Well, I think I’ve finally run out of animals after this! Too bad though; they are so easy and fun! I should have thought to do forest animals sooner; little man’s nursery is moose themed!
Have you ever read the book, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt? It is the perfect book for this theme! No need to worry if you don’t own it, you can find the reading of it right here. Even though we do own the book, little man prefers to watch it instead. The book is just a little too long to keep his attention! Whether you read it or watch it, during the words “over” and “under,” use your little one’s hands to show the movements.
After the story, use whatever item(s) you choose to demonstrate over and under. I chose a basket and a few different forest animals. I hid the animals one at a time under the basket, and then flew it around over the basket. Of course little man doesn’t yet understand these concepts, but it is also great for teaching object permanence.
I tried to get a picture of little man looking under the basket, but he decided it was more fun to crawl into it, so…
Little Man’s Recommendations:
Owl Babies by Martin Waddell
We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen
Brown Bear Brown Bear by Bill Martin Jr. & Eric Carle
The Bear Books (series) by Karma Wilson & Jane Chapman
An Adventure with Morris Mouse by Maurice Pledger
Hoot by Little Tiger Kids
Little Moose by Chronicle Books & Image Books
Little Fox by Chronicle Books & Image Books
Baby Hedgehog by Chronicle Books & Image Books
Little Bunny by Chronicle Books & Image Books
Little Owl by Chronicle Books & Image Books
If You Give a Moose a Muffin by Laura Numeroff
Babies in the Forest by Ginger Swift
Night, Night Forest Friends by Annie Bach
Who: Peek-a-flap Board Book by Jaye Garnett
Woodland Babies by Amanda McDonough
School Time Snippets had the idea for these awesome sensory bags based on We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, and Teacher Types made sensory bottles. I chose to make the sensory bottles for little man because they keep everything contained, haha!
However, you don’t need to make the bags or the bottles. Instead you could just let your little one explore the outdoors. In the past, I have grabbed a bin, went outside, and filled it with grass, leaves, twigs, stones, and pinecones. When I do an activity like this, I am sure to keep little man’s pacifier in his mouth! If I didn’t, everything would be eaten! If your baby doesn’t use a pacifier, or if you just don’t feel comfortable, take them outside for a walk instead! We have some great walking trails around here! Hubby and I take little man as often as we can! He loves to take in all the sights around him!
This video is a variation of We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, and it is a lot of fun! While watching the video, act out the movements that are mentioned on screen. Little man loves acting everything out; although, I do change a couple of the movements to make it more fun for him! This is what we do:
Wheat field – I rub/clap his hands together
Bridge – I pat his hands, one at a time, on his legs (walking movement)
Tree – I help him “climb”
River – I sit facing him, grab his hands, and we row (I pull him toward me, and then let him go back the other way)
Cave – I put his hands up above his eyes like he’s trying to see what’s inside
After that, I just move his hands really fast like he’s running (definitely his favorite part)! If your little one is older, or if you’re more skilled than I am, haha, you could do the movements again in reverse order.
Hubby managed to capture little man and I as we acted out the story!
Depending on the age of your child, you could let them roll a pine cone in paint, and then on paper. I was actually going to let little man try it this way, but he currently likes to shake everything that is put in his hands, and I foresaw paint flying everywhere! Maybe I will try it outside when it’s not so cold and wet! Instead, I put a piece of paper in an old tupperware container, and covered a pine cone in paint. Then, I put the pine cone in the container, made sure the lid was on tight, and let little man shake it all around.
After little man finished his painting, I cut it into a leaf 🙂
Little Bunny Foo Foo
There was a Little Turtle
I had a Little Turtle
The Bear Went Over the Mountain
Five Little Speckled Frogs
She’ll be Coming Around the Mountain (I realize that this one and the next one aren’t really forest related, but I had a hard time thinking of forest related songs! It’s close enough!)
Home on the Range
Since I couldn’t think of many forest-related songs, I’ve listed a few places below where you can find more!
8 thoughts on “Forest Friends”
These are some great ideas! I need to try them out with my toddler. I bet she would love some of these games and books 🙂
Thank you! They are a lot of fun! My little man loves them! I’m sure your little one will too!!
How early on did you start these activities. I have a 2 year old and 4 mo. old.
Love these ideas! Especially actively engaging in a story like, We’re Going On A Bear Hunt!
Little man is currently eight months, but I started doing activities with him when he was about 4 months. If you look at some of my earlier posts you will see that he is pretty small! I’m sure both of your little ones will enjoy these! We love, we’re going on a bear hunt!! 🙂
What great ideas! I am all about sensory play so those are my favorite but I also love the art ones too! Thank you for so many great ideas and books.
Thanks! I love sensory play too!
There are some incredible ideas. I’ll have to try them out.
Thank you! We had a lot of fun with all of them!