Bears are fascinating! Preschoolers will enjoy learning about different types of bears… and how they’re different from the cute and cuddly teddy bears they have at home! In this post, we’ll explore a variety of bear-themed activities that are perfect for preschoolers. These activities are designed to be both educational and fun, providing a comprehensive bear unit for your class. Scroll down to the end for facts about bears!
Bears Unit | @im_the_simon
We love these gorgeous materials featured by @im_the_simon! These resources are ideal for teaching about different types of bears, their habitats, and characteristics. They include visual aids and interactive elements that can help in creating an engaging bear unit for preschoolers. Click through to the post on Instagram to find the source for each of these materials.
Bear Activities | Living Montessori Now
Deb has a great collection of bear themed activities for you to try out, including some free printables! These activities focus on developing skills in counting, letter recognition, and basic language development. The free printables provided are excellent for hands-on learning and can be easily integrated into your daily curriculum. Learn more.
Bear Theme | Mrs. Plemons’ Kindergarten
Explore a variety of bear-themed activities from Mrs. Plemons’ Kindergarten. These include easy-to-set-up activities like bear track stamping, bear graphing, and bear-themed snacks. These activities are designed to be both educational and fun, helping children learn about bears in an interactive way. Learn more. Learn more.
Feed the Bear | Fun Learning For Kids
We love this fun DIY “feed the bear” game to practice letter sounds. All you need is a paper bag and a few other simple supplies to put this together! You can even adapt this idea to learn all kinds of things! Learn more.
Have a Bear Themed Snack!
Make learning about bears fun and tasty with a bear-themed snack. Using simple ingredients, children can create a bear face. This activity is not only enjoyable but also encourages healthy eating habits. All you need is a slice of bread, some spread (try some nut butters!), banana slices for the ears and muzzle, and blueberries for the eyes and nose! Adorable and delicious!
Counting Bears | What Can We Do With Paper and Glue
You must have a collection of attribute bear manipulatives in your cabinets somewhere! Check out this fantastic post for 10+ ways to use them! From sorting and counting, to measuring and more, these little counting bears can be used in so many ways! Learn more.
Types of Bears Graph | Grade Onederful
Introduce preschoolers to different types of bears and engage them in a graphing activity. This is a fun way to combine learning about nature with basic math skills like graphing and comparison. Learn more.
Bear Cutting Strips | Living Montessori Now
Add these free bear cutting strips to your art area to practice some fine motor skills. We love using the cut up pictures for sorting and gluing and graphing too! Get the cutting strips here.
Cardboard Tube Bears | Creative Family Fun
This is a fun painting and gluing craft that your young students will enjoy! Use the tube bears you create for story telling and movement games when you’re done! Learn more.
Winter Bear’s Den | Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds
You absolutely have to add a bear’s den to your dramatic play area when you’re learning about bears! This post will show you how.
Goldilocks and the Three Bears Story Telling | Childhood 101
If you decide to read Goldilocks and the Three Bears during your bears unit, adding some of these props to your dramatic play area will help your little ones practice sequencing and story telling skills. Learn more.
Goldilocks and the Three Bears | Preschool Teacher 101 (affiliate link)
This lesson plan isn’t about bears per se, but it’s a perfect addition to your Bears unit! It includes:
- Recommended Book List
- 1-Page Weekly Lesson Plan Grid with Activity Ideas for Whole Group, Literacy, Math, and Science each day
- Alternate Weekly Grids for 4-day, 3-day, and 2-day programs
- 5 Daily Lesson Plan Sheets with Activity Directions and Materials List
- 2-Page Center Descriptions
- All the Related Printables!
1) Uppercase and Lowercase Goldilocks Characters Alphabet Cards
2) 0-35 Goldilocks Number Cards
3) Goldilocks and the Three Bears Letter Matching Puzzles
4) Teddy Bear Patterning Cards
5) Goldilocks Beginning Sound Matching Activity
6) Goldilocks Theme Build the Word Cards
7) This is Big. This is Small. Opposites Emergent Reader (Two Versions)
Movement and Music
Fun Bear Facts for Preschoolers
- Different Types of Bears: There are eight different species of bears in the world, including the brown bear, black bear, polar bear, and giant panda. Each type of bear looks different and lives in different parts of the world.
- Bear Habitats: Bears live in various habitats, from the icy Arctic where polar bears roam to the dense forests where black bears are found. Some bears, like the panda, even live in bamboo forests!
- What Bears Eat: Bears have different diets. For example, polar bears mostly eat seals, while giant pandas eat almost exclusively bamboo. Black and brown bears have a varied diet that includes fruit, nuts, and small animals.
- Bear Hibernation: Many bears, like the brown and black bears, hibernate during the winter. This means they sleep through the cold months and wake up in the spring. During hibernation, a bear’s heart rate slows down, and it does not eat or drink.
- Bear Cubs: Baby bears are called cubs. Cubs are born very small and blind. They stay with their mother for about two years, during which she teaches them how to survive in the wild.
- Bear Senses: Bears have excellent senses of smell and hearing, which they use to find food and sense danger. Their sense of smell is so good that they can detect food from miles away!
- Bear Paws: Bears have large paws with sharp claws. These paws are useful for digging, climbing trees, and catching fish.
- Swimming Skills: Many bears are good swimmers. Polar bears are especially skilled in the water and can swim long distances.
- Bear Communication: Bears communicate in various ways, such as through vocalizations like growling or roaring, body language, and marking trees with their claws.
- Lifespan: Bears can live for a long time in the wild. Depending on the species, they can live anywhere from 20 to 30 years.
The Eight Types of Bears
1. North American Black Bear (Ursus Americanus):
- Colors: They can be black, bluish-black, brown, or even white (like the Kermode or Spirit bear).
- Where They Live: From Florida to Canada and Alaska.
- Fun Fact: They mostly eat plants and can live up to 25 years in the wild!
2. Brown Bear (Ursus Arctos):
- Variety: Includes several subspecies, like the Grizzly Bear.
- Colors and Size: Range from almost black to light brown or blonde. Coastal bears are bigger than those in the mountains.
- Where They Live: Found in Alaska, western Canada, parts of the U.S., Europe, and Asia.
3. Polar Bear (Ursus Maritimus):
- Size: Among the largest bears, adult males can weigh up to 1760 pounds.
- Where They Live: Arctic regions, on ice floes and coastal waters.
- Diet: Mainly seals.
4. Asiatic Black Bear (Ursus thibetanus):
- Appearance: Long black fur with a distinct white chest patch, often crescent-shaped.
- Where They Live: Eastern Asia, including countries like China, India, and Japan.
- Diet: More carnivorous than American black bears, eating small animals, fruits, and nuts.
5. Andean Bear (Tremarctos ornatus):
- Also Known As: Spectacled Bear.
- Appearance: Black fur with beige markings on the face and chest.
- Where They Live: Only in the Andes mountains in South America.
- Special Note: They are the only bear species native to South America.
6. Giant Panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca):
- Appearance: Famous for their black and white fur.
- Size: Males weigh around 250 lbs, and females around 220 lbs.
- Diet: Almost exclusively bamboo.
- Where They Live: Mountain ranges in western China.
7. Sloth Bear (Melursus ursinus):
- Appearance: Shaggy black hair with a white chest marking, and a long tongue.
- Where They Live: Sri Lanka, India, and other parts of South Asia.
- Diet: Mainly termites and ants.
- Fun Fact: They don’t hibernate because their food is available year-round.
8. Sun Bear (Ursus malayanus):
- Size: The smallest species of bear.
- Appearance: Short black fur with a yellow crescent on their chest.
- Where They Live: Southeast Asia, including countries like Indonesia and Malaysia.
- Diet: Primarily insects and honey.
- Bear Matching Game: Create a game where kids match bear pictures with their names and a fun fact.
- Bear World Map: Show a world map and place pictures of each bear type in their native regions.
- Try this resource from TpT: Parts of a Bear Life Cycle Types of Bears Characteristics Montessori