Friday, January 15, 2016


The holidays were a busy time, as always, but we're back for the new year and excited to continue our themes! First up, to celebrate the winter, we learned about hibernation through a variety of fun activities!


Many of the books about hibernation are pretty advanced for kids or sound like a textbook, but we did find a few fun stories that suited them. Over and Under the Snow was one of our favorites, as well as the adorable Time to Sleep, in which we cross the path of not only a bear, but a handful of other animals who sleep through some or most of the winter as well. Bear Snores On is from our own collection, and has been a favorite for many years.

Roll and Cover - Math Game

I created this roll and cover game in Photoshop Elements for the kids to practice their counting and number recognition. I had intended for the kids to use our snowflake confetti, but somehow it was put away with the Christmas decorations and I can't find it. Cotton-balls work nicely though!

And here's one for you:

Playdoh - Fine Motor and Pretend Play

We whipped up a new batch of homemade playdoh this week. We chose brown to use primarily for building caves and other dwellings, as well as making bear cutouts. I have no process pictures, but the kids enjoyed a good deal of imaginative play with their creations!

Line Tracing

I created this worksheet in Photoshop Elements as well, and slipped it into a plastic sheet so the kids could use dry erase markers to trace them. We talked about some of the different kinds of homes where animals sleep during the winter, as they lead each creature to it.

Want one of these too? Here it is with no lines, so you can customize it to your child's abilities:

Feed the Bear - Literacy Game

I found this fun idea from Mom Inspired Life. We adapted it to our hibernation theme by talking about how animals must eat a lot in preparation for the winter. For Honey Pot, I wrote the sight words she has learned so far in Kindergarten onto her fish.

And for Little M&M's fish, I wrote down the letters of the alphabet that he has learned so far in preschool. The idea was to search the "pond" of gems for fish to feed to the bear.

And the bear likes to know what he's eating, so they had to say which word or letter fish he was about to eat. They both really enjoyed this game, but were in agreement that my bear looked more like a rabbit. Lol. Ah well.

Little M&M returned to this activity a few times throughout the week. And for any letter that he had trouble recognizing, he'd use his alphabet puzzle and sing the alphabet to figure it out! Love his problem-solving skills!

Light Box - Tracing Activity

I wanted to include a light box activity this week, and decided to let the kids try their hands at tracing animal shapes. I created this collage of animals who hibernate using coloring pages from the Internet, and printed it onto vellum paper so that the light could shine through completely. Then I provided the kids with blank paper and assorted markers.

Here is Little M&M tracing a ladybug:

Honey Pot decided to trace the bat. Notice she created a winter scene with falling snow, and even a dying flower! I was really surprised at that detail!

Choose an Animal - Little M&M's Craft

This week I let each child choose which hibernating animal they wanted to do for a final craft or activity. Little M&M picked a brown bear, so I found this printable grizzly bear from Learn Create Love. I provided him with brown and white paint and two different kinds of brushes from which to choose.

And of course for his background paper he picked his favorite color, red. Super cute!

Choose an Animal - Honey Pot's Activity

Honey Pot picked a bat for her final activity. Recently I stumbled across the Art for Kids Hub, where there are several drawing tutorials and videos for kids. Honey Pot loves to draw, so I proposed the idea to her, and she loved it. We found two different versions of a bat on the website, sat side-by-side and followed the instructions together. They were so simple to follow, and we were able to pause if we needed more time. We enjoyed doing this and can't wait to try more. Honey Pot's are the two on the right. I think she did a fantastic job!

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