Monday, January 9, 2017


Bear Craft for Preschoolers: Time to Hibernate

I wanted to do a bear craft for preschoolers to go with this week's Virtual Book Club for Kids book: Time for Sleep. Not only is the book absolutely adorable, it is also a wonderful introduction to hibernation, animals that hibernate, and winter!

We try to balance process art (or art that focuses on the artistic experience) experiences with craft art (art that has a product-type of goal) experiences because our little ones love to create and experiment with art, but they also love to show off their final craft pieces. This bear craft for preschoolers has simple enough lines and circles that all of our kids (as young as 3 years old) were able to make one...and they were all very pleased with how they turned out! I did this with preschoolers, a first grader, and a fourth grader, and we all had a great time making them. In fact, I think it might be one of the most adorable bear crafts we've ever done! I want to try something similar with polar bears, but we'll see what we have time for!

I also love this project because of the group "guided" drawing aspect -- it is wonderful fine motor exercise and makes a great pre-writing project because it strengthens those fine muscles so important in penmanship!

Anyway, to make your own "time to hibernate" bear craft, you'll need the following simple supplies for each preschooler:

* sheet of construction paper (I love using dark blue!)
* paint (brown, black, and white)
* paintbrushes and q-tips
* crayons (brown or black)

Here's the easy how-to:

Bear Craft for Preschoolers:

1- Read the story Time for Sleep and talk about how the animals in the story, including black bears and brown bears, sleep (or hibernate) for most of the winter.

Tip for preschoolers: I always cover our workspace with butcher makes clean-up a breeze and catches any stray paint!

2- Do a group guided drawing first. Let each child choose a sheet of paper and a crayon. Explain that "black bears" come in many colors, including light brown, dark brown, reddish-brown, black, and even a bluish-black! To draw the bear, make a big half circle at the bottom of the page. Add two more half circles for ears and three complete circles (or ovals) for eyes and a nose. If you want a mouth, draw a "J" coming down from the nose and add a backwards "J" for the other side of the mouth. Or, you could leave the mouth off and just imagine your bear has its mouth closed. My kids were really sweetabout listening closely...and then making their "own" bears.  :)

3- Now it gets exciting! Paint the bear in! Remind your kids how they come in so many different colors, and encourage them to mix their paints a little to create different colors of fur. When they're done, use black paint to make the eyes, nose, and mouth. Or, if your preschooler's bear is mostly black, use a lighter brown for the eyes, nose, and mouth -- you can ask your kiddos what color will show up nicely! We used a q-tip for the eyes, nose, and mouth. Our hands were totally full of paint at this point, pictures here! But you can see their results as you read on!

4- Add snow!! Many bears do not hibernate before the first snowfall, and some bears will wake up on a warm sunny winter day (even if there's still snow on the ground) and grab a snack! So, use a q-tip to paint snowflakes coming down and landing on your bear's head! Be creative, and have fun!!

5- Ta da!! All done! Now you have your own bear art project celebrating winter and hibernation! Hang them up and show them off!!

If you're learning about bears, you may enjoy this bear action rhyme, this {FREE} bear dot page with fun bear facts, and these two bear science experiments too (bear science here and here)! I also have a fantastic hibernation ebook for sale here!

UPDATE: You can see all our bear activities collected together into a Bear Theme HERE!!

We actually did this bear craft art project to go with the Virtual Book Club for Kids' book this week: Time for Sleep: (image is an Amazon affiliate link):

This bear craft would also go great with Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you See!

You can learn more about the Virtual Book Club HERE, or join in all the fun at the Weekly Virtual Book Club group on Facebook!

For more bear themed activities for preschoolers, be sure to check out this week's VBC cohosts:


Bear Paw Names from Rainy Day Mum
Bear Paw Alphabet Tracks from Inspiration Laboratories


Sorting Bears Big, Medium and Small from My Storytime Corner
Colour Games for Kids from JDaniel4’s Mom
Build a Shape Bear from To Be a Kid Again


Bear Paw Cookies from Clare’s Little Tots
Teddy Bear Bread from Messy Little Monsters


Preschool Bear Craft (Painting) from Preschool Powol Packets
Bear Brain Breaks from Sugar Aunts

Happy Educating,

Have you seen HEEP? It is a preschool homeschool curriculum! Learn more here!

I may share at any of these parties!

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Clare's Little Tots said...

Wow they've all done such a great job, I love how simple this craft is we're definitely going to try this one.

Kim Vij said...

This is an adorable craft idea for bears and hibernation. A great way to tie in last weeks' theme too. Thanks for sharing and cohosting this week's Virtual Book club for Kids.