I can’t believe we’re moving into December! If they aren’t already, many animals will be going into hibernation soon, so here are some games and activities you can do with your children using a hibernation theme. If you haven’t already, be sure to visit Erin over at The Usual Mayhem to see her hibernation activities for the week!
Go to sleep… Wake Up…Game
We started the week by reviewing some of the animals that hibernate from the books we’ve read by playing “Go to Sleep Children.” I used this game with a class full of first graders many years ago. To play the game call out, “Go to sleep children!” The kids pretend to go to sleep. Then you say, “Wake up (insert animal that hibernates, such as a snake).” When the children wake up, they act like the animal until you again say, “Go to sleep snakes, wake up hedgehog (or other migrating animal)” The kids act as if they are the new animal.
We also modified the game to include animals that migrate. For example, I would say, “Migrate south geese.” They would fly away and hide until I said, “Come back north geese!” It was great to add in some ordinal direction along with some physical activity!
Animal Homes Activities
First Grade Garden has a printable for students to color and match the animals and words to their winter resting places. You can change the settings of your computer to print it as an 8.5×11” instead of the larger size that’s indicated. My kids did this mostly on their own and it was great to see they could match the animals up, based on the books we’ve been reading. Matching the words provided great reading practice! To finish, we added cotton balls represent snow.
Make a Cave or Burrow
I enjoyed seeing the bear cave The Usual Mayhem began under the stairs last week. We made a burrow under the snow, created from a down comforter strung over a barstool and piano bench. The girls enjoyed having their own warm hideaway.
Did you know that just like groundhogs, hedgehogs hibernate? However, a hedgehog is not like a groundhog because it is more prickly and less fuzzy. I saw this cute art project on Pinterest and was looking forward to trying it out. Unfortunately, they look more like porcupines (which don’t hibernate), but I still think they’re cute! The girls enjoyed tracing their hands, even after we completed the project. It took a total of 4 handprints traced onto the inside of a brown paper grocery bag. Maybe try it with your children’s fingers less spread out.
For another craft idea, head over to Fantastic Fun and Learning. They have an adorable hedgehog craft to go along with the book One Stormy Night!
Fun with Bears
I fell in love with the primary color Mondrian Bears from What’s Happening in the Art Room? We studied primary colors at the beginning of the school year, but it was a great review – and by tying the project to Mondrian, we experienced art in a whole new way after looking at his artwork. Both of my girls really got into painting inside the lines, tracing the squares with paint, and adding the tassels. Not only that, but when a color accidentally overlapped, we could review the secondary colors!
It’s hard to create bears without singing about them. Going on a Bear Hunt by Tonya of Strings Keys and Melodies is a great song to sing with your kids! You can experience the song here and visit her site for other music ideas.
Next week I’ll be focusing on math and language arts and activities surrounding hibernation. Feel free to click the button below to visit my initial post on hibernation with an outline of the unit and look forward to a document you can refer to for planning your own unit on hibernation!