My girls and the family day care children are absolutely obsessed with the story and song “We're going on a bear hunt” lately.
They are also showing a lot of interest in the concepts of big and small, counting to 10 and grouping colours.
So when my new barrel of coloured teddy bear counters arrived in the mail I knew they would be the perfect resource to practise all of the above!
I wanted to see where the children's interests led them without too much provocation so all I got out was some teddies (making sure to include numerous sizes and all 4 primary colours), added some plastic containers and tools such as big and small spoons and a few small tongs and of course some goop.
They all played with the bears in different ways at different stages. Ruby preferred to stick with her chosen colour of red while Tara enjoyed mixing them up to create more of a challenge.
I'm still working on Ruby's grip. This is how she is still holding a spoon (photo below) until prompted to turn her hand over. By gripping this way she doesn't have as much control over the spoon, the things she needs to pick up and her coordination. We are slowly getting there with the use of lots of fine motor activities such as this one!
Some of the ways I extended the learning and play possibilities with this activity..
- I asked the children to follow directions and find the bear that matched my description e.g “Find me the small yellow bear please”
- I asked if they could pick up a certain number of bears and count as they put them into their bowls.
- I asked them to find “All the yellow bears”
- I asked them if they could make their bears swim through the mud.
- I asked them to pick up only with the small spoons (or large)
- I asked them to pick up and put back using only the tongs.
- I asked them to line up a simple pattern of bears (blue, yellow, red, blue, yellow, red)
- I asked them to help me wash the bears, tongs and spoons when we had finished play.
Do you have coloured bear counters? What is your child's favourite way of playing with them?
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A Little About Me
Jodie Clarke is an early childhood professional supporting educators who want and need to stay passionate about the work they do! She has 30 years hands-on experience in the early childhood and human services sectors across many different roles.
Jodie is mum to 3 in Australia and has already helped thousands of educators with their work through her popular blog posts, activity ideas, online training and e-books.