Monday, May 14, 2012

We're Going on a Bear Hunt - Activities for Kids

A good book should leave you... slightly exhausted at the end  ~ William Styron, interview, Writers at Work, 1958

Well I'm not sure if this is meant to be true after reading a small children's picture book, but sometimes my kids are exhausted after reading We're Going on a Bear Hunt. My kids love it so much that they don't just read it but they act it out with big exaggerated movements. And the only thing I'm required to do is applaud. And applaud the author, I do! It makes a very good bedtime story. My kids are not big on sleep, so the more exhausted they are, the better

We're Going on a Bear Hunt was originally written in 1989 and is retold by Michael Rosen and illustrated by Helen Oxenbury. It is a beautifully written story with repetition and descriptive language that will delight your child's imagination. The illustrations are equally good with a combination of black and white and coloured drawings. The black and white are used for refrain, the parts of the story in which the characters have yet to discover what is next on their hunt. The coloured pictures are used to illustrate the actions where the characters are trying to get past obstacles.

The Bear Hunt story moved to top position as my children's favourite story last month after we were lucky enough to go and take them to see the play adaption at the Ensemble Theatre in Sydney. When we sat down in our seats, I must admit that I was a little surprised at the lack of set and props. I (cynical adult) thought that they (the actors) we're going to have to work really hard to make this a worthwhile excursion. Well, I was blown away. The three actors were amazing, as were the on-stage sound effects done by another person. It was simple, but very engaging and funny. 

I wonder why after watching this play I was more impressed than I have been after watching some big stage musicals? Maybe when I expect a lot and expect a big show it is easy to find things to be disappointed by. Because every element of the performance was in it's very simplest form, it allowed me to appreciate how clever each part of the production was. I was able to use my imagination to fill in parts of the play as I wished, as I wasn't being overly visually stimulated at a rate faster than my brain could keep up with. 

I didn't think that my kids would be able to take it all in, remember it and act it out later on. How would this small dark theatre with a single box as a prop compete with the tv shows that they were used to seeing every day? Well, they did notice it, and they loved it! You can see some photos from the show here.

It's amazing how the language from a book can become part of your everyday language and kids are the best at using it! Their imaginations are fantastic, not yet moulded by the fear of sounding silly. Above is a word collage from the book that I did using Tagxedo . Below is a chant from the story that we changed for one of our visits to the library.

We're Going on a book hunt,
We're gonna borrow a good one,
We're not scared,
What a beautiful day!

Ohhh, a shiny still book!
We can't read over it,
We can't read under it,
We're going to have to read through it!

What ever it is in life you are hunting for ...... HAPPY HUNTING!

Little Ladybird


  1. I love everything about this post.
    Firstly, that your kids get so much joy out of the book.
    ....that you extended the experience of the book by taking the kids to the performance- I'd love to see it myself.
    ...Your word collage really makes the chosen text of the story even more exciting.
    ....your own version of the words (book hunt) is very clever.
    Thank you

  2. One of my favourite kids' books!!! Love your word collage!!!

  3. I discovered this book with our kids and they loved it! They're older now but have a deep love for books of all shapes and sizes. They're perfectly capable of reading for themselves now, but are still happy for us to read to them, and even read some chapters to us sometimes too! We're reading "The Hobbit" together as a family just now!
    Books are such special things and the good ones always get drawn into everyday life too - the language, actions and characters!

    Great post!

    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Hope you have a fabulous week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success

  4. OOO... how could I not comment!!! This is one of our most favorite books!! I did a post on reading not too long ago...

    Sounds like to play was exciting! I've never heard of anything like that around here...BUMMER!

  5. I don't think I've ever read this book (and certainly never seen an entire production), but I loved this rhyme when my kids were little.

  6. I never knew this was a book! I love the rhyme, and I'm trying to teach my daughter. I think she needs that book.:)

  7. I am always looking for a good book for my boys! This one is going right to the top of the list. Thank you for your post. It made me smile.
    - Hope : )

  8. How fun! My kids love books. I love your collage!

  9. The collage is great, and I love how well you are promoting getting kids really involved in reading. Great post. Jodi @

  10. FABULOUS! :) How exciting to see a book brought to life in such a way. I just bought my 22 month old this book after she fell in love with the song on her Play School CD. And now I've also blogged about making her a felt book based around the story too!

  11. I love the We're going on a bear hunt book , what a great experience too to see the show.
    That chant is GOLD.

  12. Yes, we have the book. The kids loved this book a few years ago. These types of books are keepers.


  13. We LOVE this book too!! One of my all time favorites! Thanks for sharing with us at Link It Up Thursday.

  14. Thanks for linking it up at : . A new party opens today, Wednesday.

  15. I've been teaching my year eight class all about picture books and this was one that many of them spoke about. It really is such a fabulously interactive book. You are lucky to have seen a production of it!

    Thanks so much for linking up to my weekly Say G'Day Party. I truly appreciate your support. I'm going to Google Plus this post right now!

    Best wishes for a wonderful weekend,
    Natasha in Oz

  16. That was a fabulous post!!! I love that story too. I am a teacher and I use it in my classroom all the time. Alissa@look.find.inspire


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