Celebrate National Teddy Bear Picnic Day with a Bang!
What is a Teddy Bear Picnic?
There is a lot of room to play around and make your very own version of a Teddy Bear Picnic. You can host one as a parent with little kids or as a teacher with a whole class of littles! And you can make it into whatever you want. Here are some of my ideas if you want to throw a little celebration of your own.
Why I'm Doing a Teddy Bear Picnic with My Kids
I have an elementary education degree and several years experience teaching Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten. Now I'm a Stay At Home Mom to my precious 4-year-old daughter and smiley 1-year-old son. My dad texted me a few days ago to let me know about this awesome little holiday. He found out about it from his office calendar! Ha! I love holidays and I love fun events! Any reason is good enough to celebrate, right?? Especially when you have little kids!
So here we are on July 10th (also my wedding anniversary) about to have our very own Teddy Bear Picnic!
Not only was this picnic a lot of fun for my kids and myself, but there were a lot of teachable moments (and possible teachable moments) available such as: social cues, manners, math concepts, literacy, and more. Keep reading to see how you can incorporate these mini-lessons!
Bring All Your Teddy Bears!
Fisher Price Tea Set
Supplies for Your Picnic
- A Toy Picnic Basket
- A Big Blanket
- Teddy Bears
How to Set Up Your Picnic
Have your child bring all his or her teddy bears to the picnic. (If you're a teacher, send a note home a few days - a week before the picnic so everyone brings a bear. Bring a few extra yourself just in case some children forgot to bring a bear friend.)
Decide which treats you're going to provide. I wanted it to be on theme, but light because our picnic was before dinner. So we just had some Teddy Grahams. Other options include: easy to eat fruit like bananas and apples, vegetables like carrots or green peppers with some ranch, cheese and crackers. These aren't as on theme as the Teddy Grahams, but you can include both. You could also make some teddy bear head cookies in preparation and it could be a whole other aspect to your day.
If you want to go with one of the optional parts to make it a real party, set that up in advance as well or at least decide what you want to do.
Some movies that would be on theme include: Carebears (Carebears Movie II happens to be my favorite Carebear movie.), Disney Nature's Bears, Toy Story. Can you think of any other bear movies for kids?
Some music that would be on theme include: Super Simple Songs like Ten in the Bed (video below), or any other kind of kid-friendly music or dance music. I do *not* recommend KidsBop.
Some books that would be on theme include: Barenstein Bears series, Carebear books, One Bear Lost, Going on a Bear Hunt, Brown Bear Brown Bear, and countless others.
A Fun Count Backwards Bear Book
I'd Say Our Picnic was a Success!
Teddy Bears Having a Picnic!
Teddy Bear Picnic Coloring Sheet
Every great event in the life of a pre-k-er culminates with a coloring sheet to drive home the lesson or review what you've done. I found a spectacular Teddy Bear Picnic coloring sheet that you can print for free. All you need to do is Google 'Teddy Bear Picnic coloring page' and a number of options pop up.
Children learn a lot about social cues during meal times such as these. Take this opportunity to have a real conversation with your child(ren). Ask him/her about life, about likes and dislikes, about what happened during the day and what he or she would like to talk about. Then, really listen to what you hear and respond lovingly and whole-heartedly. It's so important, and bonding for you and your child.
Your child is also learning from you just by watching and eating with you. He or she is picking up on manners and they way you speak and behave. You can teach children to say please and thank you at a very young age. Even if your child is a baby, try baby signs and use please and thank you. My son just does any sign he can think of that will get him more food, but I didn't really teach please and thank you consistently at his age. If you were able to with your child, let me know in the comments! I am amazed by baby sign language.
Counting Bears Math Game
Adding an Educational Twist to Your Picnic
Try playing some Counting Bear games. Are you familiar with counting bears? They're just small plastic bears that vary in size and color. You can play sorting and counting games with them. You can look up some age-appropriate activities on Pinterest, but here are a few I know:
- For kids between the ages of 2-3, have them sort the bears into groups by size and then by color.
- For kids between the ages of 4-5, tell math stories. Have ten bears sit in a circle at a picnic. Three of the bears walk away to get waters. How many bears are left?
(Obviously, you can make up your own stories here.)
How Do You Celebrate?
How Do You Celebrate National Teddy Bear Day?
Ten In The Bed | Super Simple Songs
What Did You Do To Mark This Occasion?
I had so much fun with this and I think my kids really did too. I am so interested in learning what others' do on days like these. So if you have ever done a Teddy Bear Picnic with your kids or your class, please let me know the kinds of activities and teachable moments you were able to find! Our picnic was so very simple. We just spread out a blanket, munched on some Teddy Grahams with our Teddy Bear "friends", colored a printable coloring page I found online, and sang Teddy Bear Songs. We almost watched a movie, but ran out of time. My daughter said it was fun (although she got sad for a minute that her Grandma and Poppa didn't come, which was heartbreaking but also kind of cute).