This week I am starting a new series for parents working with their preschoolers at home and for preschool teachers who are teaching remotely.Of course, I am starting with preschool activities for Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See? For my preschool class, I share a short video each week with a read-aloud and a simple little lesson. In an email to the parents, I share a bunch of optional activities to do that extend the learning using themes from the read-aloud book. I do not have any synchronous learning for my students; I want to add as little screen time to their day as possible. Instead, the optional activities I share are hands-on and screen-free but still linked to the book I’ve read. This series will use popular picture books that are on many family’s shelves already and easy to find online.
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Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr. is a book that can go with a baby from infancy through toddlerhood and into the preschool years. The bold colors of the illustrations by Eric Carle are perfect for catching and holding children’s attention. With the turn of each page, the reader is left wondering what’s next, and if the reader is anything like my own children and the students I teach, they will tell you what is coming next before you have a chance to turn the page. There are other titles in the series, including; Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?, Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See? , and Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See? But this one is my very favorite. It’s a great book to use for exploring colors, animals, and while talking about the sense of sight!
As I read this book, I often stop and ask my students what sounds the animals make, if they have ever seen a blue horse or purple cat, and if they have any pet fish. Finding the right balance of adding in questions and breaking up the flow of the book is tricky at first, but soon you’ll find the right rhythm.
Preschool Activities for Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You Hear?
Preschool Printable Activities
Click on the activities to download. The first four printable are all in the same pack.
Brown Bear, Brown Bear Inspired Counting Cards
These cards are simple and work on counting and number recognition from 1-5. Cut the printables out and use buttons or something else to mark which number corresponds to the number of animals shown on the card.
Move Like The Animals Gross Motor Game
Get moving and thinking about how and why animals move the way they do. Print out the sheet, cut into strips, and pop them in a bag or dish. Have your child pull one out and read it together. Move all around the room, just like that animal.
Brown Bear, Brown Bear Inspired Visual Discrimination Cards
These are simple, but the skill is essential. Can your children/students find which picture is different from the others? Print and cut out. Next, look carefully at each card to see which small detail is different. Use a button or pom-pom to indicate the different animals.
Brown Bear Inspired Simple Puzzles <– click to download
These three-piece puzzles can be cut into smaller strips for older or more adept kiddos.
Brown Bear, Brown Bear Inspired Color Matching with Offical Magnets
My students love this magnet matching activity. I’ve used it in my class for years, and it is terrific if you have or think your students’ families have the budget to buy these magnets. They aren’t cheap, but they are wonderful for storytelling and, of course, color matching. If you are a teacher, this is a wonderful little lesson to include in your read-aloud video. This color-matching activity ( with free printable) can be done without the more expensive magnets.
Preschool Activities without Printables
One of my favorite simple activities to use with Brown Bear, Brown Bear, what do you see? Is the game I spy. I like to look for letters, colors, and shapes in my environment and have children join in. You can also create an i-spy game in a bottle!
Mixing The Color Brown – explore what colors combine to make brown with a little trial and error. You can use muffin tins and pipettes or pour the water into jars. For coloring, you can use food color, watercolors, or my favorite Do-A-Dot markers! For a step by step, click here.
Rainbow Playdough Match – this book is all about seeing colors. This activity uses playdough and small little items, whatever you have, to match up colors while working on fine motor skills too!
Outdoor Color Hunt – Getting outside is a must ( as long as your area permits it), and discovering colors in nature is a fun way to do that.
Indoor Color Hunt – for this post, I used plastic bugs, but you can use anything. Using your child’s favorite items ( cars, dinosaurs, princesses, lego) helps get them engaged.
Make Your Own Finger Paint – could you get any more hands-on? One of the things I am trying my best to do is encourage my families to play together. That connection is far more critical than letter recognition or knowing the difference between a triangle and a square. So offering activities where they work together and then can play is always on my radar. This fits the bill!
Help, I need something simpler!
Need something more simple for your preschooler during the Coronavirus school closures? Try our one activity a day Lunch Break Learning preschool plan for busy families.