.  That’s an – (pause to let children respond) apple!  This time go past the stream, the orange tree and the apple tree.”

So Baby Bear went running back to the woods again (pat knees).  He looked high (pretend to look high) and he looked low (pretend to look low). He looked all around until he thought he saw some blueberries, then he went back.

“Look Mama, blueberries!” he said.

“No Baby Bear,” Mama said, laughing.  “That’s not a blueberry.  That’s a – (pause to let children respond) strawberry!  This time go past the stream, past the orange tree and apple tree, and past the strawberry bushes.”

So Baby Bear went running back to the woods again (pat knees).  He looked high (pretend to look high) and he looked low (pretend to look low). He looked all around until he thought he saw some blueberries, then he went back.

This time he was gone such a long time Mama Bear started to get worried.  But then Baby Bear came back and he said, “Look, Mama, blueberries!  And I found Daddy too!”

“Yes Little Bear, those are blueberries,” Mama Bear said.  “You’re just in time for dinner.  But it looks like Daddy already ate his!”

____

credit: adapted from Ready-To-Go Storytimes by Gail Benton and Trisha Waichulaitis

pattern: available here (note the book also includes a pattern)

I really wanted to squeeze in a second book after the flannel, but by that point we were pretty crunched for time so we jumped right into the craft, which was a…

Craft: Paper Bag Bear Puppet

There’s a variety of free templates for this craft you can find online- the one my coworker picked this week is very similar to this one from East Coast Mommy and turned out super cute!  The kiddos really enjoyed running around the room afterwards.  I may have been mauled by a pack of preschoolers and their bears.


Overall I would give this story time two thumbs up!  I started collecting my storytime resources in Google Sheets as opposed to Excel so I could access them from work and home (yay!) but now they’re significantly less pretty (boo).  If you’re interested, you can download a copy by clicking the image below.  Have a great weekend!

plan

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One thought on “Storytime Spotlight: Bears n’ Berries with the Preschool Pack

  1. Pingback: Flannel Friday: Baby Bear’s Big Feast | Storytime in the Stacks

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