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If you go down to the woods today, you're sure of a big surprise. If you go down to the woods today you better go in disguise. For every bear that ever there was, will gather there for certain because, today's the day the teddy bears have their picnic.
Ages: Two years and over.
Indoor or Outdoor: Preferably outdoors at home or at a park. Can be done indoors or outdoors.
Equipment/Resources: - teddy bears
- play plastic table wear
- rug, mat or picnic blanket
- pretend or real food
- pillows or cushions
- children's chairs
Cost: You only need to pay for the food, the rest is free!
1) Explain to your child that you would like to invite their soft toys to a teddy bears picnic. Talk to them about what it is all about. Ask them to gather the teddy bears they wish to invite.
Ask the child to bring out all their favourite teddy bears. Image source: freedigitalphotos.net 'Child hugging toys' by Stuart Miles.
2) Decide upon the food you will have at the picnic. Try teddy bear biscuits, fairy bread, honey sandwiches etc. The children could help you prepare it.
What do bears like to eat?
3) Place the rug/blanket down on a soft spot. If the weather is nice then out in the backyard is perfect.
Teddy bears picnic time in the sunshine! Image source: morguefile.com
4) Help your children to set up all the plastic cutlery, plates, bowls, cups, mugs etc needed.
Get your picnic basket ready.
5) Prepare the teddy bears (ie the guests) for the party. Do they have a special outfit to wear, does their fur need a brush, a bow in their hair? Etc.
Are you all ready, teddies?
6) Place the teddy bears (the guests) in a circle on the mat. If you have some children's chairs, cushions or pillows some could be propped up this way.
7) Next sit with the teddies and enjoy the picnic. Serve and chat as you normally would at any picnic. Allow your child to lead the conversation and explore.
8) Read a story about teddy bears. What about 'We're going on a bear hunt' or a story about Big Ted or Little Ted. Sing the teddy bears picnic song.
Aim: To have a lovely imagination experience with your child. To do something a bit different. A very fun and special way to introduce your child to social norms and manners.
Time: Best done when you are not rushed and can take your time. You need time to prepare the food and gather the bears. Stay with it as long as your child is still interested.
Players: This is an activity that can be done alone or with others. Get the family to join in or invite some friends to come with their own bears.
Why?: It's fun, it's different and it covers so many important life skills. Children will treasure this special time with you. It's cheap, easy and adaptable to suit you and your child.
Invite a couple or invite a lot it's up to you. Will they come dressed in their very, beary best? Image source: morguefile.com.
Additions: This experience can be adapted in so many ways, that's what I love about it. Turn it into a child's birthday party and invite their friends and their teddy bears. Invite extended family or next door neighbours. Have it at a park. Read books about teddy bears, sing songs about them. Make some special invitations.