Preschool Storytime: Bears and Berries

This preschool storytime features books, songs, rhymes, and an oral story all about bears and berries.

Books We Shared:

Sleepyhead BearJamberry by Bruce DegenWhere's My Teddy?Black Bears

Sleepyhead Bear by Lisa Westberg Peters
Jamberry by Bruce Degen
Where’s My Teddy? by Jez Alborough
Black Bears (Animals in my Backyard) by Pamela McDowell

Check out our Pinterest boards on bears and berries for additional book suggestions.

Rhymes, Songs, and Stories:

We started and ended with our favorite hello and goodbye song which uses sign language.  Check it out here!

1. Oral Story: Grandfather Bear is Hungry

Watch our YouTube video to see this oral story performed.  We used a chipmunk puppet, a bear puppet, and a paper log to help bring the characters alive.

2. Rhyme: A Little Brown Bear

A little brown bear, went in search of some honey (shade eyes with hand)
Isn’t it funny, a bear wanting honey? (shrug shoulders)
He sniffed at the breeze (lift head and pretend to sniff)
And listened for bees (hold hand to ear)
And wouldn’t you believe it (shake index finger)
He even climbed trees! (pretend to climb)

Watch the video of A Little Brown Bear to hear the tune and see the hand motions.

3. Song: Bear is Sleeping

Bear is sleeping. Bear is sleeping.
Wake him up! Wake him Up!
Come and say hello, bear. Come and say hello, bear.
Time to eat, time to eat.

Watch the video of Bear is Sleeping.

4. Flannel Story: Jamberry by Bruce Degen

We adapted this book as a flannel song which you can watch here.  We used the repeating refrain, “Under the bridge and over the dam, looking for berries, berries for jam” and had the kids help us count to ten.

5. Action Song: Pop Goes the Berry

(Tune: Pop Goes the Weasel)

All around the strawberry fields,
We picked some juicy berries
We brought them home and washed them off,
Pop! Go the berries! (have kids jump up on “pop”)
Other verses: blueberry, blackberry, huckleberry, raspberry

Hear it performed here.

6. Song: Picked a Strawberry

(Tune: Clementine)

Picked a strawberry, picked a strawberry
That was growing in the sun.
Then I washed it, and I ate it,
And I picked another one.

Other verses: blueberry, blackberry, huckleberry, raspberry

Hear it performed here.

7. Fingerplay: Two Little Black Bears

Two little black bears sitting on a hill,
One named Jack and one named Jill,
Run away Jack, run away Jill.
Come back Jack, come back Jill.

Two little black bears digging in the snow
One named Fast and one named Slow…

Two little black bears feeling very proud
One named Quiet and one named Loud..

You can hear it here.

8. Song: Grizzly Bears

(Tune: “Mary Had A Little Lamb”)

Grizzly bears are big and brown,
Big and brown, big and brown,
Grizzly bears are big and brown,
And live in the woods.
Polar bears are soft and white,
Soft and white, soft and white,
Polar bears are soft and white,
And live where it’s cold.
Teddy bears are just my size,
Just my size, just my size,
Teddy bears are just my size,
To cuddle with at night.

Watch this song performed here.

9. Song: Hug Your Bear

Hug, hug, hug your bear
Squeeze him very tight
Hold him high and help him fly
Then hug with all your might.

Watch this song here.

10. Song: Dancing With Bears

1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3 Dancing with bears
1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3 Dancing round chairs
1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3 that’s what we’ll do
1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3 Dancing with you.

Listen to this song here!

How it Went:

We had a lot of toddlers mixed in with this preschool group, so it was nice to have a large range of songs and rhymes to choose from.  Starting with the oral story was a good choice as the kids were engaged the whole time.  They especially liked it when tiny chipmunk pops up out of the log.  Many of the preschoolers understood the humor in Jez Alborough’s Where’s My Teddy? and we will definitely use that book again.  Both of the berry songs were a hit – the kids loved popping up and shouting out different names of berries!  We’ll be recycling these songs in any future summer-themed storytimes we do in the next few months.

10 thoughts on “Preschool Storytime: Bears and Berries

  1. I love bears…I think Ms. Katya is going to do a version of this one–possibly adding in a part of ‘Blueberries for Sal’ and/or the wonderful song ‘Waltzing with Bears.’ You two are doing a wonderful job, and making my job better. Thanks.

  2. Hi Ms. Katya! Those are both wonderful ideas. Thanks for your feedback and if you ever have ideas or suggestions, please let us know!

  3. I wasn’t sure what resources I would find when I decided to use a Berry theme this fall, but Pinterest redirected me here so it must be fate! I can’t wait to make a Jamberry flannel to add to my repertoire and you have some other wonderful berry fingerplays, too.

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