Bear Storytime Ideas
Who Doesn't Like Bears?
If your storytime's anything like mine, children love bringing their teddy bears and other stuffed animals to share in the library fun. Capitalize on this by devoting a storytime to their teddy bears with some of these old and new favorites. If you're planning a nighttime storytime and know your theme in advance, you can even invite children to bring their favorite teddy bear with them.
Bear and Crow
by Arnold Lobel
Found in the short story collection , Bear sets off down the road in a stylish clothes, but soon meets Crow who convinces him his outfit is all wrong. On Crow's advice, Bear hurries home and dons a frying pan hat, bed sheet toga and paper bag for shoes. Fables
While having used puppets for this story before, it works better donning the items myself. Children are better able to grasp the humor of someone trying to walk around balancing a pan on their head while trying to walk in grocery sacks.
Bear Snores On - By Karma Wilson
As a winter storm rages, Mouse and friends invade Bear's cave to keep warm and dry. But when a stray pepper flake causes Bear to sneeze, the animals freeze as he begins to wake up.
Encourage storytime children to participate in the story by repeating the refrain, "... and the bear snores on."
For more adventures of Bear, Mouse, and friends, Bear Wants More works well in springtime storytime.Visit Karma Wilson's Official Website
Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear.
Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair.
Fuzzy Wuzzy wasn't fuzzy, was he?
Was he bare?
Going on a Bear Hunt - Adapted by Michael Rosen
Based on a traditional echo rhyme, an excited family goes on a hike in the wood to try and find a bear.
I've also used the basis of this story to go on shark, dragon and treasure (pirate) hunts in storytime. You only need to change the animal and the items you go through, around, under and in.Visit Michael Rosen's Official Website
Goldilocks and the Three Bears (With a Twist)
Though most children will know this fairytale, it's always good to throw in a familiar story. The Goldilocks story is also an easy story to fracture and encourage audience participation. For example, I recently asked children to help me "train" a new storytime lady. I told the story only kept getting the details "wrong." Goldilocks turned into Brownielocks. Bears turned into puppies. Porridge turned into chili. The "storytime trainee" would interrupt trying to correct the story and gently encouraged the children to tell me the correct words. This allowed us to practice narrative skills in a fun group setting, and children mentioned the story for weeks afterward.
Folkmanis Bear Puppets
I Met a Bear
The other day, (echo)
I met a bear, (echo)
Up in the woods, (echo)
A way up there! (echo)
The other day I met a bear,
Up in the woods a way up there!
He looked at me. (echo)
I looked at him. (echo)
He sized up me. (echo)
I sized up him. (echo)
He looked at me, I looked at him,
He sized up me, I sized up him.
He said to me, (echo)
"Why don't you run? (echo)
I see you don't (echo)
Have any gun." (echo)*
*I don't like to mention guns in storytime so instead sing, "He said to me, "Why don't you run? It could be a lot of fun."
He said to me, "Why don't you run?
I see you don't have any gun."
And so I ran (echo)
Away from there (echo)
And right behind (echo)
Me was that bear (echo)
And so I ran away from there,
And right behind me was a that bear.
Ahead of me (echo)
I saw a tree (echo)
A great big tree (echo)
Oh, golly gee! (echo)
Ahead of me there was a tree,
A great big tree, oh, golly gee!
The lowest branch (echo)
Was ten feet up. (echo)
I had to jump (echo)
And trust my luck. (echo)
The lowest branch was ten feet up,
I had to jump and trust my luck.
And so I jumped (echo)
Into the air (echo)
But I missed that branch (echo)
On the way up there. (echo)
And so I jumped into the air,
But I missed that branch on the way up there.
Now don't you fret (echo)
And don't you frown. (echo)
I caught that branch (echo)
On the way back down. (echo)
Now don't you fret and don't you frown,
I caught that branch on the way back down.
That's all there is. (echo)
There ain't no more (echo)
Until I meet (echo)
That bear once more. (echo)
That's all there is, there ain't no more,
Until I meet that bear once more.
The end, the end (echo)
The end, the end (echo)
The end, the end (echo)
The end, the end! (echo)
The end, the end, the end, the end,
This time it really is the end!
The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry and The Big Hungry Bear - by Audrey Wood
Knowing Bear can smell ripe strawberries from a mile away, Mouse will do anything to save his prized fruit from Bear's hungry tummy.Visit Audrey Wood's Official Website
One Fine Day
A Splendid Friend Indeed - By Suzanne Bloom
Talkative and outgoing Goose tries his hardest to get Bear to interact and play, but Bear only wants to be left alone to his quieter pursuits It's not until Goose writes Bear a letter calling him a "splendid friend indeed" that Bear gives Goose the attention he desires..
For a more pirate or treasure themed story, see Bear and Goose's "Treasure."Visit Suzanne Bloom's Official Website
A Visitor For Bear - By Bonny Becker
Bear does NOT like visitors. So when an uninvited mouse invades his home, he's less than pleased and tries everything imaginable to get rid of the intruder. However when Mouse gets ready to leave on his own, Bear's not quite so sure he wants Mouse to leave anymore.
Though the first story in the series is my favorite to act out with puppets, Bear and Mouse also have other fun stories to read aloud.
Visit Bonny Becker's Official Website
Favorite Bear Songs on CD
Not all children's CDs are created equal, and sometimes we get stuck in a rut using the same CDs each week. If you're feeling a little adventurous, try these versions of traditional favorites in your next bear storytime.
More Bear Storytime and Read Aloud Favorites
Did I miss your favorite bear books, rhymes, songs or chants to share in storytime? Please share below.