Time to hibernate

Winter is here!  It’s so very cold outside right now, making this the ideal time to share our unit on hibernation…

Time to hibernate by Teach Preschool

To begin our study on hibernation, we read the book “Time to Sleep” by Denise Fleming.  This sweet book begins with a bear who smells winter in the air.  He acknowledges that it is time for him to curl up in his cave, but first he must go and tell all of his friends that it is time to sleep.  This was the perfect book to read before creating our own hibernating bears…

Time to hibernate by Teach Preschool

We used our direction board and the table below it as our “build-a-bear” workshop and as a visual guide to help the children create their own bears…

Time to hibernate by Teach Preschool

Deborah and I pre-cut bear shaped patterns out of heavy brown construction paper.  We also stapled the outer edges of each bear, leaving just the tops of their heads open so that they could be stuffed later.  The first step was for the children to decorate their bear.  Most of the children just decided to give their bears faces.  And, oh, they were darling little faces…

Time to hibernate by Teach Preschool

Then it was time for the children to stuff their bears.  We had some cotton balls leftover from our cotton ball blizzard so we used those as stuffing for our bears.  We encouraged the children to use their fine motor skills to pull and stretch the cotton balls so that their bears would be fluffy, rather than lumpy…

Time to hibernate by Teach Preschool

When their little fingers couldn’t quite reach the small spaces near the bear’s hands and feet, the children used pencils to gently push the stuffing into place…

Time to hibernate by Teach Preschool

The last step in making our bears was to finish stapling up the edges.  Some of the children were eager to try the stapler and some preferred to let us grown-ups do the stapling…

Time to hibernate by Teach Preschool

Our bears sure were tired after all that drawing and stuffing.  They needed a nice warm cave to snuggle in and rest for the winter.  Be sure to come back tomorrow to see how we tucked our bears in for their long winter hibernation…

Time to hibernate by Teach Preschool

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By |2014-01-08T06:00:33+00:00January 8th, 2014|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. Kelly January 8, 2014 at 8:43 am - Reply

    Hi! I think this is a wonderful idea, but I do have a question about your direction board. I teach preschool in a board of DD unit, and I was wondering if you have any tips to beginning a direction board? I followed the link and read about the board, but am not sure how to start implementing a directions board in my room. Thanks!

    • Courtney Floyd January 8, 2014 at 8:26 pm - Reply

      Hi, Kelly! I think as long as you have a space in your room that you can dedicate to a multi-purpose board, you can begin any way you like. I would always keep it simple and very visual. Even though the direction board may be up, we still explain or demonstrate the activity for the children prior to starting centers. The direction board is more of a reference point for them so that they may work more independently.

  2. Ms Paffenroth January 8, 2014 at 10:02 am - Reply

    Well it looks like I am going to have to change my Hibernation Lesson plan. These are so adorable!

  3. Rhythm January 10, 2014 at 6:44 pm - Reply

    What a fun activity for your kids! Will the bears sleep all winter in your classroom?

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. January 11, 2014 at 1:27 am - Reply

      Yes, this series is actually from last year. The bears went down in their caves in January and we woke them up in March!

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