Storytime at Home: Bears

Posted about 5 months ago by Sarah Fenninger
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Welcome to the Storytime at Home series! Each week, we share a list of book options tied to a kid-approved theme, a craft you can set up to go along with the theme, songs/rhymes you can do during storytime, and additional enrichment activities. All books are available at Richmond Public Library, and crafts will involve items you likely have at home already! Our hope is that we can make it easy for you to share stories with your little ones and create a little bit of library magic at home. 

P.S. Love library storytimes? Take a look at all in-library storytime options here. There is a storytime for your child every morning at our various branches!

Okay, now to the fun stuff…

This is such a fun topic to discuss with children. You can ROAR loudly and STOMP around like a big, scary bear. The library has many wonderful bear book options, and we’ve included some of our favorites below. When you visit, you can also search ‘bears’ in our catalog, or ask a librarian to help you find the bear-y perfect one for you and your child.

Reading to your kiddos turns them into confident thinkers. Making books a regular part of your daily routine is a great way to build children’s love of reading and learning. Storytimes also help build excitement around reading to support their literacy development. 

Here are a few book options you can choose from for your bear-themed storytime.

There are many ways to make reading fun and engaging for your little one! Click the arrow below to see some of our favorite tips for bringing stories to life at home.

Click here to see some of our favorite reading tips
  • Point at the pictures and ask your child what they see. Help build their vocabulary by pointing to pictures and saying the word aloud. 
  • Ask your child questions about the story: What do you think will happen next? How do you think this character is feeling? This character is going to the park; do you remember when we went to the park? 
  • Read with expression and enthusiasm, and use different voices for different characters. 
  • Act out what’s happening in the story. For example, if a bear is stomping, encourage your child to make big stomps as well. 
  • As your child gets older, count objects in a book, discuss the different colors they see, point out shapes in the story, etc. 
  • Snuggle up and be patient. Reading is great bonding time for you and your child. Take your time walking them through the story. If your child wants to turn the page or be finished with reading, that’s OK too. You don’t have to read every word or even every page for reading with your little one to be beneficial for their development. 

We love adding songs and rhymes to our storytimes. This is a great way to practice language with your child and support their physical (motor) development through movement. 

Here are two songs and rhymes you can use for this themed storytime.

Rhyme: Two Little Black Bears
Do the motions in italics as you are singing

Two little black bears sitting on a hill, (hold up index finger on each hand)
One named Jack and one named Phil, (bend a finger as you say each name) 
Run away Jack, run away Phil. (put hands behind back)
Come back jack, come back Phil. (bring hands back out)

Two little black bears digging in the snow (hold up index finger on each hand)
One named Fast and one named Slow (bend a finger as you say each name) 
Run away Fast, run away Slow (move one hand behind you quickly, the other slowly)
Come back Fast, come back Slow (bring one hand back in front of you quickly, the other slowly)

Two little black bears feeling very proud (hold up index finger on each hand)
One named Quiet and one named Loud (bend a finger as you say each name) 
Run Away Quiet, run away Loud (move one hand behind you while saying “Run away Quiet” quietly, then be loud when saying “run away Loud”)
Come back Quiet, come back Loud (bring one hand back in front of you, again using appropriate volume)

Sing: “I’m a Little Grizzly”
Sung to “I’m a Little Teapot”
I’m a little bear, fuzzy and brown. (rub arms)
Here are my feet as I stomp around. (point to feet then stomp around)
I’m a grizzly fellow, here’s my nose. (smile, then point to nose)
I’m all fur from my head to my toes. (point to head, then to toes)
I have sharp claws and sharp teeth too. (scrunch fingers, then point to teeth))
When you see me, you know what to do. (point to self with thumb)
Ahhh a bear… run!!!

Adding a craft along with a book is a great way to continue allowing your child to learn, explore, and grow. Crafts are a nice supplement as they encourage motor development, creativity, self-confidence, and more. 

In fact, art and craft activities:

  • Build fine motor skills. Actions such as painting, coloring, gluing, and cutting develop small muscles in small hands and improve coordination skills as children learn to use both hands at the same time. 
  • Support early literacy. When children make art, they learn vocabulary and how to follow directions when getting verbal instructions from parents and caregivers. They also boost their communication skills via talking about their work!
  • Teach early math concepts. Math skills are used frequently in arts and crafts. Kids learn about and recognize different shapes, count and sort art supplies, and even measure out materials. 
  • Encourage creativity. Art helps develop creativity, self-expression, problem-solving, and curiosity. 
  • Boost self-esteem. Doing arts and crafts can give children a sense of achievement and allow them to take pride in their work, which builds confidence. 
  • Offer bonding time. Kids love spending quality time with parents and caregivers, and arts and crafts are a great opportunity for this.

Here is a craft activity you can do along with the bear theme. 

Materials Needed

  • Paper plate
  • Brown crayons/markers, construction paper, and/or paint
  • Tan construction paper
  • Black crayons/makers
  • White construction paper OR Googly eyes

Directions

  • Instruct the child to color their paper plate brown. This could be done with crayons, markers, paint, or using ripped up bits of brown construction paper.
  • Help the child cut out two ears and glue them to the top of the bear
  • Help the child cut out one tan circle and draw a nose and mouth on it. Glue it to the bear.
  • Help the child add eyes to the bear.
  • If desired, glue the plate to a popsicle stick so it can be held up as a mask!

The fun doesn’t have to end at books, songs, and a craft. There are many ways to enrich a storytime with additional activities and lessons. Here are a few ideas for you and your child: 

  • Sing and Do “Going on a Bear Hunt” (we love this one and this one!)
  • Go visit the bears at Maymont
  • Pretend play with teddy bears
  • Make bear-shaped food like this, this, this, or this
  • Count and sort with counting bears (tip: you can print your own here)

We share these Storytime at Home posts twice a month, so be sure to check back soon for more. You can also search “#storytimeathome” to see all past posts.

Sarah Fenninger

Sarah Fenninger is a lifelong book worm and library lover, and an enthusiastic appreciator of puns, creative outlets, silliness, and FUN. She considers herself lucky to be able to combine all of these things into a role as a Library Associate in Youth Services and Outreach with Richmond Public Library. Sarah loves interactive children's books and singing songs that promote motor development and movement. When she's not at work preparing crafts or reading silly books about dinosaurs in underwear, Sarah can be found at one of Richmond's many local parks/trails and spending time with family, including her husband, daughter, cat, and two chickens.

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