Using Counting Bears During Story Time
For the past year or so, #thelittleone has been a huge fan of the Bear series. I’m sure the majority of the parents out there are familiar with Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman’s series of picture books about lovable Bear and his animal friends. Over the last several months, #thelittleone has also become a huge fan of sorting and classifying. He loves to sort things by shape, color, or size, and does it over and over. When we picked up a set of counting bears recently, I knew they would pair perfectly with some of our Bear books in learning activities my kiddo would love. Read on to see what stories we’ve been using them with. Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom of the post as well for a round up of other great ways to use counting bears for learning!
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STORY TIME WITH BEAR
We love this sweet little counting book for early math. Bear Counts is a sturdy board book, perfect for my youngest monster’s rough hands. It feature simple rhyming verses that identify things Bear and his friends encounter in the forest. As the book progresses, Bear ultimately counts up to five. In addition to the basic math presented, there’s a lot of opportunity to enrich vocabulary as young readers point out animals, fruits, etc.
Bear Sees Colors
This book in the series is a bit longer than Bear Counts, but very similar in style. Bear and his forest friends take a stroll, identifying the colors around them as they go. The rhymes are lyrical, and allow young readers to ‘predict’ what color will be featured on the next page. The bright illustrations offer plenty of opportunity for look-and-find while pointing out other things in the same shade on each page.
USING COUNTING BEARS AT STORY TIME
We’re still very early in the counting process with #thelittleone, so it will be a bit before he can complete this activity independently. I know it’s going to be one he loves in the future though. We paired our counting bears with a muffin tin, as well as the number printable I created. (Grab yours at the end of this post!) Cut out the circles and place them randomly in the bottom of the muffin tin. Encourage your child to count while adding counting bears to each cup of the tin until they reach the correct number. Use a 6-cup muffin tin for younger kids, and a 12-cup tin for an extra challenge for older children. The colors of the numbers can correspond to the colors of the bears as well, if you want to work on two skills at once.
#thelittleone has become very strong with his color sorting, which is a fun skill to watch develop. I paired our counting bears with a muffin tin and Bear color printable (see below to get yours). Use scissors to cut out each Bear circle, and place randomly in the bottom of a muffin tin. Encourage your child to sort the counting bears by color into the appropriate cups of the tin. Use a 6-cup muffin tin for younger children, and a 12-cup tin for an extra challenge for older kids. Reinforce the colors from the story by talking about what Bear saw in each color as your child sorts their counting bears. Do they remember what Bear saw that was red? Purple? And so on.
Do you have a favorite manipulative you like to use for learning at home? Tell me about it in the comments below!
Essentials you May need…
COUNTING BEARS ACTIVITY ROUND UP
FROM LEFT TO RIGHT:
Counting Bears Graphing // Sara J Creations
Counting Bears Alphabet Match // Modern Preschool
Counting Bears Roll and Cover Math Game // Mom Inspired Life
Counting Bears Fine Motor Alphabet Mats // Letters of Literacy
Counting Bear Pattern Cards // The STEM Laboratory
Counting Bear Counting Cards // The Kindergarten Connection
Counting Bear Clip Cards // Playdough to Plato
Write and Wipe Subtraction Cards // Pages of Grace
Multi-Sensory Task Cards // My Creative Inclusion
Counting Bear Activities // Fairy Poppins
Write and Wipe Addition with Counting Bears // Liz’s Early Learning Spot
Counting Bears Sorting by Size // Mrs. Jones’ Creation Station
Counting Bear Word Problem Challenge Cards // Schooling a Monkey