Summer is a time for being outside, enjoying sunny days and PICNICS! Why not make yours extra fun for little ones by holding a Teddy Bears’ Picnic!
Did you know…?
- The first teddy bear was made in 1903
- Teddy bears are named after US President Theodore Roosevelt, whose nickname was Teddy
- The music for the song “The Teddy Bears’ Picnic” dates back to 1907
- July 10 is The Teddy Bear’s Picnic Day in the United States
Teddy Bears’ Picnic is a special activity I do on the last day of class with my little ones, and it’s something they look forward to every year! Obviously it’s an ideal outdoor activity, but don’t worry if you can’t get outside. We don’t have access to a green space where I teach, so I recreate a grassy picnic patch in the classroom with some green towelling fabric.
HOW TO HAVE A TEDDY BEARS’ PICNIC:
BRING IN THE BEARS!
“If you go down to the woods today you’re sure of a big surprise”
Ask the children to bring along their favourite teddy and explain that on a special day every year teddy bears have a picnic! Ask each child what their teddy bear’s name is and write the names on stickers to make name badges for the teddies.
SING THE SONG
The famous song “The Teddy Bear’s Picnic” is the reason why teddy bear picnics exist! You can find a number of different versions with videos on You Tube. Most are a bit too fast for my kids to sing along to, but the melody is fun and they enjoy watching the teddy bears having picnics in the videos!
MAKE A DISGUISE
“If you go down to the woods today you’d better go in disguise”
I explain to my kids that we have to dress up as bears if we want to join in the picnic! I have them make some Teddy Bear Ears, and while they are busy with that I set out the food for the picnic.
HAVE THE PICNIC!
“There’s lots of marvellous things to eat”
Once the kids have their bear ears on, it’s time to eat! Good teddy bear picnic food ideas are:
- Teddy bear shaped biscuits
- Lots of fruit
- Juice and water
Obviously make sure you check beforehand if any children have food allergies!
READ A BOOK
I only have an hour with my kids, so I take the opportunity to read them a story while they are having their picnic. However, if you have more time this is good activity to do once they’ve finished eating. I love the book “The Teddy Bear’s Picnic” by Gill Guile, which has very sweet illustrations. As I teach children who are learning English I don’t read the text as is, but summarize it in much simpler language using key vocabulary and do a lot of play acting to help communicate the story. There’s a lot of opportunity for reviewing toys, food, colours and fancy dress vocabulary with this book!
There are many other books about Teddy Bears’ Picnics. Here are links to some you may like:
by Jerry Garcia & David Grisman
by Nicola Baxter
by Stella Blackston
“And wonderful games to play”
No Teddy Bears’ Picnic is complete without some fun games! Some ideas include:
- Hide and Seek (if you have space)
- Who is it? Sit in a circle and put all the teddies in the middle. Describe one of them, and children must guess which teddy it is. Choose the language level and vocabulary appropriate for your kids. For example; “It’s big. It’s blue. It’s wearing a T-shirt.” Kids can then take turns to describe a teddy for the others to guess.
- Blindfold Bear: Put a blindfold on each child in turn and hand them several different teddies to feel. They must guess which teddy is theirs!
If you have plenty of time there are lots of other fun activities you can try:
- Do some bear face painting
- Make a teddy bear’s picnic basket
- Make some play cupcakes for the teddy bears to take home
- Do some teddy bear art
TIME TO GO
“At six o’clock their mummies and daddies will take them home to bed, because they’re tired little teddy bears”
To finish up, form a circle and sing “Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear Turn Around”. This is a chant with actions:
Teddy bear, teddy bear, turn around (kids turn around)
Teddy bear, teddy bear, touch the ground (kids touch the ground)
Teddy bear, teddy bear, touch the sky (kids stretch their arms up to the sky)
Teddy bear, teddy bear, wave goodbye! (everybody waves)
Explain that the teddies are tired after all the fun and need to go home to bed!