During the winter months, you can teach young children about hibernation and where/how/which animals hibernate. This activity focuses on concepts of science (nature, animals) and literacy(knowledge of books and print, reading and writing, story comprehension). This also provides children with an experience to practice fine motor skills(drawing/writing).
A great way to start of an activity like this is with a book! There are many great children’s books about hibernation, such as “Don’t Wake the Bear” by Marjorie Dennis Murray, “Hibernation Station” or “Bear Snores On“. You can start by reading one of those books with your child/children – and then make your own book about hibernation. Not only will they learn something about the animals and how they hibernate – but this early literacy activity can provide an experience for children in making their own book.
Start off by determining which animals you want to discuss or that the children want to learn about. In our class, we talked about bears, frogs and chipmunks. You can start by printing some of the page templates we created – or you can print/write your own.
Next, find some animal clipart to print or cut from a magazine. Our book focused more onWHERE the animal was hibernating, so the children drew/illustrated the location, rather than the animal itself. Depending on what you want to focus on, you can change that accordingly.
Children/teachers would read each page, then the child would illustrate the hibernation location and then glue on the animal. For additional writing practice, children can then trace/write the WORD that represents the hibernation location (ie. “cave”, “pond”, “ground”).
Our last page was more open-ended, and allowed the child to think about where he/she would hibernate if they were an animal! Children can draw/dictate/write what they feel. You can have children glue on a picture of themselves to finish off the book!