Wake up bear!

After a long winter’s nap, it was time to wake up our bears. The children were super excited to wake up their bears but if you’re going to wake up your bear, you better be prepared for a big day ahead!

Wake Up Bear by Teach Preschool

The children started their day by reading the sweet book titled, “Spring is Here: A Bear and Mole Story” by Will Hillenbrand. This is a sweet book with lovely illustrations about a mole trying to wake up his friend bear but it takes him several tries before he gets the job done.

Wake Up Bear by Teach Preschool

After reading the book, the children headed outside to the bear caves to wake up their bears.

Wake Up Bear by Teach Preschool

The bears have been sleeping inside the caves since December and the children found their bears still snoozing away in soft warm blankies. The children gently woke up their bears and carried them back inside for our wake up bear party.

Wake Up Bear by Teach Preschool

I want to stop a second to say that before heading off to get our bears, I talked with my older students a little bit about using their imaginations. Since our bears weren’t real, the children were really going to need to draw upon their imaginations to get the most out of our pretend wake-up bear party (both our preschool and prek age students participated). I’m not sure I needed to have that little talk but I wanted to encourage the children to really let loose and enjoy the day with their pretend bears and imaginary play – and let me tell you, these children have wonderful imaginations!

Wake Up Bear by Teach Preschool

After returning back to the classroom with their bears. the children went right to work. Since the bears have been sleeping in a cold dark cave for so long, they were going to need lots of special attention. The children had a checklist of things they would need to do for their bears and it was up to the children to take it from there…

Wake Up Bear by Teach Preschool

The check list included words (and pictures) of things like “Give the bear a bath.”

Wake Up Bear by Teach Preschool

At the grooming station, the children could “wash” the bears in our tub with paper bubbles and paper soap…

Brush their bear’s fur…

Wake Up Bear by Teach Preschool

Brush their bear’s teeth…

The children spent time throughout the morning coming and going from the grooming station until they were satisfied that their bears were nice and clean…

Wake Up Bear by Teach Preschool

I am writing this rather late tonight and I still have another day of preschool ahead tomorrow. I am off to get some much needed sleep and will get back to you soon with more tales from our Wake Up Bear party! Stay tuned as you won’t want to miss it!

Available on Amazon

Links to Grow On

Tucking our bears in for a long winter’s nap by Teach Preschool

Time to Hibernate by Teach Preschool

Gummy Bear Science by Teach Preschool

By |2016-03-23T06:00:04+00:00March 23rd, 2016|

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. Shannon Salomao March 23, 2016 at 1:09 pm - Reply

    Can’t wait to hear the rest. Using your idea, we also made bears and put them to sleep in our PK class, but I didn’t have room for 28 bears so the children took theirs home. Many of them kept theirs until the first day of Spring and we talked about waking them up. It would be great to hear what you did and maybe next year we can schedule a Wake Up day.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 30, 2016 at 3:42 am - Reply

      Hi Shannon! We love our Wake Up Day! I have written the rest of what we did which will show up on the blog over the next couple of days! I’m sorry it took me so long to get it up but hopefully you will be inspired for next year:)

  2. Linda Ellisen March 24, 2016 at 5:34 pm - Reply

    I’ve been looking forward to this post all winter! Did you do something different this year with your hibernating bears? They slept outside this year in caves rather than inside under the stairs? It looked like a fabulous day and experience 🙂

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 30, 2016 at 3:43 am - Reply

      Hi Linda,
      Yes, we bumped the poor bears to our outdoor classroom. We made large boxes with holes (and individual doors) for caves so the bears would be safe and then set them out in our outdoor classroom for the winter. I just don’t have space to keep them where I used to.

  3. Norah Colvin March 26, 2016 at 7:06 am - Reply

    How lovely! Learning about hibernation with bears the children have made themselves. And how exciting to wake up the bears now that (your) spring has come. When I read your title I expected you to be reading “Wake up Bear” by Lynley Dodd. https://www.bookdepository.com/Wake-Up-Bear-Lynley-Dodd/9780836827866
    It is excellent. If you haven’t read it yet, I suggest you do. The children will love it.

  4. Heather Newman March 29, 2016 at 12:20 pm - Reply

    Hi Deborah! My name is Heather and I’m the editorial coordinator for Disney’s Babble.com. We’d be interested in including one of your crafts (https://www.teachpreschool.org/2011/12/preschool-activity-animal-tracks-are-not-alike/) in a jungle-themed round up on our site. If you’d be willing to give us permission to share one of your photos on our site and social media pages, we’d happily link back to your original post.

    Please contact me at [email protected] if you’re interested.

    Thank you,


    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 30, 2016 at 12:29 am - Reply

      Hi Heather!
      You are welcome to use the photo for your site and social media pages. Thank you for your kind request.


  5. Pammy March 30, 2016 at 8:20 pm - Reply

    Cute! Living in actual bear country I think we’ll forgo a lesson that teaches them to wake up hibernating bears, lol. As it is we will be covering what to do if you meet one on a hike.

  6. Christine lopez March 31, 2016 at 1:57 pm - Reply

    Hi I love your bears and theme. Where did you buy the bears? Thank you

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