Bears: Preschool Storytime

I recently saw a live bear in the wild, while on a hike up at Lassen Volcanic National Park. It was scary! You have to be very careful and keep your distance from bears in the wild. So for today’s Preschool Storytime, I was in the mood for some books about bears.


Books We Shared

Our first story, Bear’s Big Breakfast by Lynn Rowe Reed and illustrated by Brett Helquist, is a fun, alliterative romp through the forest where Bear is hungry for something beginning with “B.” The bunny, bat, bee, bluebird and boa constrictor are all eager to help him find a better meal than them!

Our second book, Bear Cubs by Anne Wendorff, was the perfect nonfiction introduction to how a bear spends its first several weeks as a blind cub before it grows into the fearsome creature we know and love! Just enough text to make this book good for sharing with preschoolers.

Our third book, That’s (Not) Mine by Anna Kang and illustrated by Christopher Weyant, was about two bears who are having trouble sharing a chair. The law that “I’m sitting in it, so it’s mine,” isn’t working out so well for them, and they just keep arguing. (Sound like any of your kids?)


Flannel Board Story

Goldilocks and the Three Bears

I told this folktale with flannel pieces and I asked the kids to hold up a hand whenever I said an opposite. So when we said, “The porridge in the big bowl was too hot,” we held up one hand. When we said “The porridge in the medium-sized bowl was too cold,” we held up our other hand. And when we said, “The porridge in the smallest bowl was just right,” we clapped our hands together!

You can read a retelling of this story at http://www.hellokids.com/c_27878/reading-learning/stories-for-children/classic-stories-for-children/goldilocks-and-the-three-bears. There are a lot of great book versions of this fable, interpreted by different authors and illustrators. You can view them here in our online catalog.


Video We Shared

Our film story, based on the book Happy Birthday Moon by Frank Asch, is a sweet story about a little bear who thinks he is talking with the moon when he hears his voice echoed to him. His simple but generous heart motivates him to seek out a hat for the moon’s birthday, and also to apologize to the moon for losing the hat it gave him for his birthday.


Songs and Rhymes We Shared Without Music

The following two songs we sang with jingle bells, shaker eggs, drums and other percussion instruments!

Pease Porridge Hot

Pease porridge hot
Pease porridge cold
Pease porridge in the pot
Nine days old

Some like it hot
Some like it cold
Some like it in the pot
Nine days old

This Little Bear
(Tune: “This Old Man”)

This little bear, she played one
She played knick knack on her drum
With a knick knack paddy whack
Give a dog a bone
This little bear came rolling home

This little bear, he played two
He played jingle bells on my shoe
With a jingle jangle
Give a dog a bone
This little bear came rolling home

This little bear, she played three
She played shaker eggs on my knee
With a shake shake, shakey shake
Give a dog a bone
This little bear came rolling home

This little bear, he played four
He played tap tap on the floor
With a tap tap tappy tap
Give a dog a bone
This little bear came rolling home

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt
(much abbreviated from the book by Michael Rosen)
(pat knees to the beat)
We’re going on a bear hunt
We’re going to catch a big one
I’m not scared!
What’s up ahead?
…Grass.
Long, wavy grass.
We can’t go over it
We can’t go under it
Oh, no.
We have to go THROUGH it.
swishy, swashy… (rub hands together)

We’re going on a bear hunt
We’re going to catch a big one
I’m not scared!
What’s up ahead?
…Mud.
Thick, oozy mud.
We can’t go over it
We can’t go under it
Oh, no.
We have to go THROUGH it.
squelch, squerch… (stomp feet)

We’re going on a bear hunt
We’re going to catch a big one
I’m not scared!
What’s up ahead?
…A cave.
A dark, scary cave.
We can’t go over it
We can’t go under it
Oh, no.
We have to go THROUGH it.
tiptoe, tiptoe…

What’s that?
Two bright eyes,
Two furry ears,
One big nose…
It’s a BEAR!

Quick, out of the cave! Tiptoe, tiptoe…
Back through the mud! Squelch, squerch…
Back through the grass! Swishy, swashy…

Back to our house. Open the door,
Run up the stairs–
Oh, no! We forgot to shut the door!
Run back down the stairs…
Shut the door (creeeaak)
Back upstairs!
Into the bedroom!
Under the covers!

WE’RE NEVER GOING ON A BEAR HUNT AGAIN.

The Other Day I Saw a Bear

We also sang this call-and-response song. The verses are call-and-response style at first, then they go into unison.

The other day (The other day)
I saw a bear (I saw a bear)
A great big bear (A great big bear)
Away up there (Away up there)

The other day I saw a bear
A great big bear away up there

He looked at me (He looked at me)
I looked at him (I looked at him)
He sized up me (He sized up me)
I sized up him (I sized up him)

He looked at me, I looked at him
He sized up me, I sized up him

He said to me (He said to me)
“Why don’t you run? (“Why don’t you run?)
I see you ain’t (I see you ain’t)
got any gun.” (got any gun.”)

He said to me “Why don’t you run?
I see you ain’t got any gun.”

And so I ran (And so I ran)
away from there (away from there)
but right behind (but right behind)
me was that bear! (me was that bear!)

And so I ran away from there
but right behind me was that bear!

Ahead of me (Ahead of me)
I saw a tree (I saw a tree)
A great big tree (A great big tree)
Oh lucky me! (Oh lucky me!)

Ahead of me I saw a tree
A great big tree Oh lucky me!

The lowest branch (The lowest branch)
was ten feet up. (was ten feet up.)
I had to jump (I had to jump)
and trust my luck! (and trust my luck!)

The lowest branch was ten feet up.
I had to jump and trust my luck!

And so I jumped (And so I jumped)
into the air (into the air)
But I missed that branch (But I missed that branch)
away up there. (away up there.)

And so I jumped into the air
But I missed that branch away up there.

Now don’t you fret (Now don’t you fret)
and don’t you frown (and don’t you frown)
cuz I caught that branch (cuz I caught that branch)
on my way down! (on my way down!)

Now don’t you fret and don’t you frown
cuz I caught that branch on my way down!

That’s all there is. (That’s all there is.)
There is no more (There is no more)
until I meet (until I meet)
that bear once more. (that bear once more.)

That’s all there is. There is no more
until I meet that bear once more.


Music from CDs We Shared

I love to sing and dance to music.  Here’s the song and CD recording that we sang as our opening song for today’s storytime.


“Clap Everybody and Say Hello” from Sally Go Round the Sun by Kathy Reid-Naiman

Clap everybody and say hello, (clap hands)
Clap everybody and say hello,
Clap everybody and say hello,
No matter what the weather.

Stamp everybody and say hello, (stomp feet)
Stamp everybody and say hello,
Stamp everybody and say hello,
No matter what the weather.

Wiggle everybody and say hello, (wiggle)
Wiggle everybody and say hello,
Wiggle everybody and say hello,
No matter what the weather.

Jump everybody and say hello, (jump)
Jump everybody and say hello,
Jump everybody and say hello,
No matter what the weather.

Sing everybody and say hello, (wave hi)
Sing everybody and say hello,
Sing everybody and say hello,
No matter what the weather.


Continue the Fun

Want more stories about bears?  Check these out at your Pasadena Public Library branch:

AnnMarie Kolakowski

I'm a youth services librarian working in the Children's Room at the Pasadena Central Library. I purchase juvenile nonfiction books for all sites, juvenile Spanish books for all sites, and juvenile DVDs for the Central Library. I do a lot of programs with school-age kids, including Lucha Libros, writing workshops, and STEAM/science programs. I also do 16 weeks of Infant/Toddler Storytimes each year. I love what I do, working with kids of all ages to inspire them to learn and use their curiosity and imaginations. Outside of my work at the library, I am also the author of a book on creative writing activities for kids.

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