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We’re Going on a Bear Hunt Ideas for Pretend Play for Kids


Bring the popular story book Going on a Bear Hunt to life by creating an easy diy pretend play for kids. Here are some easy ways to turn a magical book into a dramatic play with fun activities along the way. Create different obstacles that are life-size from the book like the splash splosh of the water, the big tall trees, and a big bear at the end. 

Give the kids a simple snack of a bear hunt trail mix to take along on the trip by bringing the bear hunt book to life or while you are gathered around at circle time listening to the book. You can also have a teddy bear’s picnic. Have your kids bring their favorite bear to snack time and even feed the stuffed bear. The kids will love it so much!

How to Bring the Book We’re Going on a Bear Hunt to Life?

Grab a large stuffed bear. You can get them really cheap after the holidays like Valentine’s Day. If you don’t have a large bear you can use brown paint to make a silhouette of a big fuzzy brown bear with some large googly eyes. If your cave is big enough any stuffed animal they get to touch and feel in the dark cave will make them run all the way home just like in the book. Going on a Bear hunt is a great way to keep your kids busy without electronics and also get some exercise. 

To make this going on a bear hunt pretend play a success you will need to go to all the different places that the book talks about. You need as much sensory play and physical obstacles as you can make! A full cave, giant trees, long wavy grass, all while making swishy swashy noises. Keep the whole experience something the kids can, see, hear, and touch. Children often learn and remember better when you use all 5 senses (we will use taste and smell later). 

I want you to take the descriptive language and important story elements in the book and create your own version of a bear hunt. Here are the ideas I used with my kids! If you don’t want to make a giant pretend play them try just making a small sensory bin for them to play with while you read to them. Children’s interests vary so don’t be upset if not all your kids love this book, but once you start to play you will be surprised about how many little kids actually know every word in order. Kids are such sponges… aren’t they!

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt -Video

Best Bear Hunt Ideas to do with Kids. 

If you have kids who love to play house this is a great craft. They can play with these  Felt Bears (with pattern) and their adorable cave houses while listening to a book about bears or reading Going on a bear hunt. You can let the little felt bear run around just like the people do in the story. Cut some grass and thick oozy mud out of brown paper that has been layered.

The kids will have the best time running back and forth through the different scenes with their new bear. You can also let the kids make their own bear hunt puppets to play along with their felt bear. 

This Bear Cave also has some wooden shapes that I made into the bear’s table, chairs, and dishes. I choose to make a set table so the kids could feed their bear and work on those fine motor skills this is also great to use for a pretend play bear picnic. Check your local craft store for some wooden figures and shapes to make more going on a bear hunt imaginative play.

We're Going on a Bear HuntWe’re Going on a Bear HuntWe're Going on a Bear HuntWe're Going on a Bear Hunt: Christmas Activity BookWe’re Going on a Bear Hunt: Christmas Activity BookWe're Going on a Bear Hunt: Christmas Activity BookTonies We're Going on a Bear Hunt Audio Play CharacterTonies We’re Going on a Bear Hunt Audio Play CharacterTonies We're Going on a Bear Hunt Audio Play CharacterKidz Xplore Outdoor Adventure Kit for Young Kids - Cargo Vest and Hat Set Backyard Explorer Safari Costume and Dress Up for Park Ranger, Paleontologist, Zoo Keeper Kid and Scavenger Hunt (brown)Kidz Xplore Outdoor Adventure Kit for Young Kids – Cargo Vest and Hat Set Backyard Explorer Safari Costume and Dress Up for Park Ranger, Paleontologist, Zoo Keeper Kid and Scavenger Hunt (brown)Kidz Xplore Outdoor Adventure Kit for Young Kids - Cargo Vest and Hat Set Backyard Explorer Safari Costume and Dress Up for Park Ranger, Paleontologist, Zoo Keeper Kid and Scavenger Hunt (brown)We're Going on a Bear Hunt: My Adventure Field GuideWe’re Going on a Bear Hunt: My Adventure Field GuideWe're Going on a Bear Hunt: My Adventure Field GuideWe're Going On Bear Hunt Sound Chip EditWe’re Going On Bear Hunt Sound Chip EditWe're Going On Bear Hunt Sound Chip Edit

 

Let the kids make their own bear hunt activities with the wood shapes you picked out. In their own words let them take their new felt bear through the book by themselves. Let the kids paint or color their wooden characters to match the scenes in the book going on a bear hunt. Painting helps with gross motor skills. 

I looked online for a Going on a Bear Hunt Trail Mix I liked and I couldn’t find one. So the kids and I sat down, talked about what we wanted in it, and made one. It was super yummy! Plus, we made these cute baskets to carry the trail mix in. This made a cute snack for the kids to eat while we read the story and for our afternoon walk since it was such a beautiful day. Dump everything in a giant bowl and have your kids help to stir the trail mix or you can add all the simple snack ingredients to a gallon ziplock bag and let the kids shake it up. 

If your kids are learning how to spell their name you could cut out the bear paw print name activity with the letters to the kid’s name and have them put it back in order. There is always a fun way to learn things, you just need to think of what will relate to the story and what you can make out of paper or cheap supplies. 

The kids will love making their own binoculars and here are three different ways to do so. Be sure to have one pair per child because this will help bring the going on a bear hunt pretend play to life! Remember, they are searching for the bear until they find it and run all the way home. So really make them look to see if they can spot the bear it’s also a better way to really make sure the kids are involved in the book and what is happening in the pretend play.  

Use all the sound effects while going through the kid and have the young children make them with you. It’s so much fun to hear all the kids making the noises as you go through all the parts of the story. 

I first created this printable map (link here). Then the kids and I turned it into a felt map (link) that will last for as long as I let it stay in the house with us. My older kids made their own Felt Going on a bear hunt map to play with and keep. They turned it into a scavenger hunt later in the day and hid things in the tall grass. It was a fun activity that all the kids enjoyed. 

A felt map isn’t hard to make you just need scissors, felt, a needle, and embroidery thread to stitch each piece in place. It’s a great activity to add on to such a fun bear hunt day. 

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If you have leftover felt you could make an interactive bulletin board that the kids can move the people and bear around on. Let them use each piece and tell them what happens while the big kids help the younger ones and (hopefully) add new vocabulary words to their language. 

 ​How many times did your kids use the pretend bear hunts once you got it all set up? Mine played all week!

Kathaleen Kopf

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