I’m so excited to share with you our week of we’re going on a bear hunt activities. It was a brilliant theme for a week of activities in our homeschool and if you scroll right to the bottom you can find out how to download them all so you can do them too!
I’m a huge fan of brilliant children’s books, we have a bookcase that is bulging with them and I love curling up on the sofa with my gang for a mega reading session as they bring me book after book. We’ve been pretty relaxed recently with our home education, not really having much of a theme or a plan, just going with the flow. And although that has been working ok, I felt like we would all benefit (ok mainly me), from having a bit more of an idea of what we might be doing on any given day. So I decided to plan some activities for the week, and being the book lovers that we are, it made sense to base those activities around a ‘book of the week’. I strongly believe that good quality books are the cornerstone of a child’s education and that children should learn to read with ‘real books’ not phonetically contrived and usually utterly boring reading schemes. But anyway, I digress…
I decided to start with an old favourite of mine ‘We’re going on a Bear Hunt’ by Michael Rosen. I love how it’s less of a book and more of a chant with accompanying pictures and I love how the illustrations tell the story almost more than the words do.
I planned one activity a week, which has worked well for us. It doesn’t take too long to do and the kids still have plenty of time to play, or follow any other interests that might pop up, and if we miss a day’s activity then it’s easy enough to catch up the next day.
Our favourite of the we’re going on a bear hunt activities of the week were the first two. On Monday we made up our own extra pages of the story and then illustrated them. Both the girls were eager to do this and came up with some great ideas of obstacles for the family to come across. Mabel mainly thought of scary things like trolls and dragons but Greta went for a shop, a Peppa Pig shop!
Mabel wanted to write a few of the words so I wrote them out for her to copy. Sometimes she’s enthusiastic about writing and sometimes she asks me to do it for her. I’m just pleased that she is showing an interest off of her own back and I’m really careful not to push it because I know she will completely clam up and refuse to try anymore if she feels any kind of pressure.
At the moment there’s a big gap between what she wants to write and what she is capable of, so my job I suppose is to foster her interest and drive to try to slowly close that gap and this activity was perfect for that.
On Tuesday we went out on our own bear hunt in search of grass, rivers, mud and forests (the snowstorm and the bear were sadly elusive). We all loved trudging through the woods, shouting the familiar chant, and jumping in mud and wading through rivers was a bonus for the kids! We used my phone to take some photos of things from the story that we found and we listened carefully to see what noises they made. We can confirm that long grass does sound like ‘swishy swashy’ and wellies in mud do go ‘squelch squirch’.
On Wednesday, we looked at the illustrations and talked out how some of them were watercolour and some just pencil drawings. We tried to guess how Helen Oxenbury the illustrator might have made all the different textures of the scenery like the clouds in the sky, the grass, the waves of the sea etc. Then we had a go with our own watercolour paints. Mabel painted this lovely picture of the bear on the beach, I love how she gave it her own twist by making the sky show a sunset. We’re working on keeping our brushes clean and paints separate at the moment!
On Thursday Ernie was a bit poorly and all the girls wanted to do was play Trolls with each other since we got the DVD and they became obsessed, so we had a break from our bear hunt activities, although we did read the book.
So Friday was a catch up day. We found out about different kinds of bear from good old google and learnt some facts about them. Then we printed off our photo’s from Tuesday’s walk and Mabel cut them out and stuck them into her own little bear hunt book that I made out of a couple of pieces of A4 paper.
The last activity was a dice game. First of all the girls cut out the pictures, then we sequenced them in the order they came up in the story, then wrote the corresponding number on each of them. Then we took it in turns to roll the dice and try to collect a full set. This was a nice fun way to end the week, I love playing games with Greta, she cheers everyone on and gets so excited when anybody ‘wins’ bless her.
This week really has gone a lot smoother than previous weeks, obviously we’ve still had all the usual mess and mayhem, but at least I have something ready to whip out when it’s the right moment to try and sit everyone down for a few minutes. It’s been just the right balance of adult-led activities to free play I think and I’m definitely going to carry on with our new self made curriculum (which I’m calling Read. Explore. Create.).
So on that note, of you’d like to join in and get all my plans and printable resources for a week of We’re going on a bear hunt activities then you just need to join the Read. Explore Create. mailing list (I won’t spam you, promise). Click the picture below which will take you to the original post and half way down the page you will find the sign up form. Confirm your email address and it will take you straight to the resources to save or print.
Next week we are going to be doing another of our old favourites, ‘Whatever next’ by Jill Murphy, so come back on Monday morning to grab those activities!
Join the fun
Get a weekly round-up and exclusive content from our home educating, slow living, everyday adventure seeking life...