One of my favourite activities to do with a group of kids is take them on an ‘adventure’. We venture out of the classroom and always end up finding some fun. This activity is based on and inspired by the very popular kid’s book, “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt” by Michael Rosen.
This is a book that is always a hit with kids and inspires many wonderful activities that kids love. The book has a great repetitive, almost song like flow to it that kids of all ages can’t help but love. It is certainly one of my favourites.
This bear hunt activity is a great sensory experience for kids and a creative twist on the classic book. It is easy enough to do at home or at school.
There are several materials that you need; however, they are simple materials that you may already have access to if you have kids at home.
Also, if there are a few materials that you don’t have, you can already create your bear hunt using something else that you have on hand.
- The Book: “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt” by Michael Rosen.
- Large Blue, Green, Brown Construction Paper
- Construction paper – Dark and Light Green, Brown, Blue,
- Cotton Balls
- Blue Tissue Paper
- Spray Bottle (Filled with Water)
- Green Cloth/Fabric (A bed sheet or blanket could also work)
- Plants (Use what you have – Fake plants from home work well)
- Brown Paint (and paint brushes)
- Teddy Bear
Once you have the supplies, you are ready to prepare your bear hunt.
Since I did this at school, I wanted to incorporate art into our activity. I wanted the children to create the different parts of the hunt. However, an adult can create the different stages of your hunt and kids can simply go on the bear hunt.
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How to Create Your “Going on a Bear Hunt” Activity
This activity was done over a few days. On the first day, I introduced and read the book. We then talked about what happened in the book and what children thought of the story.
While discussing, we listed each of the places in the book, such as the grass, river, mud, forest, snowstorm and bear’s den. We talked about what each of these place would feel like, look like, smell like and even sound like.
I really wanted children to think about what it would feel like going on a bear hunt.
Next, I had 5 tables set up with art supplies. Each table had the supplies needed to create props for each of the places in the book. Each child got to help create the place that they wanted to.
I used materials that I had on hand, and ones that were inexpensive. You can easily substitute the materials if you have access to something different.
For most of the places, we used large sheets of construction paper and glued things to the paper to represent the place – such as long thin pieces of green construction paper for grass.
For the grass, we used a large sheet of green construction paper. I then set out long strips of (darker) green construction paper. Children twisted, curled and glued the ‘grass’ to the large sheet of construction paper.
I also had a few sheets of fake grass that I added to this obstacle in the book.
For the river, we started with a large sheet of blue construction paper. Children then glued on sheets of blue tissue paper.
You could use some clear sheets of paper, or plastic wrap, for the river as well. If you are Going on a Bear Hunt, at home, you could simply use a bucket of water.
The mud was certainly the most popular station. Kids loved the idea that they got to paint with mud. To make the mud, all you need is flour and brown paint. I used roughly equal amounts to create chunky, textured mud/paint.
The flour makes the paint look, and feel more like mud by making it more 3 dimensional and textured – unlike regular paint.
This was pretty messy, but kids loved it!
For the forest, I set out long rectangular strips of brown paper and green construction paper. Children attached the brown paper into a cylinder shape, like the trunk of a tree, and then glued the strips of green paper coming out of the top to look like leaves of a tree.
We used a large sheet of blue (or white) paper for the snowstorm and children loved gluing cotton balls onto the paper. This represented the snow.
The Bear Den
For the bear den, I placed a few teddy bears under a desk on our school stage. It was a quiet place that I knew we would be able to visit and it is a small area that felt a bit like a den.
I covered the table with a sheet of brown fabric and placed the bears underneath.
I added lights, just for fun, and a small fence like area around the den – simply for effect. The children did not help with the den. I wanted this part to be a surprise! And it was!
Now that we had all of our props ready, we we’re going on a bear hunt!
How to Create the Adventure of Going on a Bear Hunt
Once all of our props were dry, we then went on a sensory walk for our adventure! I had not told everyone what all of the props were going to be for while they were creating, but it was really easy to set up our bear hunt.
I set up our hunt through the halls of our school. If you are doing it at home, you can simply travel through your house.
I made sure to have a copy of “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt” with me and read it as we travelled through the obstacles found in the book.
I encouraged children to act out the parts of the book dramatically by doing large steps through the grass and pretending to shiver in the snowstorm.
I really wanted to add to the sensory activity with this adventure, so the first thing children did was take off their shoes and socks. (Children carried their shoes and socks with then so that when our adventure was done they were not barefoot in the school.) This added a lot to the sensory experience.
Please make sure the children are supervised while going on a bear hunt. Also, if children are walking on sheets of paper on smooth floors, it is best to add some tape to the bottom so that no one slips. Remind children to always walk.
To start, children walked through the grass. They felt the strips of construction paper in the toes.
As they walked through the water they felt, and saw, the blue tissue paper. I also added another sensory experience to this part of the book, by using a spray bottle.
As children walked through the water, they also got sprayed/misted with the water bottle. They thought this was hilarious!
Children walked through the mud. For the forest, I used a few plants from home and a long sheet of green fabric. Along the sides I placed the trees that the children made. (Please be careful that no one trips or slips on the fabric.)
Finally, we came to the snowstorm. Children glued cotton balls onto the construction paper. When it dried, however, it was crunchy on their feet.
Which worked out okay as snow, but it was a little bit hard on their feet. I would tape the cotton balls down next time, or use glue sticks.
As everyone walked through, I had portable fans blowing on them to feel like they were in a cold snowstorm. Kids loved the idea of the blowing wind and it added to the experience.
Our final stop, was finding our bear den. I decorated the top of our school stage as a bear den and used a few stuffed bears to represent the bear from the story.
As children quietly walked up and onto the stage/den I had a snoring sound playing over my portable speaker.
(I reassured everyone that there was not a real bear in the school, and it was in fact only an adorable, fluffy stuffed animal).
Children were so excited to have found the bear in its den, but they were also very quiet so that they did not wake him. We had so much fun finding the bear den!
Technically, in the book once the bear is discovered, you run back home. I changed it up a bit with my group.
Instead of running away, we very quietly enjoyed some bear shaped cookies together in the den and quietly listened to a recording of the story online. Everyone was excited to spend a few minutes in a bear den.
These types of adventures are a great way to get kids excited about books, but also a great way to get them moving and out of the classroom. Children loved the fact that they created most of the pieces/props on their own before going on a bear hunt.
At home, this “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt” sensory walk would also work wonderfully throughout a house.
You can follow the same steps and obstacles as I used through the halls – you could even add water for the river.
I hope that you enjoy creating your own bear hunt as much as I enjoyed watching the children create and walk through it at school and at my home with my kids. Have fun on your hunt!
To purchase the popular kid’s book “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt” and other materials to recreate this activity:
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