Berries and Bears!



OPENING FINGERPLAY: Two Little Brown Bears
I purchased these cute little bear finger puppets came from Cheryl Smith’s Etsy Shop:
Little Brown Bear & Dark Brown Bear.

I added a little felt berry for each of them to hold to go along with this rhyme….

Two little brown bears eating juicy strawberries,
One name Michael and one name Mary.
Run away Michael, run away Mary.
Come back Michael, come back Mary.

You can also do the “usual” verse with these guys:

Two little brown bears sitting on a hill,
One named Jack and one named Jill.
Run away Jack, run away Jill.
Come back Jack, come back Jill.

Two Little Bears

BOOK 1: One Little Blueberry by Tammi Salzano
When one little blueberry falls to the ground, the bees, ladybugs, grasshoppers, ants, and more hungry bugs all want it for themselves! This is a great book for practicing counting to ten.

ACTION SONG: Pop Goes the Berry
(Tune: Pop Goes the Weasel)

All around the strawberry fields,
We picked some juicy berries
We brought them home and washed them off,
Pop! Go the berries! (have kids jump up on “pop”)

Other verses: blueberry, blackberry, raspberry

Credit: Jbrary

FLANNEL RHYME: Five Ripe Berries Sitting in a Bowl
You can also use this flannelboard with Jbrary’s Jamberry rhyme.  Check it out here!

Five ripe berries sitting in a bowl. (hold up five fingers)
The (strawberry, etc.) fell out and started to roll. (Hold up finger, and roll hands)
It bumped the table and hit my toe (clap once, and touch toes )
How many berries in the bowl? 1-2-3-4 (Count berries)

Repeat rhyme until there are no more berries left in the bowl!

Credit: Adapted from Five Big Lemons! at Recipes for Reading

Berries in a Bowl

I decorated the berries with jumbo glitter glue pens.

 Click the picture for the Five Berries & Bowl Template.

Five Berries Template

SONG: Banana Blueberry Boogie by Linda Stoler
from the album Literacy Rocks

Dance to this one!  On “Bananas and blue – bah bah!” raise arms and open & close hands.  On “boogie up and down” bend up and down.  On “boogie all around” turn around in a circle.

ALTERNATE SONG: Peanut Butter and Jelly by Sharon, Lois & Bram
You can get the motions to this song from this YouTube video by the King County Library System.

BOOK 2: Bear Sees Colors by Karma Wilson
A gorgeous new (2014) book by Karma Wilson (the author of Bear Wants More – one of my favorite children’s books!)  “Colors, colors everywhere.  Can you find colors just like Bear?”  Explore the whole rainbow with Bear in this book.  It’s especially good for this “Bears and Berries” theme because bear finds blue blueberries for his blue pail, red cherries, and some red, juicy raspberries!

FLANNEL RHYME: Five Red Strawberries
Use a bear puppet with this one and feed him the berries as you go!

Five Ripe Strawberries and a Bear

Five red strawberries, sweet to the core.
Bear came and ate one (nom nom) and then there were four.

Four red strawberries, growing near a tree.
Bear ate another one (nom nom) and then there were three.

Three red strawberries, for you and you and you.
Bear came and ate another (nom nom) and then there were two.

Two red strawberries, sitting in the sun.
Bear ate the biggest one (nom nom) and then there was one.

One red strawberry, where five had been before.
Bear ate the last of them (nom nom) and then there were no more.

No more strawberries, whatever will bear do?
He’ll have to go berry picking with all of you!

Credit: Miss Colleen’s Corner

Five Ripe Strawberries

I made the berries using the pattern from Mel’s Desk.  She also has some great ideas for using this flannel with the book The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear!  I added the seeds by using Tulip Dimensional Fabric Paint (link.)

FLANNEL SONG:  Going on a Picnic
Both Raffi and Carole Peterson have versions of this song that include different foods.

I sang this one without the CD so that we could pack lots of berry-related food!  You can just reuse the berries from the flannels above, or include some other food in your picnic basket like: very berry juice, blueberry muffins, strawberry jam, peanut butter and jelly sandwich, strawberry yogurt, cherry pie, etc.  If you have a small enough group, hand out the different foods and let the children bring them up and put them in the picnic basket as you sing.

Going on a picnic, leaving right away.

If it doesn’t rain we’ll stay all day.

Did you bring the …..(blueberry muffins, etc.)

Yes, I brought the…(blueberry muffins, etc.)

Going on a Picnic Berry clipart

Clipart links: Picnic BasketBowl of BlueberriesCherry Pie Juice BoxBlueberry MuffinPeanut Butter & Jelly

ACTIVITY: Berry Picking/Feed the Bear Sorting Activity
This game and pattern comes from Ranger Rick Jr. on the National Wildlife Federation website.

They used pompoms as their “berries” which is think is such a cute idea!  I made my bear out of stiffened felt and then secured it to a pink bucket using Velcro.

Scatter the berries on the floor and let the kids go “berry picking.”  Then, ask anyone with a strawberry to come up and feed the bear…anyone with a blueberry…and anyone with a blackberry.

Feed the Bear

Yes, I realize that he looks a little creepy – but the kids still really enjoyed this activity!

 Clipart links:  I printed strawberries on red paper — blueberries on blue paper — and blackberries on purple paper.

CLOSING SONG: Skinnamarink
from Sharon, Lois and Bram’s album Skinnamarink TV


BOOK: The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear by Don and Audrey Wood
This is another favorite of mine and a wonderful read aloud!  Good for toddlers and preschoolers.

BOOK: Jam & Honey by Melita Morales
“I’m going to pick berries all by myself, enough to till the bucket high on the shelf.  When I come home we’ll make a treat, sweet jam on toast for me to eat.”  
A little girl goes out berry picking – at the same time a little bee is on his way out to the berry patch to collect nectar.  Their meeting is told from both the perspective of the little girl and bee, all in rhyming text with sweet pictures.  Short enough for toddlers to enjoy, but preschoolers will be able to understand and appreciate the different perspectives.

jam and honey

BOOK: Sleepyhead Bear by Lisa Westberg Peters
No berries in this one, but it’s a short, rhyming book about a cute little bear who just wants to get some rest.  Appropriate for both toddlers and preschoolers.

BOOK: The Berry Book by Gail Gibbons
 A nice illustrated, non-fiction title that describes the many different types of berries.

BOOK: Jamberry by Bruce Degen
A young boy and a rhyming bear go on a romp through a world filled with berries.

5 thoughts on “Berries and Bears!

  1. Pingback: Five Ripe Berries Flannelboard | Kidjamboree

  2. Pingback: Storytime Saturday: Bears n’ Berries with the Preschool Pack | Storytime in the Stacks

  3. Pingback: Storytime: Fruit | Read with Mich

  4. Pingback: Storytime: Fruit – Adventures of a Bookworm

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