Inspired by the classic 1989 children's picture book We're going on a bear hunt, written by Michael Rosen and illustrated by Helen Oxenbury, this worldwide phenomenon has caught on in Canberra and other parts of Australia. People are putting teddy bears and other soft toys in their windows and balconies and hanging them from trees and mailboxes. Why? So that children stuck at home during this lockdown period can 'hunt' for them during their walks with their parents and carers around the neighbourhood.
If you're a parent/carer looking after children during this lockdown period, why not go bear hunting in your neighbourhood this week? And here are some more ideas on how you can have a 'bear-y' good week!
1. Read or watch the book We're going on a bear hunt. If you don't have the book at home, you can watch an animated version here, or watch the author himself, Michael Rosen, read aloud and perform his story here.
2. Go on a bear hunt in your neighbourhood. If you live in the Gungahlin region, go here to find out where you can find teddy bears in your area, or join the Gungahlin Region Teddy Bear Hunt Group on Facebook. If you live in Weston Creek/Molonglo, check out this map here.
For something different, why not take a sketchbook/notepad/drawing book with you and some pencils or crayons on your walk, and get the kids to draw pictures of their favourite bears?
4. Read other 'bear' stories. Such as the classic fairytale Goldilocks and the Three Bears, and Aussie author Nick Bland's excellent Bear series (for example, The Very Cranky Bear, and The Very Noisy Bear). If you don't have copies of these books, then you can find them on Youtube. You are sure to find a storybook or picture book about bears or featuring bear characters. Children just seem to love bears!
5. Make some bear crafts.
Get the kids crafting all things bears! Check out the DLTK website for fantastic teddy bear craft ideas, as well as free printables and worksheets. With all that toilet paper in your house, you may as well put the toilet paper cardboard tubes to good use!
6. Make bear cupcakes. Perfect for a teddy bears picnic. Or just because you love cupcakes!
7. Build a home for the Three Bears or a brand new chair for Baby Bear. Get the kids to build a new home for the Three Bears, or a brand new chair for Baby Bear in the Goldilocks story using their Lego or Duplo blocks, wooden blocks, and any other blocks or construction materials they have.
8. Place teddy bears in your windows or balconies for other neighbourhood kids to spot.
Don't forget to put out those teddies for other neighbourhood kids to enjoy!
9. Learn about bears.
The Scholastic free remote learning program has an excellent lesson on bears for younger children. You can find it here. And go here to find out about the Adelaide Zoo's panda bears.
10. Learn with Big Ted from Play School.
Before there was a dog called Bluey, there was Play School's Big Ted (and Little Ted)! And he has some very exciting adventures in the Animal Kingdom. Big Ted's Big Adventure is perfect for your little ones. You'll also love Little Ted's Big Adventure.