This Teddy Bear Unit was a major hit in my classroom and the kids had NO idea they were practicing so many essential ELA and Math skills! I wish you could have seen the looks on their faces when I told them they would be bringing a teddy bear or stuffed friend to school! Today I’m sharing all of my tips for planning the best Teddy Bear Picnic Day ever! Make sure to read through to the end. My favorite part was all of the mischief the bears got into during the sleepover!
Teddy Bear Picnic Day Planning
First, I planned our Teddy Bear Picnic Day. We did ours towards the end of the school year but I may move it up next year. The beauty of this event is that it works well anytime you can fit it in your busy calendar!
I told students they would need to bring a teddy bear or other stuffed animal in for this special day. The students were encouraged to color an invitation and “give” it to their very favorite teddy bear or other stuffed friend. (A “friend” option was included in case some students didn’t have a teddy bear. I also brought several extras in just in case a student wanted to trade his or her “friend” in for an actual teddy bear.) The kids also took home a parent letter (it’s editable for you!) so that the parents understood our plan.
All About My Teddy
When the students arrived, they were instructed to carry their friends with them throughout the day. They began by filling out a writing sheet entitled “All About My Teddy” or “All About My Friend“. I’ve included these in color or B & W for you. I like to fill one out in color as an example to demonstrate expectations. Then my students color the B & W version and fill it in. They also colored the bear’s head and I stapled them to a sentence strip to make the most adorable headbands!
We settled at the carpet and I let each student come up to share about his or her stuffed friend. This led into the perfect time to complete the Teddy Bear Comparison page. The kids love seeing the other stuffed friends brought in. We were able to discuss various measurement terms, descriptive words, and sentence formation all with this one activity.
Teddy Bear Graphing & Color Words
The gummy bear graphing activity was an absolute hit! Walmart had a large bag of gummy bears for just a few dollars. Around 20 were placed in each snack size plastic bag and handed out along with the adorable gummy bear graphs.
I asked each student to lay the gummy bears on the correct spot on the graph. This was a great way to get in extra color word practice while visualizing the graph. After I checked each one, students were allowed to pick one bear up at a time to eat and color that spot using the same color crayon. As you can imagine, the kids went wild for this!
Another favorite graphing activity came to life with the help of our classroom rug. We used the labels across the bottom of the rug. Each child took a turn placing his or her friend or teddy bear on the rug. The rest of the class was quick to help the child decide what column to place him or her in. We used the results to create another individual bar graph.
Picnic and Photos
By this point our teddy bears were getting quite hungry and I knew it was time to start the main event of the Teddy Bear Picnic Day. We made a Teddy Bear Trail Mix using the provided food labels and recipe. When we had our food, we sat together in a circle with our teddy bears to recite and sing 2 of the cutest little poems.
The kids looked so cute “feeding” their teddy bears before sneaking it into their own mouths! While the kids were eating, we pulled them over to make these quick teddy bear handprint keepsakes and snap a photo with their stuffed friend for the provided picture “frames”.
As some kids finished, they pulled out the plates and food center activity to work on one to one correspondence and number recognition. The kids loved filling each plate with the correct amount of food. The food really started to pile up!
After our snack it was time for a bear comparison. How do real bears compare to our stuffed friends? We watched some videos about real bears and read a couple of books I checked out from the library. The kids had so much fun with this and found all of the information about real bears quite fascinating! Just a hint to view the videos beforehand to make sure there is not anything that your children would find scary!
Teddy Bear Sleepover
At the end of the day, the students took their teddy bears out to play. Since we usually don’t let them bring toys to school, this was a real treat and they were quite the envy of every other student!
I explained that our friends were getting sleepy so it was time to tuck them into bed. The children took this so seriously! We sang them a lullaby before tucking them under our picnic tablecloth in a circle. I turned out the lights and the kids snuck out so they didn’t wake the bears. I wish I could show you this. It was the cutest thing ever!
After they left, I went around staging the friends in all kinds of mischief. Some were getting drinks of water, some playing legos, others reading books, and they even spilled popcorn all over the floor! Those naughty bears!
As you can imagine, the kids were so surprised to see their bears in these positions! We created class books and completed some of the writing during our ELA block. Making class books is one of my favorite things to do. I choose one child to color the cover, each kid fills out a page for the book, and then we staple it and add it to our class library. They are always the first books to be checked out!
Page toppers are another favorite of mine. It’s a simple craft that provides just the motivation the kids need to work hard on a writing assignment. When they know they get to glue a bear’s head and paws to the top and hang it in the hallway, they are bound to try their best!
I’m also sharing this freebie with you! It is the perfect activity to use during your Bear Unit while reading the book “Going on a Bear Hunt!” Click on the photo below!
What are Teachers Saying?
Take a look at what other teachers have to say about this unit!
“As usual, another amazing product from the one and only Pencils to Pigtails!! My sweet kinders (and their teacher) were totally engaged with all the activities you created in this hands-on resource! Thank you!
– Kelly A.
“Planning to use this pack to have a 2 day teddy bear celebration with my students. Can’t wait to use it, love how many choices are in this pack.”
“My students loved their Teddy Bear Day! I especially enjoyed that there were options for non teddy bears. Can’t wait to use it again this year!”
Your children are so lucky that you are considering a Teddy Bear Day for them! I look forward to hearing all about your experience!
Click on the product cover below if you are interested in this resource for your classroom!
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Looking for more fun for your littles? Head over here to read about one of my very favorite units!
Happy teaching & mommy-ing this week friends!