Bear's winter story

You and your child can create a cozy bear's lair to encourage creative play and vocabulary on a wintery day.

You'll Need

  • Mini bear stuffed animal
  • Cotton balls or stuffing
  • Toilet paper tubes
  • Twigs
  • Leaves
  • Blank books
  • Pencils, markers and crayons


45 minutes

Learning Stages

By Becca Ross
Kindergarten & First Grade Teacher

Becca is a schoolteacher and blogs at She loves to cook, bake, garden, sew, quilt, teach and simply spend time with her family. She strives to find art in everyday things.

Most young children can tell you that in the winter, bears will curl up in their dens and hibernate until spring. You can set up a simple activity to create a bear’s den, stimulating creative play.

Start by talking about what you already knew about bears, such as:

  • They store up body fat in the fall so they can sleep through winter
  • They look for a cozy cave to protect them from the cold and snow
  • Sometimes baby bears are born in the den

Then read a few books about bears (if you have them).

Set up a table with your books and a tray of the materials for creating a bear’s lair. Simply setting up a table with materials to explore will draw kids in.

  • The toilet paper tubes can be used as caves for the bear.
  • The cotton balls or stuffing represent the snow.
  • Twigs and leaves, as well as the snow, can be used to block the cold from entering the bear’s den.

Once kids start to play and explore with materials, encourage them to use the blank books, pencils, markers and crayons to document the stories they are telling. The stories can be informational or fiction. Either way it’s important to let kids explore with language and storytelling by creating language-rich playful experiences. Choose a few key vocabulary words from the books you have read together and try to infuse those words into the story.

Kids are natural storytellers! With this simple invitation, they will be telling stories, learning new facts about bears, and having fun with imaginative play.