Each month, we donate the book that we read to a community organization that supports low-income families and children. Along with the book, we include all of the materials, ingredients, and instructions for a child (or two) to recreate the activities and snack of our book club meeting that month in their home with their parent or caregiver. The organization will choose a family each month to be our ‘book club pal” and receive our book and activities. We are very excited to be able to share the joy of parent-child reading, playing, and healthy snacking with other parents and toddlers in the area. If you wish to recreate a similar bag for yourself or to donate, here’s what’s in the bag this month:
Book: We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury
Theme(s): Exploring different “terrains” and bears!
Activity: Backyard Bear Hunt
Supplies provided: Four aluminum tins, bag of shredded paper “grass”, bag of sand and water “mud”, cornstarch and oil “snow”, water, plastic tablecloth
You’ll also need*: to find a couple of bushes or small trees that you can walk or crawl through as the “forest” and two chairs to put the tablecloth over to create the cave.
Directions: Place the shredded paper in one tin, water in another tin, the “mud” in another tin (add more tap water if needed to get a “muddy” consistency), and “snow” in the last tin. Set up your “bear hunt” path in this order to correspond to the terrains in the book:
1) Shredded paper tin (grass)
2) Water tin (river)
3) Sand and water tin (mud)
4) Pass through bushes or small trees (forest)
5) Cornstarch and oil (snow)
6) Chairs with table cloth on top (bear cave)
After reading the book, walk your child through the path as you recite corresponding parts of the book, stopping at each station to explore and play! At the end, have the bear snack (see below) ready and waiting in the cave.
Snack: Bear Toast
Supplies: Slices of bread, peanut butter (skip if child hasn’t had nut products, has allergies, or isn’t yet ready for the sticky texture of peanut butter), raisins, banana
Directions: Toast the bread and spread it with peanut butter. Cut three small slices of banana. Place two slices in the top two corners of the toast as the ears and place one in the middle with a raisin on top as the nose. Finally, put two raisins right above the nose as the eyes. Eat and enjoy!
*This was the first time that we asked our Book Club Pals to contribute anything of their own to the activity, but we felt these were items that were likely available to our Pals without much (or any) additional effort or expense and were not really possible for us to transport.