Who doesn't love a sweet little teddy bear? My closet was full all them as a child! My littles are constantly begging me to let their favorite furry friends be the "audience for the day". So I say if you can't beat them, join them!
I use teddy bears in class all. the. time. The littles giggle and squeal when I bring out the "baby bin". And there are so many creative ways to incorporate them from skill building to games!
So today I am sharing five of my favorite teddy bear activities! These are perfect to mix it up or to create an entire class themed around the teddy bear. The possibilities are endless!
1. Teddy Bear Parade
This activity is a fabulous activity to prep your young children for skipping. Put on some parade music that has a strong beat and ask the students to line up behind you. Direct them to hold their bears with their arms outstretched in front of their belly buttons. Begin the parade with “knee touches”. I consider a “knee touch” to be when a dancer lifts their knee high enough to touch the bottom of the teddy bear. As the parade continues, have the dancers alternate between jumping, hopping on one foot, knee touches, marching, and skipping (for the older dancers). I also like to add variety to the parade by changing the location of the teddy bear (overhead, behind you) and/or to have the parade reverse and change directions.
2. Pass the Bear
This activity is similar to “hot potato” with a twist. Have the dancers sit in a circle. Play music of your choice and pass the teddy bear around the circle. Randomly stop the music. Direct the dancer that is holding the teddy bear when the music stops to stand up and side gallop around the circle. Have the remaining dancers clap to keep the beat. When the dancer returns to their original spot, begin the activity again.
3. The Honey Pot
This is an adorable activity that focuses on sharing and taking turns, along with their dance skills! Grab one teddy bear and large flower pot or basket of sorts. The pot/basket will represent a honey pot. Place the teddy bear on one side of the room and the honey pot on the other side directly across from the bear.
Have the dancers line up to take turns. Explain to your dancers that the teddy bear is hungry and we must work together to make sure he gets enough honey to eat. One at a time, the dancers should pick up the teddy bear and skip or march to the honey pot. Place the bear in the honey pot and tip toe run around the honey pot while the bear is “drinking the honey”. Pick up the bear and scurry backwards to the starting spot. Give the bear to the next dancer for them to take their turn. Repeat until every dancer has a chance to go.
4. Walk Like A Bear
This is a great listening activity. Ask the dancers to spread out. Explain to the dancers that when the music begins you will be calling out various types of bears and when you do so the dancers should perform the correlating activity. Teach the dancers which activity goes with each bear. When the students understand and are ready put on some music and begin the activity.
The following is a list of bears and correlating activities:
Papa Bear Marches
Mama Bear Parallel Ballet Walks
Baby Bear Tippy Toe Runs
Brother Bear Gallops
Sister Bear Hops On Both Feet
Polar Bear Walks On All Fours
5. Musical (Theater) Bears
This is a fun activity that helps your little dancers discover acting! Begin by placing the bears in a circle on the floor. There should be one bear per child. The dancers should also make a circle on the outside of the bears.
Explain to the dancers that when the music plays they will dance like bears traveling around circle. However, you will call out what type of bears the dancers need to be! For example, the you might call out big bears, little bears, tired bears, happy bears, or scared bears. It is up to the dancers to act and determine how that type of bear would dance. When the music stops, every dancer must grab a bear.
To add variety, once the dancers understand how to play take away one bear, similarly to musical chairs, and whoever doesn’t have a bear will be out. Another variation, is to also take away one bear, however this time the first dancer to get a bear should decide what type of bear the group should be next.