Looking for fun and educational activities for your students? Why not try some bear-themed activities? Teaching children about these fascinating animals can help them develop their curiosity, empathy, and understanding of the natural world. From bear crafts to printables and worksheets, there are many ways to make learning about bears enjoyable and engaging. In this article, we will explore a variety of bear-themed activities and printable resources that are perfect for children of all ages. So, let’s get started!
Bears capture children’s minds with their impressive sizes and cuddly features. These preschool printables will be a great addition to a mammal study and benefit young curious students who love learning about the Animal Kingdom.
Bears are large, carnivorous mammals found in various parts of the world, including North and South America, Europe, and Asia. They are characterized by their thick fur, sharp claws, and powerful build. Despite their reputation as ferocious predators, many bear species are actually omnivores and subsist on a variety of plants and small animals. Bears are known for their hibernation habits, as well as their ability to stand on their hind legs and forage for food with their front paws. Some iconic and endangered bear species include the grizzly, polar, and panda bear.
Bear Life Cycle
The bear life cycle typically begins with a mother bear giving birth to 1-4 cubs in the winter den. Cubs remain with their mother for 1-3 years, learning survival skills and gradually becoming independent. Adolescent bears are characterized by being young bears between one and three years old. At this stage, they are still learning how to be independent and survive on their own. They are curious and playful, but also shy and skittish around humans.
Adolescent bears are known to roam long distances outside of their territories, exploring new areas. As they grow, they become more confident and may start to challenge older bears for territory. It is important for humans to give adolescent bears space and avoid interacting with them to prevent habituation and keep them wild. Bears reach sexual maturity between 3-7 years of age, and may mate and produce offspring until they reach 20-30 years old. During the winter, bears may hibernate in dens and survive off stored fat, waking up in the spring to begin the cycle all over again.
A bear den is a structure or location where a bear hibernates during the winter months. It can be a natural cave or crevice in the ground, a hollow tree, or a man-made shelter. A bear den provides protection and warmth for the animal during the cold and harsh winter season. Hibernation slows the bear’s metabolism, allowing them to conserve energy until food becomes more abundant in the spring. It is important to give bears their space and not disturb their den during hibernation, as it can be a crucial period for their survival. Bears are omnivores and play important roles in their ecosystems, helping to disperse seeds and regulate populations of prey species.
There are eight species of bears worldwide. The most common and widely-known species are the brown bear, black bear, and polar bear. Other species include the Asiatic black bear, sloth bear, spectacled bear, sun bear, and giant panda. Brown bears vary in color and are found in North America, Europe, and Asia. Black bears are primarily found in North America. Polar bears live in the Arctic region while giant pandas are native to China. Sun bears, sloth bears, and spectacled bears are found in Asia and South America.
bear themed hands on learning activities
Sorting Bears: Provide children with a set of colorful bear counters in various sizes and colors. Ask them to sort the bears by size, color, or any other characteristic of their choice.
Bear Den: Cut out a large bear shape from brown paper and attach it to a wall or play space. Provide children with small objects such as sticks, leaves, grass, and rocks so they can create their own bear den or habitat.
Bear Puzzles: Create simple puzzles featuring bear pictures. Cut out each picture and laminate them for durability. Ask children to match the puzzle pieces to complete the pictures.
Bear Tracks: Make bear tracks on a piece of paper using brown paint and bear-shaped stamps or sponges. Invite children to use toy animals to walk along the tracks and create their own bear stories.
Bear Art: Provide children with materials to create bear art such as crayons, markers, colored pencils, or paint. Encourage them to use their imagination and create their own bear drawings or paintings.
Bear Counting: Create a counting activity using bear counters. Place a jar or container on a table and ask children to count out a specific number of bears and place them in the jar.
Bear Storytelling: Gather a group of children and ask them to take turns telling a story about a bear. Encourage them to use their imagination and creativity to come up with different scenarios.
Bear Habitat: Set up a small environment with natural materials such as rocks, branches, leaves, and grass. Ask children to create their own bear habitat using these materials, and use toy bears as the inhabitants.
Bear Sensory Bin: Fill a bin with brown rice, hay, and small bear figurines. Encourage children to explore the sensory materials and create their own bear scenes.
Bear Hibernation: Discuss hibernation with children and set up a cozy cave or den area for toys or stuffed animals to hibernate in for the winter.
Bears in Nature: Take children on a nature walk to identify bear habitats. Collect natural materials to bring back to the classroom and create a diorama or habitat display.
Bear Writing: Provide bear-themed writing prompts for children such as, “If I were a bear…” or “What would you do if you saw a bear in the woods?”
Bear Science: Conduct experiments with children to explore bears’ sense of smell or investigate their eating habits. For example, you could set up a scent matching activity or offer different types of food for children to try, like berries, fish, and honey.
Scent matching activity:
- Gather a variety of items with different scents that are safe for children to handle (e.g., spices, fruits, flowers, essential oils, etc.)
- Place each item in a separate container with a lid (e.g., small jars, plastic containers, envelopes, etc.)
- Label each container with a number or a letter (e.g., A, B, C, etc.)
- Invite children to smell each container and try to match the scent with a corresponding picture or item (e.g., pictures of bears smelling the same scents)
- Discuss how bears use their sense of smell to find food, mates, and avoid danger.
Food tasting activity:
- Provide a variety of food items that bears are known to eat in the wild (e.g., berries, fish, honey, nuts, insects, etc.)
- Ask children to try each food item and describe their taste and texture
- Encourage children to compare and contrast the different foods and share their preferences
- Discuss how bears have different dietary needs throughout the year depending on their location, season, and individual preferences.
Bear behavior observation activity:
- Show children videos or pictures of bears in the wild (e.g., hunting, fishing, foraging, playing, sleeping, etc.)
- Ask children to observe and describe the bears’ behavior, body language, and vocalizations
- Encourage children to ask questions about why bears exhibit certain behaviors and how they communicate with each other
- Discuss how humans can help protect bears’ habitats and reduce conflicts with bears in human-populated areas.
Remember to always prioritize safety and respect for animals when conducting experiments or observations. Avoid using real bear scents or foods that could attract bears or put children in danger. Instead, use pictures, videos, and simulations to simulate the bear experience. Consult with experts in animal behavior and education to ensure the accuracy and appropriateness of the activities.
All of these activities help children develop a strong connection and appreciation for nature and wildlife and can foster a love of learning and exploration for years to come.
Bear Learning Pack
Introduce children to the fascinating world of bears with the Bear Learning Pack. Designed with Montessori principles in mind, the pack includes 3-part cards and information cards covering the life cycle and anatomy of bears. Children can use the cards to explore the different bear species, their habitats, and their behaviors. The pack also includes activities to help children understand the importance of bears to the ecosystem. This learning pack is a hands-on way for children to discover and appreciate one of nature’s most amazing creatures.
Here is what’s included:
- Black Bear life cycle diagram
- Black Bear life cycle 3 part cards
- Black Bear life cycle coloring, cutting, and pasting worksheet (color and blackline)
- Black Bear life cycle tracing strips
- Black Bear life cycle information cards
- Parts of a Bear diagram
- Parts of a Bear diagram minus labels
- Parts of a Bear labels
- Parts of a Bear information cards
- Parts of a Bear tracing & independent writing worksheet
- Parts of a Bear student booklet (independent writing)
- Types of Bears 3 part cards
- Types of Bears information cards
- Bear characteristics color poster
- Bear characteristics black line poster
- Bear characteristics mat
- Bear characteristics color cards
- Bear characteristics tracing & coloring student booklet
- Bear characteristics student booklet
- Bear information poster
- My Book About Bears
- Bear Food vs. Preditors sorting cards
- Bear anatomy diagram adjective activity.
Age: Preschool ages 3 – 6 years
How to use this resource:
Parts of a Bear – Gather books about bears for children to explore. Print posters and label cards on cardstock and laminate. Cut individual label cards. Attach clear velcro to the poster without labels and label cards.
Present the poster – name all parts and invite the students to share their thoughts on the various functions of each part and do their research. Then read each label and invite the student to match it to the corresponding part of the bear’s body.
Life cycle poster – print on cardstock and laminate. Present all stages of the bear’s life cycle. Invite the children to retell them or tell their own story that features all the stages.
Bear life cycle 3- part cards – Print on cardstock and laminate if you wish to preserve colors and card quality for future use. Place picture cards in a column and invite the children to match the picture to the picture and the word to the word. Present control cards and ask the child to lay the stages of the cycle in the correct order.
Bear life cycle line art – supply scissors, glue, and coloring pencils. Invite the student to color and cut cards and glue them into the correct sequence.
Bear tracing/labeling and coloring worksheets – print on cardstock and laminate. Supply an erasable pen. Invite the child to trace the words and color corresponding images. Alternatively, print pages on regular printing paper and invite the child to trace or label the stages of the bear life cycle.
You might like to invite the students to compare the life cycle of a Bear with other mammals or winter animals.
resources you might find helpful in your classroom
United States Preschool Country Pack$5.20
Canada Preschool Country Pack$5.00
Parts of a Deer Life Cycle Characteristics$7.10
Parts of a Bear Life Cycle Types of Bears Characteristics$7.00
Parts of Hummingbird Life Cycle Characteristics Types of Hummingbirds$7.00
Parts of an Owl Life Cycle Types and Characteristics of Owls$7.30
Parts of Blue Jay Life Cycle Types and Characteristics of Blue Jays$7.00
Parts of a Manatee Characteristics Life Cycle$5.00
Parts of an Oak Life Cycle Types of Oaks Characteristics$6.50
Product on saleNorth America Continent Bundle$30.00
North America Continent Cards and Country Research B&W Booklet$4.20
Native American Musical Instruments – Preschool Picture Cards$4.00
North America Map and Pin Flags$3.50
Native American Houses Information and Picture Cards, 3 Part Cards$6.00
Natural Landmarks and Artificial Landmarks in North America | Sorting$2.00
Flags of North America 3-Part Cards Blackline Master$5.50
Bald Eagle Life Cycle and Parts of a Bald Eagle 3 Part Cards Blackline Student Booklet$3.30
Animals of North America Safari Toob 3 – Part Cards – Editable$3.50