Saturday, March 10, 2012

We're Going On a Bear Hunt!

"In the midst of winter, I found there was within me an invincible summer."
                                             -Albert Careb

I've been waiting for the perfect day. 

I woke up very early this morning and knew today was the day. 

The sun was shining bright and the forecast called for a very unseasonably 62 degree day. Combined with the fact that I had the luxury of not having to leave before 7 a.m. to get to work, I knew I would have enough time to squeeze it in.

Many weeks ago I came across this idea for bringing one of my kids' favorite books, "We're Going On a Bear Hunt" to life. I knew we had to do it. (Thank you Catherine for coming up with this clever idea and the inspiration!!!)

As soon as Kathleen arrived and the kids had finished breakfast we ventured outside to create our own Bear Hunt before I had to leave for work. 

Sissy watched eagerly from the window wondering what I was up to outside.
Once we were all set up outside, I gave the kids their own pair of binoculars made out of paper towel rolls and vinyl tape then told them that we were going on a Bear Hunt.
(You know how I love themed outfits so we busted out our best
camo and Spider Man gear.)
Even though I told Sissy that this particular bear hunt would be better barefoot, she insisted on wearing her black patent leather shoes. 

I didn't argue because any fashionable girl knows that with a great pair of shoes you can conquer the world. 
I found these bear paw prints online and used my new color printer that Dave got me for Christmas (that I am completely obsessed with) to print them out to provide a trail for the kids to follow.
Oh no! Long, wavy grass. 

We can't go over it, we can't go under it, we've got to go through it! And, swishy, swashy, we did.
(Kathleen made the grass by securing strips of construction paper to ribbon. 
In addition to this, she played story narrator so I could take photos and made the story that much better with her exciting dramatics.)
Oh no! A river! We can't go over it, we can't go under it, we've got to go through it!

Splash, splosh! Splash, splosh!
(We used a plastic bin, water and blue food coloring to create our river.)
Oh no! Mud! Thick oozy mud!

We can't go over it, we can't go under it, we've got to go through it! 

Squelch, squelch, squelch!
OK, to be honest, this one didn't go over so well at first. I was sure they would love it but, they spent a few minutes staring at it and saying, "no!"
(Plastic bin, sand, water and some sticks.)
Sissy finally braved touching her toes to it but then quickly decided she wanted no part of it. 
This is the part where, as the Mommy, sometimes you just have to get dirty. Once I got in, they knew they could do it too.
After defeating the yucky mud we took on the deep, dark, spider-filled forest head first.
(Hunter carried a stick for protection.)
Next came the swirling, whirling snowstorm. Fortunately, we had hats and scarves to protect ourselves. 
And our big stick.
Then, we spotted it.

The very reason we went on this great, big Bear Hunt. 

Yes, there it was in the distance. A cave. A deep, dark, narrow, gloomy cave. 
We knew we couldn't go over it. We knew we couldn't go under it. We had to go through it! 
(Well, some of us still chose to go over it.)
Tiptoe! Tiptoe! Shhhhh! What's that?

Hunter confirmed what he we knew was lurking in the distance. 

One shiny wet nose, two big furry ears, two big goggly eyes......
It's a BEAR!!!! 
Quick! Back through the cave, back through the snowstorm,
back through the forest!
(Giggle! Giggle!)
Back through the mud! Back through the river and grass!
(We didn't even need Mommy this time!)
Giggle, that's silly!
Get to our front door! Open the door! Up the stairs! 
Back down the stairs! Into our chairs to fuel up on our bear snacks! Phew!
(Graham crackers with honey and chocolate teddy bear grahams.)
(Hunter also came up with the clever idea of writing letters
on the table with his leftover honey.)
Although at the end of the story it's decided that they family will never go on a bear hunt again, we decided to change our story. 

We were going to be going on a bear hunt again because bear hunts are a part of life. 

We will be faced with many situations that we won't be able to go over or under. Problems and challenges will never be resolved by tiptoeing around them or trying to avoid them by taking the easy route. 

No matter how dark, no matter how gloomy and scary, we just have to go through them. And this is what I ultimately want to instill in my children. The confidence and power to know that they can make it through anything.  
So remember. When you encounter trials along your path, take your shoes off, roll your pant legs up and walk right through it. Or, just change your story. 
"Little minds are tamed and subdued by misfortune, 
but great minds rise above them."
Washington Irving


  1. What a wonderful adventure your gorgeous kids had! LOVE all the sensory exploration, & the honey treats at the end - just perfect!:) Thanks so much for linking back to our post. Sharing this on fb now :)

  2. So cute! This book is a favorite in our house as well and while we've acted out going on a bear hunt we never went to the lengths of sensory pieces! Will have to give it a try soon. xo

  3. Now this is just beyond awesome! Thanks for the great idea!

  4. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.
    The children will remember this experience for a long time.
    Way to bring the story to life for them.
    Maybe we'll try this at our annual Teddy Bears Picnic.

  5. This is brilliant! The Bear Hunt is one of our favourites. This WILL definitely be introduced at our centre. Thanks for sharing your lovely pictures.

  6. This looks like so much fun! Thank you for linking it up to the Kids Co-op! I liked it so much that I'm featuring it as one of my favorite posts for this week!

  7. This is great! Thasnks for sharing!

  8. Brooke. You are so creative. But then you always were. The kiddies are beautiful

  9. Thank you for sharing this wonderful play idea with the Kids Co-op. It looks so much fun!

  10. I love all of the sensory experiences you created. This is great! I'll be featuring it in my Kids Co-Op post tomorrow. Thanks for linking up with us last week. :)

  11. This was just so delightful! You are making the most wonderful memories for your kids. I loved this so much, I'm featuring it on my blog today as one of my favourites from The Weekly Kid's Co=Op. Thanks for linking up!

  12. I love that book ... and what a fun follow-up activity! Great sensory experiences, too! I featured your post at the Living Montessori Now Facebook page and pinned it to my Literature-Based Activities Pinterest board at

  13. I loved Catherine's original post and I love how you have extended it by turning it into outdoor play and sensory experiences! I am featuring this as a favourite on It's Playtime this week, thanks for linking up!

  14. Oh, I am just in love with this idea! We love setting up obstacle courses and sensory play, and this is such a great way to make a book come alive. Thank you so much for sharing this inspiring idea at The Outdoor Play Party. I hope you come back again on Friday to share another idea at the blog hop.

  15. I LOVE this!!! I can't wait to try this!! :) Thanks!

  16. You're so creative! My son loves listening and singing/saying the Going on a Bear Hunt song (is it a song? It's kind of talky) at school. We'll have to try this.

  17. Love this! I have linked to you from my post today as we did an activity bringing a book to life too! :) Thanks so much for sharing! Can't wait to get my little miss outside!!

  18. Hi Brooke,
    I just loved this activity and post.
    I'd love to link to it on my next Little Book Adventure project as an example to my readers. Can;t find an email address for you. Let me know if you're okay with this:

  19. What a cute activity. I love the book, I like the stuff animal bear too. Just following from a blog hop and would love if you followed back at

  20. How cute! I love all the pictures. You should print them in a little book for your kids!

  21. Wow - this is awesome! The activity itself is genius, but I particularly love your insight at the end. Thank you!

  22. Oh my goodness what a fun activity for the kiddos. Loved all the smiles in your photos too.

  23. Gio Marie ( 12, 2013 at 1:43 PM

    OMG this is AMAZING!!!! My son just had his end of the year performance for pre-k and they acted this song out! I thought it was so cute and he talks about it the all the time. I am sooo going to surprise him with a bear hunt! Thanks for the great idea :)

  24. I was looking for an extension activity for my K-2nd graders for Going On a Bear Hunt. I came upon your story. You are the best mom ever!! You did this before work one day!! Wow, you are my hero. thanks for the wonderful inspiration. You have very lucky children.
    Jessica NYC

  25. This is stunning. What a mind you have. Thanks for sharing

  26. Wow this is so amazing never thought about this that way.....Doing this on Tuesday with my Bilingual Group cant wait to try it out....will let you know how it goes.....better get all the props ready.....

  27. What a wonderful exciting bear hunt! I found your page when searching for teddy picnic ideas and had to read the whole post! I just enjoyed the pictures and the bear hunt story so much! Thank you for sharing ♥!

  28. M'encanta la idea! emocionant i divertida, enhorabona .)


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