Inside: Grab this free printable bear circle time prop to use with a variety of books, rhymes and songs!
Toddlers and preschoolers love learning about animals all year long.
However, we like to include bears in our winter animal theme.
While bears don’t actually hibernate (they go into what is called torpor), they do sleep very soundly.
This year I created a printable bear circle time prop to go with our winter bear unit.
Scroll down towards the end of this page to find the free download!
If you’ve been following Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds for awhile, you are familiar with my love for using props during our toddler and preschool circle times.
Young children love visuals, so having something to hold keeps them more engaged.
If you’ve been teaching this age group for any length of time, you know that can be a challenge!
You might have also seen my dinosaur sticks that work on counting skills.
There are so many fun ways to add visual props to your circle time!
Printable Bear Circle Time Prop
Now that it’s January, I will be putting together activities for our winter bears theme.
The children have even made their own little bears and beds for a long winter’s sleep.
This year I wanted to add something for our circle time, and that’s when I decided to create some simple bear props.
Assembling the Printable Bear Circle Time Props
What you will need:
- Popsicle sticks or Jumbo Craft Sticks
- Scotch tape
- Printable bear prop (scroll down to find the link)
I suggest either printing these on heavy paper or laminating them for extra durability.
Make enough copies so that you have one snowflakes for each student and yourself.
Cut out the desired amount of bears and gather your popsicle or jumbo craft sticks. After cutting them out, tape them to the top of a popsicle stick.
Using the Printable Bear Props During Circle Time
Make sure you have one bear prop for each child who will be participating, plus an extra one for yourself.
Talk about how bears often sleep a long time during the winter. They can wake up, but it might take awhile, and they might be a bit sleepy.
And because young children often relate well with baby animals, you can mention that most bear cubs are born in the winter months and their mothers must wake them so they can eat.
Invite your children to hide their bear props in the palms of their hands, pretending they are sleeping in their cave.
Then, tell them to gently wake their bears up, pulling the bears from the palms of their hands.
Find some bear books, rhymes, and songs that can be recited while the children hold their bears.
Here are two books that we will be reading:
We will be singing these songs:
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear (the children are invited to bring a favorite teddy bear to our circle time meeting)
Here are some rhymes:
Bears Are Sleeping (Preschool Education)
Big, Brown Bear (Perpetual Preschool)
Five Little Bears (Pre-K Fun)
Free Teddy Bear Songs and Rhymes (Living Montessori Now)
Bear Poems and Songs (DLTK-Kids)
The children can then move their bear props while you sing or read.
I’ve found that props are even more important when teaching through a screen.
You can see how I use them in my online video snippets which are on my virtual teaching resource page.
I send my props home in a take-home packet that each child gets every two weeks.
Looking for song ideas?
Check out my January playlist:
Winter Classroom Set Up
See how our toddler and preschool classroom has been set up for the winter theme in previous years:
More Circle Time Resources
Toddler Winter Circle Time Counting Props
Keep toddlers engaged while working on simple math skills with these winter counting props.
We love using these during our classroom circle times!
6 Prop Sets (19 Pages):
- How Many Buttons Are On the Mitten?
- Numbered Mittens
- Hot Cocoa Marshmallow Counting
- Numbered Penguins
- Numbered Snowflakes
- Numbered Snowmen