Kid Activities
1000's of Ideas for Childcare Professionals & Teachers!

Teddy Bears and Other Bears Too

July 21, 2015 01:45 by Barbara Shelby

Updated October 2016...


Art, Crafts, Games, Snacks, FYI, Book List, Community Service (great for older kids!), Jokes and lots of fun ideas! 

ADAPT TO MIXED AGE CHILDREN: 'Bear Themes' are usually for young children; however, this can also be adapted to mixed-age programs. Perhaps your school age participants would like to facilitate planning and presenting Teddy (and other) bear themed ideas? 

Older children could plan activities for the younger.  They could read books about Bears and write, produce and act out skits and plays based on those books. They could lead games and host and make decorations for a party. School Age participants could also lead a Community Service activity. (See below) An * has been placed before ideas that would be appropriated for school agers...there are more than 15 activities of this type.

Additionally, while younger children are actively involved in the below --older youth may be interested in studying and learning about different species of bears...they can make posters, display boards, drawings, research, write articles and present to each other. Pre-K to grade 1 children will enjoy a 'Teddy Bear' theme--but when working with mixed ages--get creative and also include activities for them!  'Teddy Bears and Other Bears' can also work for older school-age kids!



1. Make the cave base using a small cardboard box or Styrofoam meat tray. 
2. For the cave-- staple or glue a brown crumpled paper bag to the base.
3. Add pine needles, straw, rocks/stones, twigs, moss, and sawdust.  
4. Tuck a 'teddy graham bear' or two inside the 'cave' to hibernate!


*TEDDY BEAR WINTER BIRD FEEDER (Makes a nice Nature, Earth, and Craft project all in one!)
Materials Needed:
Teddy Bear shaped Cookie Cutter
Peanut Butter
Knife (to spread Peanut Butter)
Scissors or knife
Plate to dip bird seed
Bird Seed
Ribbon or Yarn

1. Toast bread 
2. Press  cookie cutter into the bread.
3. With scissors or knife, put a hole in the toasted bread shape.
4. Spread  peanut butter onto toast.
5. Place the toast--peanut butter side down-- on a plate of bird
seed. Press lightly so the seeds stick in the peanut butter.

Put the yarn (or ribbon) in the hole of your cut out bread feeder. Hang from the trees outside for the birds to eat during the Winter





Put out a couple teddy bears and invite children to draw what they see. These samples are by first grade children-Clay and Jonathon. Source: Michal Austin-TechyTeacher



1. Cut a teddy bear shape from heavy cardboard or cardstock. (You
may want to make templates for the children to trace.) 
2. Cover the bear with glue - sprinkle fresh coffee grounds. Shake
to remove extra grounds.

Use spices such as: nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, whatever
smells good! Proceed as above.


Simple! Bears love honey so just string Honeycomb cereal! Put cereal on string and tie when complete--be sure to make long enough to get over the head. After wearing awhile, it makes a good snack!


1/2 Cup Apple Sauce
Teddy Bear Cookie Cutters
Optional: Ribbon, Cloves, Drinking Straw

1. In a bowl mix the cinnamon and apple sauce together. If the mixture is too hard, add more apple sauce, if too thin, add more cinnamon.
2. Roll mixture on wax paper until it is about 1/4 " thick.
3. Cut our shapes with the cookie cutter.
4. If you will be hanging as ornaments, put a hole in the top area of the shapes. (Use a straw to cut a perfect size hole.)
Option: Add clove to decorate the bears. Gently apply pressure to push the cloves into the ornaments.

5. Dry the bears for one to two days. After bears are dried, tie a ribbon or yarn through the hole.



Make  bear-shaped templates for children to trace. (This project is best done on card-stock type paper) After bears are drawn-just follow one of the puffy paint recipe directions below...(Recipes are from KA's Paint/Coloring Recipe Category)

1 tablespoon self-rising flour
Few little drops of food coloring
1 tablespoon salt
Add some water till it a smooth paste.
1.  Use this to paint on a thick sheet of cardboard.
You can also use Q-Tips if not enough brushes...
Microwave the design on high for 10 - 30 seconds until the paint puffs and it is dry.

1 c. water
1 c. flour
1 c. salt
Separate into different squirt bottles and add POWDERED TEMPERA PAINT to create a rainbow of colors.

Salt, Flour. Water, Tempera Paint
Mix equal amounts of flour, salt and water. Add LIQUED TEMPERA paint for color. Pour mixture into squeeze bottles and paint. Mixture hardens in a puffy shape.





(This sample is child made)
   • Cut a circle the size of a paper plate out of a piece of white craft paper.
   • Cut two oval shapes for the ears and two small circles for the eyes out of black craft paper.
   • Cut one medium-sized circle out of white craft paper for the nose. Glue cutouts onto paper plate sized circle.
   • Cut out a small black triangle and glue onto nose.  Cut out two small white circles and glue onto eyes.
   • Glue face to the backside of a paper plate.
   •Fill paper plate with a handful of macaroni or beans and staple another paper plate to the reverse side to close.
   • Shake to make noise.


MAKE A PLATE TEDDY BEAR FACE: Another easy paper plate idea...

Draw eyes. Draw nose and mouth on a cupcake liner (The muzzle). Glue the cupcake liner'paper-holder onto the plate. Add two cupcake liner ears. That's it! Plate will be as sophisticated or simple child's development.

The plate can then be glued/taped to a large craft stick and used as a puppet or mask.


 *HONEY PLAY DOUGH FOR 'BEARS' (Not only art--but making play dough is also 'science'.)
Tip: If play dough is too sticky, butter child's hands before starting...

1 cup peanut butter
1 cup honey
1 cup powdered milk
1 cup oatmeal

Mix ingredients in bowl with spoon or hands until well blended. Place playdough on wax paper. Make something and then eat it! (Be sure hands are washed well before starting.)

1 c. peanut butter
1/4 c. honey
1/2 c. powdered milk

Mix together to make a playdough.
Optional: Wheat germ, coconut, decorations: raisins, nuts.
Use as regular playdough, then eat!

1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup honey
4-6 oz. corn flour or corn meal

Combine together peanut butter and honey. Add the corn flour until it reaches the desired consistency.
Note: Corn muffin mix (Such as Jiffy-Mix) can be substituted for corn meal.



Cut three bear shapes from a medium grade sand paper. 
Rub the sandpaper bears with different scents and have children guess what the scent is!

Scents that work well: cinnamon, orange, lemon or lime peel, peanut butter, garlic, etc. 


Children sit in a circle.
Play music and when the music stops, the child left holding the bear
is out. Reward the child with small treat.
If children
are very young--have players clap for the child holding
the bear instead of going out.


This is a variation of Pin the Tail on the Donkey.

Draw a large bear on craft/roll paper.
Give each child a paper heart with their name or a number on it.

Blindfold each child when it's their turn. Turn them around and then have them place their heart on the bear's chest.



*Honey, Bees and Bears...
Decorate small flower pots or buckets to look like honey pots.
Use small plastic bees or make some using yellow circles of cloth

which you have stuffed with dried beans--and then tied.(Much like bean bags) Another option is to use colored baby socks and fill them with dry beans and tie them closed with a piece of ribbon. Choose yellow socks for bees.

Cut a large bee hive shape from construction paper. It should be
large enough for a child to stand on with both feet. If necessary, cut two hives - one for each foot. If possible-laminate for repeated use.

If playing the game outdoors, use sidewalk chalk to draw a 'hive shape' on the hard surface.

Have each child take a turn standing on the hives and tossing the bees into the honey pots. Award one point for landing in the closest pot, two points for the middle pot, and three points for the farthest pot. If not using bee hives to stand on--mark a line to throw from.


Play like a traditional relay race.

1.Form two or more teams. Each 'team' is given a stuffed bear.
2. Children line up and one by one run from one end of the course to the other while holding their bear. When they return to the staring point, they give the bear to the next child.
3. If the bear is dropped during the run, the player must return to the beginning and start over.
The first team to have all players finish the race wins.


Gummy Bears
Paper plates
Corn flakes or Whipped cream

Hide one gummy bear on each paper plate in a pile of corn flakes or in a blop of whipped cream. (Older kids love the whipped cream-and it makes a great photo-op!) 
Children stand or sit in front of the plate with their hands behind their backs.
On the "GO" signal, each player finds the gummy bear in the corn flakes (whipped cream) using only their mouth & teeth...
The first player to lift their head with the gummy bear between their teeth is the winner!

Variation: Hide several gummy bears and set a time limit; those who find the most gummy bears wins! This can be done as an individual or 'Team Count' event.


Instead of playing Duck, Duck, Goose--Play 'BEAR, BEAR, GOLDILOCKS'!

PLAY TEDDY BEAR TAILS (Also played like Duck, Duck, Goose)
Object of game: Teddy bear is looking for his tail!

Give each player a tail made from brown felt or construction paper. Have children tuck or tape the 'tail' on their lower back. Except for the bear, players sit in a circle--Teddy Bear walks around the circle until he/she sees 'the tail'. After grabbing a tail, Teddy runs around the outside of the circle--and back to the empty spot--before being caught by the 'tail-less' player.


*Instead of Simon 'TEDDY  SAYS'...


TEDDY BEAR HUNT  (A version of Hot and Cold)

Hide a small teddy bear in your program room- or a section of your outdoor area. (Make sure the children know what they are looking for.)

  • Have children come into the room and search for the bear.
  • As they get closer call out "Warmer, warmer" until you get to "Hot!" As they get further away call out "Cooler, cooler" until you get to "Cold".
  • The first player to find the bear then gets to go and hide it for the next round.



Place all the Teddy Bears in the center of a parachute or large blanket. With all players firmly holding the edges, toss them up into the air. Whose Bear is going to go the highest? (See 'Parachute Game Category' for other games)


Played like traditional musical chairs...
Set out chairs, one for each child minus one.
While each child holds a bear, they move/dance to  music.
When the music stops, they move quickly  and put their bear on a chair. The bear that doesn't have a chair is out but children are given a treat/prize as they are out.


Make large 'paw prints' using card stock. Numer each paw print--from 1 to 10.

Place the numbered paws around the garden/house. Children must find the prints in numbered order. When they get to number 10 they'll find a bear with a bowl of treats. Treats can be 'goody bags', candy or cookies, etc.





• Papa bear takes big steps
• Mama bear takes medium steps
• Baby bear takes baby steps
• Brother bear hops on both feet
• Sister bear hops on one foot
• Polar Bear walks on all fours

You can also play music of your choice and encourage  children to move like:
Big bears, little bears, tired bears, happy bears, scared bears, etc. Make it more interesting by choosing music based on the movement you'd like!

• Growl softly
• Growl loudly
• Growl fiercely
• Growl gently
• Growl to yourself
• Growl a big, wide growl


Divide  children into two or more teams.
Each team member is given a teddy bear and lines up in a straight line in front of their "basket". (If there are not enough bears-give the first person in each team line a bear. The team will then share this bear.)

The team who gets the most bears in their container wins!








*Visit the Jokes Category about Bears!





*TEDDY BEAR VACATIONS (Good for Pre-K thru Grade School)
This project can be done a number of ways.

Method #1
Pack up your group's teddy bear and send him/her to another program, school classroonm day care, hospital,  or _______. Teddy bear will go on a trip and return with pictures and a journal about  adventures and experiences on the vacation.
Teddy's host will photograph and record his adventures. (Learning, Reading, Napping, Playing, Visiting children's homes, etc)

It would be helpful to also send a disposable camera, blank diary with identification-- and other things that one would need for a trip. (A small backpack to put everything in)


Method #2


1. Preparation is the same as above; however, Teddy starts out with a person that is going on vacation. A diary/journal with photographs is kept.
2. Upon return, Teddy is then given to another person that is going on a trip.
3. Set a certain time frame-such as 60 to 90 days. Indicate in documentation --when and where the bear is to be returned.
4. Oh what adventures Teddy will have! Lessons and discussions can then be build around Teddy's adventures! Be sure to keep track of the miles and map each place Teddy has visited.


One traveling bear that I've read of (known as Snicks) slowly collected clothing from places he visited (including teddy-patterned socks, a personalized T-shirt, shoes and 2 caps) as well as pins and badges from his various travels. He also had a backpack containing knickknacks from along the way. (He visited many of the States, Australia, Cape Town, and Czechoslovakia.

Photos were posted online to the Snickerdoodle MacBear flickr page. He also had his own 'Facebook page' where he updated friends on his adventures. (One year I did this with a group of children-and we really had a good time with it! Barb)





Invite children to bring in their teddy bears or a teddy bear 'friend'-- if  their favorite stuffed animal isn't a bear.


• Compare bears...
• Talk about what kinds of bears the children have. Do the children remember when/where they got their bears?
• Create a graph based on the color of the bears.


Extension Idea:
Each category can have seveal winners...


•Funnies names of bears
•Happies looking bears
•Most unique bears
•Most colorful bears
•Most huggable bears
•Fuzziest bears
•Softest bear
•Well-dressed bears
•Smallest bears
•Biggest bears
•Skinniest bears
•Widest/chubbiest bears
•Loved well bears
•Oldest bears




Talk about the differences between teddy bears and real bears.
    • Where do they live?
    • What do they eat? etc.






Set up your dramatic play center with a 'medical clinic area/table for 'Teddy Bear and Friends' that are ill or need attending!
Make sure young 'doctors and nurses' have all the supplies they need. Usually toy doctor kit/bags have the essentials.
Include : Doctor bag, stethoscope, reflex hammer, thermometer, play syringe, auriscope, laryngoscope, bandages, plastic gloves, wraps, cold compresses, gauze pads, surgical tape, tongue depressors,  pager (some have realistic sounds, and battery operated cell phone. Maybe add a microscope and magnifying glass? Besides an examing table--is there a bed where the 'patient (s) can recooperate? (Homemade bed-boxes work out great for this...)

Also look for deals on scrubs, caps and lab coats...quite often the time after Halloween will have sales.
Want to make your own as an activity to go with the center?




MAKE LAB COATS (Taken from KA's Mad Science Category)
#1  Lab Coats: Cover  table with newspapers or freezer paper. Lay out fabric markers. Give each child a plain white shirt to decorate as a lab coat. You can use T-shirts, or look for used front-buttoning shirts at thrift shops
Idea #2
Use white kitchen sized garbage bags to make lab coats.
Cut a half circle hole for the head, and half circles for the arms. With a black permanent marker, draw a line down the front and buttons next to it. You can also draw a pocket on the side with a pen in it; write the children's names on them (Example: Professor Smith, Dr. Susan, etc.




Bears eat with their paws--so the snacks of course should be finger foods and nibbles!


Make Peanut-butter and jelly sandwiches (or other fillings)
Cut out in the bear shapes.




Fill bear-shaped molds with juice and freeze. Fill a  punch bowl with
juice or simple punch recipe. Add bear cubes before serving.



Bears like ants and insects and bears also like make your favorite versions of ANTS/BUGS ON A LOG!

MAKE 'LOGS'  from any of these foods:  

• Celery Stalks (cut to about 3 inches long)
• Apples (cut in halves or quarters with cores removed)
• Carrots 
(cut to about 3 inches long)




• Cream Cheese
• Cream cheese and pineapple
• Cheese and pimento
• Peanut butter
• Egg salad




• Raisins
• Golden raisins
• Dried cranberries or cherries
• Raisenettes candy
• Unsweetened cereal
• Sunflower seeds
• Chopped peanuts of finely chopped walnuts
• Mix in chopped apple




1 cupcake per person
Frosting (Any color/flavor you'd like)
2 Nilla Wafers
1 Junior Mint or large spice/gumdrop 
2 black or dark brown M&Ms

After frosting the cupcake, place a Nilla wafer cookie (for a muzzle) toward the bottom of the cupcake.
Stick a Junior mint 'nose' about 2/3 down the cookie muzzle.
Add M&M eyes.
To make the ears, cut the second Nilla Wafer in half; place halves at the top of cupcake.


If Bears live near the sea they catch fish.
Fill celery with cream cheese and top them with goldfish crackers!

Bears eat berries, nuts, tubers, roots, honey, worms, buds, leaves, fruit, twigs, grubs, fish, and insects/ants. In the spring, black bears even eat the inside layer of young trees. They must eat between 11 and 18 pounds of food each day to stay healthy.

SO...SERVE fruit, berries, nuts and honey. Gummy worms can substitute for worms!






1 cup miniature pretzels
1 cup miniature Teddy Grahams snacks
1 cup dry roasted peanuts (If no allergies)
1 cup m&m's
1 cup gummy worms
Mix together and enjoy

See other 'Worm Snacks' in the WORM THEME! (Scroll down to the middle of the page)




Frost a large round cookie or cupcake as desired. Place a gum drop --or half a large gum drop --at the upper side of the cupcake. Place a large Teddy Graham or Gummy Bear at the opposite lower side of the dessert. Connect the 'balloon' with the bear with a slender string of licorice. (In this image, two cupcakes have gummy bears with ballons--and one has a very large gummy bear on it. Sprinkles are added) Image by




MAKE AN ANT FARM... with Peanut Butter, Graham Crackers and Raisins

  • On a plate spread peanut butter.
  • In the middle erect a tunnel from the broken graham crackers.
  • Next, place the raisins on the peanut butter to look like Ants.
  • Children can eat the raisins and peanut butter with either the graham crackers or pieces of celery.
    (You can use canned chocolate frosting if you have peanut allergies in your group)






First put ice cream and then a layer of your choice of candy--- M&M's, Kisses, Chocolate or Peanut Butter Chips.

Cover candy layer with Cool Whip...Decorate with Gummy Bears.Serve in small-clear plastic cups for individual servings ..or one big vat that everyone shares. Usually, kids like to have their own :-)






    Bears like Honey so have...APPLES AND HONEY...

    Take an apple and slice a thin piece from the bottom so that it stands up without support. Cut the top off and core the center out. Fill with honey.





QUICK IDEAS: Serve Teddy Graham Bear Cookies, Honeycomb Cereal, Gummy Bears...



No theme is complete without a Community Service effort!

1. Consider holding a TEDDY BEAR AND FRIENDS (Stuffed Animals) DRIVE!
Donate  collected animals to a Homeless Shelter for new arrivals.

2. Another idea--check with your local police station or fire station. Many are happy to take Teddy and Friends; a teddy bear can be a comfort to children in times of distress.

3. ADOPT A BEAR ( or lion, tiger, whale, or other animal.) Many zoos, aquariums, and animal sea habitats have adoption programs. In exchange for financial support, you often get a photo and biography of your new adoptee.


4. HELP THE PLIGHT OF ASIAN 'MOON' BEARS! For ideas visit the Kids' Page at AnimalsAsia...Animal Asia has extensive list ideas for children and teachers. There is information regarding...
What is a Moon Bear; Why do Moon Bears need help; What is the 'Bear Rescue'; How to help; Info for Teachers; Games and Quizzes; Downloads.
Spend some time in different areas of the site and learn about the plight of Asian Bears and how we can help.

5. ADOPT A POLAR BEAR, PANDA or one many other animals.
Visit World Wildlife Fund; donations start at 25.00 (Donations are used in general support of WWF's efforts around the world. 82 cents of every donated dollar goes toward conservation. WWF has been recognized by Charity Navigator, and meets the BBB Wise Giving Alliance's Standards for Charity Accountability.)





*TEDDY BEAR, TEDDY BEAR (Younger children say and do--older can jump rope)
Teddy bear, teddy bear,
Turn around. 
Teddy bear, teddy bear, 
Touch the ground. 
Teddy bear, teddy bear, 
Shine your shoes. 
Teddy bear, teddy bear, 
Teddy bear, teddy bear, 
Go upstairs. 
Teddy bear, teddy bear, 
Say your prayers. 
Teddy bear, teddy bear, 
Turn out the light. 
Teddy bear, teddy bear, 
Say good night. 


A little brown bear went in search of some honey,
Isn't it funny, a bear wanting honey?
He sniffed at the breeze, (Sniff air)
And he listened for bees, (Cup hand to ear and listen)
And would you believe it?
He even climbed trees!
(Fingers of one hand climb the opposite arm.)


Tune: For He's a Jolly Good Fellow
The bear went over the mountain, 
The bear went over the mountain, 
The bear went over the mountain, 
To see what he could see. 
And all that he could see,
And all that he could see,
Was the other side of the mountain, 
The other side of the mountain, 
The other side of the mountain, 
Was all that he could see.


Sing to tune of Three Blind Mice (Good song to go along with a version of 'Goldilocks & The Three Bears' Story)

Three brown bears
Three brown bears
See all their beds
See all their chairs...

The mommy cooked in
A big brown pot
The daddy's porridge
Was much too hot
The baby bear
Always cried a lot...
Three brown bears


To the tune of My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean

The polar bear lives in Alaska,
He never gets cold in a storm,
He swims in cold icy water,
His heavy coat keeps him warm.
Warm, warm, warm, warm,
His heavy coat keeps him warm.
Warm, warm, warm, warm,
His heavy coat keeps him warm.



Bears, bears, bears, everywhere!
(Point in all directions)
Bears cimbing stairs,
(Pretend to climb)
Bears sitting on chairs,
(Pretend to sit)
Bears collecting fares,
(Reach out for fares) 

Bears giving stares,
(Stare at group)
Bears, bears, bears, everywhere!



This little bear has a fur suit. (Thumb)
This little bear acts very cute (Pointer finger)
This little bear is bold and cross. (Middle finger)
This little bear says, "You're not boss." (Ring finger)
This little bear likes bacon and honey. (Little finger)
But he can't buy them, he has no money!!!




TEDDY BEAR'S PICNIC (Complete lyrics below)

If you go down to the woods today,
You'd better go in disguise.

If you go down to the woods today,
You're in for a big surprise.

For every bear that ever there was
Is gathered there for certain because..
Today's the day the teddy bears have their picnic.



Lyrics by Jimmy Kennedy -1932 (A Celtic song)

If you go down to the woods today
You're sure of a big surprise.
If you go down to the woods today
You'd better go in disguise.

For ev'ry bear that ever there was
Will gather there for certain, because
Today's the day the teddy bears have their picnic.

Ev'ry teddy bear who's been good
Is sure of a treat today.
There's lots of marvelous things to eat
And wonderful games to play.

Beneath the trees where nobody sees
They'll hide and seek as long as they please
Cause that's the way the teddy bears have their picnic.

If you go down to the woods today
You'd better not go alone.
It's lovely down in the woods today
But safer to stay at home.

For ev'ry bear that ever there was
Will gather there for certain, because
Today's the day the teddy bears have their picnic.

Picnic time for teddy bears
The little teddy bears are having a lovely time today
Watch them, catch them unawares
And see them picnic on their holiday.

See them gaily gad about
They love to play and shout;
They never have any care;

At six o'clock their mummies and daddies,
Will take them home to bed,
Because they're tired little teddy bears.






(For ages Pre-K to Adult)


•Baloo from The Jungle Book and The Second Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling
The Berenstein Bears
Brer Bear, from the Uncle Remus stories by Joel Chandler Harris
Paddington Bear
The Three Bears from Goldilocks and the Three Bears
Winnie-the-Pooh (The Winnie-the-Pooh Collection) by A. A. Milne

Rupert Bear (also known as Rupert the Bear) from the children's books by Mary Tourtel (also became featured in comic strips and a TV series)
Corduroy by Don Freeman

Little Bear by Maurice Sendak
Crow of the Bear Clan, barbarian comic book bear
Old Bear, from the Old Bear series of books
Old Ben, around which revolve the events of William Faulkner's short
story The Bear.

Shardik, the ursine protagonist of Richard Adams' novel of the same name

Theadore Rosebear, Teddy Roosevelt's best friend in Edward Summer's novel Teefr and The Legend of Teddy Bear Bob (aka "Bear Bob's Story").
Henisz Teddy Bear who went on the Trip around the World.
Beorn, from 'The Hobbit,' by J.R.R Tolkien, was a man with the ability
to transform into a bear

The Three Bulgy Bears in 'Prince Caspian'
Teddy Robinson, from Joan G. Robinson's books 'Dear Teddy Robinson'
and 'More about Teddy Robinson'.
Ursaline B. "Bear" Bruin, a Chevy Suburban-driving grizzly from the
fantasy novel 'Collinsfort Village' by Joe Ekaitis.

Teddy Bears' Picnic (Aladdin Picture Books) by Jimmy Kennedy

Winnie-the-Pooh (The Winnie-the-Pooh Collection) by A. A. Milne

The Million-Dollar Bear by William Kotzwinkle

Holt Collier: His Life, His Roosevelt Hunts, and the Origin of the Teddy Bear by Minor Ferris Buchanan

That's Not My Teddy (Usborne Touchy-Feely Board Books) by Fiona Watt

Teddy Bear Encyclopedia by Pauline Cockrill

The Teddy Bear by David McPhail

The Teddy Bears' Picnic Board Book and Tape (My First Book and Tape) by Jerry Garcia

Sign and Sing Along: Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear! by Annie Kubler Favorite nursery rhymes and songs



There are eight species in the bear family: The Asiatic Black Bear, Brown Bear, North American Black Bear, Panda Bear, Polar Bear, Sloth Bear, Spectacled Bear, and the Sun Bear. 

For many years scientists wondered whether the panda was more like the raccoon family or more like the bear family. DNA studies have shown that that giant panda is more closely related to the bear. Books published before that time may still list only seven species of bear, because the giant panda was not included in the list.

The koala is not a bear, it's a marsupial. It gets the nickname 'koala bear' from its resemblance to a teddy bear, not from any relationship to actual bears. 





Easter Art, Crafts and Snacks

January 8, 2012 10:20 by Barbara Shelby

Page 1 Updated March 2013




Materials: Jellybeans, paint, paper, tape, a box
Directions: Place a piece of paper in a box. Take the tape and roll a piece over on itself; place it on the back of the paper to keep the paper secure in the box...

Add small amounts of paint in each corner. Place a few jellybeans in the box and have the children move the box so that the jellybeans will roll through the paint and create an abstract design "work of art..." 

Trace an 'Egg pattern template' onto white construction paper; have children cut them out. In four separate bowls divide a can of condensed milk; add a few drops of food coloring in each bowl--One color per bowl. Paint the eggs with the condensed milk paint. Let them dry.

When art is dry the eggs will have a glossy appearance. Use the eggs to decorate the room.


Ask all you know to save the dyed shells from the Easter eggs! When Easter is over, you'll have the most important material for this project!

Need: Egg shells, Glue, paper, and water-color paint.
Glue shells onto a piece of paper. When the glue dries, paint over it with water colors...

Place Easter shaped cookie cutters in paint.
Cover a blank piece of paper with the cookie cutter shapes.
Is is it an art project or wrapping paper? Your choice!

Paper #2

Mix a variety of food coloring with water in a spray bottles.
With the variety of colors, Spray water on a large sheet of paper.

There are several ways the dried paper can be used.
   • Wrapping paper
   • Trace egg shaped templates to make decorations or cards.
   •  Background on an Easter or Spring time display board.


Make a print of each child's foot using yellow paint. With an orange marker, add an orange beak where the BALL OF THE FOOT is... Add brown stick feet where the toes are . Glue onto a piece of folded 8 1/2 x 11 paper or construction paper. Write "Happy Easter" on the front--with a message or poem on the inside.



1. Cut out large "chick shapes" from white paper. Put tempera paint (white, yellow, orange, black) in containers and then use REAL candy "Peeps" to apply the paint---in a sponge like effect.

2. The head makes a good grip for the bottom when the chick's bottom is dipped in paint...

3. Extra fun! Have "Peeps" as a treat too! If you're concerned about younger children taking a bite during the painting, you can use vanilla pudding with food coloring to paint!

  • Put a sheet of wax paper in the bottom of a good size box. Add a few spoonfuls of various colors of paint (child's choice of color) 
  • Place hard-boiled egg(s) in box and roll--the same way as in marble painting. It's a fun way to color eggs... and...
the paint results on the wax paper look like a stained glass picture! You can frame the wax paper in construction paper and hang it in a window.
    • Colored pieces of egg shells 
    • Pink Construction paper  
    • White cardstock or construction paper 
    • Glue 
    • Pencil 
    • Scissors 
    • Markers, crayons, and colored pencils

1. Draw the shape of an egg on the colored construction paper.
2. Put a coating of glue on the construction paper egg.
3. Glue pieces of crushed egg shells on the paper, keeping the colored side up and let it dry.
4. Take the construction paper and cut a piece of it twice the width of the egg and slightly taller than the egg.
5. Fold up the paper in half and paste the mosaic egg on front of it.
Write an Easter message on the card.


  • Children love to have their faces painted. 
  • Here's an easy way to turn children into Peter Cottontail's helper: Draw an upside-down triangle on the child's nose with the brush from brown or black liquid eyeliner or face-paint.  Fill in completely. Rub a circle of rouge on each cheek. Paint three whiskers with the eyeliner or paint on each side of the face, starting from the nose and extending across the cheek. 
  • Allow to dry. 
  • This bunny face comes off in a flash using makeup remover pads or soap and water.

Materials: Paint or Washable Markers, Coffee Filters, Spray Bottles

1. Cut coffee filters in the shape of Easter eggs and give each child a spray bottle with different colors of water in them.
2. Have the children spray the coffee filter until it's completely soaked. Dry...
3. You can also have children decorate egg shaped filters with markers and spray with regular water.

Materials: Picture of an Easter Basket, Paint, and children's thumbs.

Draw or down-load a simple picture of an empty Easter basket. Put a variety of paints in shallow dishes and let the kids dip there thumbs and make Easter eggs in the basket!


Items Needed:
Grass seed, potting soil, pot or cup, wide craft stick, white paint, markers, pink felt, misc. craft items such as fishing line (whiskers) pipe cleaners, pom poms, press on eyes, or googly eyes.

1. Have children place the potting soil in the pot, and sprinkle with grass seed.
2. Place a little more soil to cover; water the soil.
3. Next have the children paint their craft sticks white; when they are dry, decorate them like bunnies. Cut the felt into ears, put on eyes, nose, and whiskers.
4. Insert the stick into the grass pot and place it in a sunny window.
5. In a few days your bunny will be sitting in the grass.


   Secret Message Easter Eggs are easy, different and lots of fun for children and adults alike. Start with one blown egg (CLICK HERE - (directions are towards the bottom of the page) to learn how. After having a clean, blown-out egg, brush with a thin coating of craft glue. Sprinkle with clear, silver, gold or colored glitter and allow the egg to dry.

    • Cut out a 2-inch-by-2-inch square of airmail or tracing paper. Write a small fortune, note, poem or promise to perform a certain task or chore on the paper and roll up tightly. Slip into the larger hole at the bottom of the egg. Cover the hole with a sparkly sequin, sticker or bead. The recipient cracks the egg to discover the message.

   • Can't bear to crack your creation? When you insert the message, leave a little bit of it exposed so it can be pulled out without destroying the egg.

Clear contact paper
Pastel-colored tissue paper
1. Cut out two small, rectangular pieces of contact paper.
2. Have children tear the tissue paper into small bits.
3. Peel off the backing of one of the pieces of contact paper. Have children stick pieces of tissue paper to it.
4. When it is filled, cover it with the second piece of contact paper.
5. Smooth it out, and then cut it into the shape of an egg. (Make a template pattern of an egg to trace) Hang them in the window...

You can make sun catchers to fit any theme you like: Hearts for Valentine's Day, flowers for spring, etc.

Need: White paper bag, tape, ribbon, wiggle eyes, and a pom pom
    • Take a paper bag (Preferably white). 
    • Tape the bag closed-- about one third of the way up. 
    • To make bunny ears, cut a slit down the middle of the bag to where you have it taped. 
    • Round the corners of the ears and poke 2 holes near the top of EACH ear. These are to put ribbon through to make the "inner ear". 
    • Decorate with 2 large pom poms for the cheeks and one for the nose. Use 2 large wiggle eyes. Use string or ribbon for the whiskers.


BUNNY OR CHICK JARS Try this craft from Making Friends  It can be adaptd to just about any animal or holday theme!

1. Remove the label from a clean baby food jar.  Fill the jar with pompoms to match your animal's face. Put the lid on and turn it upside down.
2. Glue on wiggle eyes.
3. Cut ears (or beak) out of foam and glue in place.
4. Add pompoms if desired.
5. For whiskers, cut pieces of craft lace and glue one end under pompom nose.
6. Cut a strip of craft foam 1/4" wide and glue around edge of lid. Original idea from Lisa  Anniston, Alabama

Paper plate,
Pink or black paper(a small quantity for the nose and ears)
Cotton balls

1. To make the ears, cut out oval shapes from the cardboard. 
2. Next, cut out the nose from the colored paper. You can also cut triangles of pink paper to make the inside of the bunny's ear.
3. Cut two holes in the paper plate for eyes.
4. Paste on the ears,(you can put straws behind the ears to make them stay upright) eyes and nose.
5. Cover the face with glue cotton balls--to make the bunny look soft.
Bunny mask is now complete!

Materials: Constructions paper and straws 
    • Make rabbit-ear template shapes.
    • Have the children trace and cut them out of construction paper...(if children are young, pre-cut for them) 
    • Glue them to a paper head band. 
    • Add straws to the back of the ears so they will stay upright.


1. Take a small brown lunch sack and roll it from the top all the way down to make a perfect birds nest.
2. Have children collect twigs, grass, etc. from the outside and put in their nests. OR...
3. You can put in Easter grass and jelly beans with a pipe cleaner handle to use it as a small Easter basket.

Margarine container
Hole punch
Pipe cleaners
Fabric, and ribbon (Other decorations as desired)
Easter grass and goodies

Directions: Wash and dry a margarine container.
1. Punch a hole on both sides of container - near the top.
2. Wrap 2 pipe cleaners around each other and insert each end into a hole and twist the ends together for the handle.
3. Decorate the "basket" as desired.
4. Glue fabric, tissue paper, or wrapping paper and ribbon to outside of container.
5. Decorate the handle with ribbon and a bow. Add some Easter grass and fill the basket with treats!


  • Make a Easter basket from a plastic BERRY container...Weave pretty colored ribbon or yarn through the open spaces around the container and glue the ends together. 
  • Use pipe cleaners or heavy cardboard for the handles. 
  • Have the children put an egg that they colored themselves into the basket--along with some Easter grass and jelly beans.

BABY FOOD JAR BUNNY  (Different than above)

You'll Need: Baby food jar, glue, cotton balls, Wiggly Eyes, one big pom-pom, one small pom-pom, white or pink pipe cleaner,
Acrylic paint - white or pink

  1. Paint the jar lid with acrylic paint and let it dry while you make the rest of the bunny.
  2. Cover the baby food jar with cotton balls.
  3. On the cotton-ball covered jar-attach the eyes, small pom pom for the nose and the big one for the tail.
  4. Shape the pipe cleaner into bunny ears and hot glue the ears to the lid.
  5.Place one last piece of cotton in between the ears.
  6. For a small gift or party favor, fill the jar with jelly beans.

1 large white paper plate, 1 small white paper plate, white or pink construction paper, google eyes, 3 pink chenille stems, red or pink marker, 2 or 3 cotton balls, white glue, stapler

1. Staple the plates together, the small one as the head and the larger as the body.
2. Cut two large oval shaped ears from the construction paper.
3. Staple or glue them to the back of the small paper plate. Glue on the eyes and a small pink triangle makes the nose.
4. Cut the chenille stems in half and glue three to either side of the nose for whiskers.
5. Use the marker to draw on a mouth.
6. Attach two or three cotton balls to the back of the bunny to make a tail.
7. The children make want to add a hair bow or bow tie to dress up their bunny!

TIP: chenille stems can be difficult to secure with white glue, you can use a hole punch to insert the whiskers...

Need: Coffee Filter, Food Coloring, Straws 
    • Cut the coffee filter into an oval, egg shape. 
    • Measure  about 1/4 cup of water into a container.
Add a few drops of food coloring at a time into the water until you get the desired color. 
    • Repeat this for as many different colors you want. 
    • Once your colors are mixed, you can use the straw to add colors to your egg shape.

Dip a straw into the desired color. Cover the end of your straw with your finger so the colored water stays in it. Move the straw to your filter and hold it over the area you want colored. Remove your finger from the end of the straw and the colored water will run onto the egg! Repeat this for as many colors as you want to use.
When finished - dry the eggs...


You'll need: Poster Board, Tissue paper and other decorative items (buttons, lace, ribbon etc.)
  1. Cut a large circle from the poster board-about 18 inches in diameter.
  2. Cut another hole in the middle of the circle, big enough to fit around
the child's head. It should look like a donut.
  3. Next... Using craft glue or a glue gun, add decorations to the rim of the hat.
  4. Use a hole punch to add the ribbon tie.

You'll need: Paper plate, ribbon, hole punch, glue, supplies to decorate the hat such as lace, bows, ribbons, beads, costume jewelry, pipe cleaners, feathers, felt, crayons, poster paint
  1. Make two holes in the rim of the plate before decorating. The holes should be opposite one another.
  2. Lace 10" pieces of ribbon into the holes. When tied, these will secure the hat.
  3. Now have fun decorating the hats...

Materials :
Blown out egg shell,(Direction Here) Paint, Paper cupcake liners, Wide ribbon, Cardboard tube, Tape or glue, Scissors
Paint the face of the doll in the in the blown out eggshell.
1. Fold the paper muffin cup in half -- to make the Easter bonnet for the doll.
2. Use the ribbon to tie the bonnet properly on the Easter egg face. You can also use glue or tape to attach the ribbon or yarn, to set the bonnet in its right position.
3. To make the body, take about 4 to 5 muffin cups and cut their centers.
4. Take the cardboard tube and use glue to place the cups upside down on it. To make the tiered skirt of the doll, let the muffin cups overlap the last one.
5. Glue the egg doll face on the topside of the cardboard tube to complete the Easter egg doll.


Although one can shop for Easter placemats, self-made and personalized placemats can create an ambiance of warmth and hospitality.

Materials : 
• Cardboard/Card-stock paper or construction paper 
• Glue 
• Contact paper 
• Easter cards 
• Photos 
• Pictures

1. Take parts of Easter cards, photos or pictures and cut them into different shapes.
2. Using glue, paste the cut out pictures on the cardboard to create a collage.
3. Laminate the collage using contact paper.
4. Write an Easter greeting message to lend a personal touch to the placemat.

You could also make something like the above place mat at First Palette.



• Inflate and tie a small balloon for each child. 
• Make a thin glue and water mixture, and have the children "paint" sections of the balloon and then lay squares of tissue paper down flat onto the glue. 
• The tissue should overlap and cover the entire balloon. Let it dry on wax paper, or hang to dry from the knotted end of the balloon over newspaper. 
• When the balloon is completely dry, use scissors to cut a small slit in the balloon neck. The balloon will deflate, leaving a beautiful, hollow tissue paper "egg". 
• For a  gift, these may be filled with lightweight candies, and then sealed with one more square of tissue.

Need: Legg's eggs, a plastic Easter egg, or small blown up balloon; Masking tape, Glue, Brushes, and Colored tissue paper.

Directions: Put tape around the seam of Legg's eggs or plastic egg.
1. Brush slightly watered-down glue all over the egg.
2. Place different colored tissue paper pieces onto the glue.
3. Have children dip their fingers into some glue to sure all paper edges are down.



Make a bowl of Chicken Feed by tossing together crisp, crunchy shoestring potatoes, salted corn nuts, shelled sunflower seeds and pistachios, dried blueberries and unsweetened coconut flakes for a crunchy, nutty treat.
(Leave out whatever you don't like)


1. Prepare cupcakes and frost with cream cheese frosting, white or yellow colored frosting.
2. Create green Easter "grass" by placing shredded coconut and a few drops of liquid green food coloring in a re-sealable plastic bag.
3. Mix the food coloring into the coconut until it is evenly distributed and the coconut is green.
4. Sprinkle the coconut over the iced cupcakes.
5. Insert one end of a red licorice whip into the cupcake, then bend and insert the other end of the licorice into the opposite side of the cupcake to form a basket handle.
6. Top cupcake with a few jelly bean "eggs" and they're ready to serve.




Make or purchase white frosted cucakes...Place coconut in resealable food-storage plastic bag. Add about 8 drops yellow liquid food color; seal bag and shake to mix. Frost cupcakes with white frosting. Top with yellow coconut. For eyes, add brown baking bits. Cut orange gumdrops to resemble beaks; place on cupcakes. Source: Betty


Makes 12 nests
2 tablespoons butter
3 cups miniature marshmallows
4 cups Post Fruity Pebbles or Trix cereal
Coconut flakes
Assorted candies

   • Microwave butter in large microwavable bowl on high for 30 seconds or until melted. Add marshmallows; toss to coat. Microwave 1-1/2 minutes, stirring after 45 seconds. 
   • Add cereal; toss lightly to coat well. 
   • Press firmly into lightly greased muffin pans to form 12 nest; cool. 
   • Fill nest with coconut (you can tint coconut, if desired) and candies. 
   • Note: lightly spray your hands with no stick cooking spray to prevent cereal mixture from sticking and to make it easy to press the mixture into muffin pans.


#1 Ingredients:
Pear halves
Miniature marshmallows or cottage cheese
Apple slices or Almonds

  • Place a lettuce leaf on a plate. 
  • Put the pear half on lettuce for the body. 
  • Insert raisins for the eyes and nose. 
  • The ears are made from apples slices or almonds;a miniature marshmallow or cottage cheese become the bushy tail.   Source:


Cottage cheese
1 can of pear halves
Celery stick
1 Red Grapes

1. Place leaves of lettuce on a salad plate.
2. Use Ice cream scoop and place cottage cheese on top of the lettuce.
3. Use 1 canned pear half and place on top of cottage cheese.
4. Use thin slices of celery for whiskers.
5. Place the raisins where the eyes should be.
6. Use a grape for the nose.
7. Cut the remaining pear in half to create the ears.

1/3c. butterscotch morsels
1c.chow-mein noodles
Candy robin's eggs

1. Melt butterscotch morsels in a medium microwave safe bowl.
2. Add chow-mein noodles to melted morsels and mix.
3. Shape into a circle on wax paper. Use a large spoon  to make indention in center.
4. Let nests harden and then add jelly beans or chocolate eggs.



Make the above version, but instead of butterscotch chips, use chocolate chips! (Image by


Melt 1/2 cup of butter in a saucepan. Add 1 cup of brown sugar. Boil and stir for one minute. Add a 3 oz. can of chow mein noodles. Put the mixture in 12 paper baking cups in a muffin tin. Use your thumb to press noodles into the nest while still warm. DO NOT BAKE. Give children jelly bean eggs to put in their nests.



 •16 ounces shredded coconut
 •1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
 •2 teaspoons vanilla extract
 •Jelly beans or candy Robin Eggs

Mix first three ingredients together. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto generously greased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 8 minutes.
Cool coconut macaroons slightly; remove to rack. Once cooled, place candy Robin Eggs or jelly beans on top of coconut 'nests'. This makes about 4 dozen coconut macaroons.

Tip: Parchment paper or a well greased pan works best to put on the cookie tray. Then make very small roughly round balls and place on the tray. Press your thumb in the middle to make the “nest”.  These spread out in the oven, so don’t press too hard or make them too big.

Cooking time is dependent on the size of your “nests”. Bigger nests requite more time in the oven.
Annie at "No Fuss" recommends about that tablespoon size will fit 3  mini egg candies...or one large Cadbury egg.

Watch in the oven with the light on till coconut tips are barely golden.  ♥ This idea and photo is  courtey of No Fuss Fabulous


This recipe is from Jif Peanut Butter. The kids will love this for Easter!
   • 6 tablespoons butter or margarine
   • 2-10oz packages of marshmallows
   • 2 cups creamy peanut butter
   • 10 cups crisp rice cereal
   • Non-stick cooking spray
   • Jelly beans, licorice gum drops, or decorative candy
   • Glaze (optional)
   • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
   • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
   • 2 tablespoons milk
   • 1 teaspoon vanilla
   • 2 1/2 cups sifted powder sugar
   • Makes 16 servings.

1. In large saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows. Stir until completely melted and remove from heat.
2. Stir in peanut butter and mix well to incorporate.
3. Add rice crisp cereal and stir until well coated.
4. Press into two 9-inch pans, well coated with cooking spray and allow to cool.
5. Cut ears and bow tie from one cake. This is done by cutting two football shaped ears from the top and bottom of one cake layer, leaving a bow tie-shaped piece in the middle.
6. Position two ears at top of whole round cake and place bow tie under face.
7. Apply optional glaze, if desired. Decorate with jelly beans, marshmallows, licorice, and gum drops or any of your favorite cake decorations.


 RAW EGG ON TOAST (The egg is a peach half!)


Ingredients for one serving...
1 slice poundcake
1/2 peach
Reddi-Whip topping
Put slice of pound cake on plate.
Place peach half on top-- round side up.
Add whip cream around peach and serve.
It looks like a raw egg on toast!



 This snack only takes two steps:
1. First take  Wilton's Disposable 12 inch Decorating Bags (or something simiar) and fill them with whole wheat gold fish or your favorite orange colored cheese crackers.
2.  Gather the top and tie with green ric-rac, ribbon, or yarn.

These crackers are much more nutritious than jellybeans, but the effect is just as cute! This is idea is great as a gift to take home or to make up ahead and serve then at your program Spring/Easter celebration! Photo and idea is thanks to No Fuss Fabulous!





Make pancakes...

In the center of the pancakes make a nest shape with whipped cream.
Place a marshmallow chicken peep, jelly eggs or melon balls in the middle of the nest.

When these were served, KidActivities poured a little warm syrup on the pancake before putting on the nest of whipped cream. Optional 'sprinkles' were also added. All thought they were not only fun but tasted great! ( Image by


Click here for complete Easter Themed Art, Crafts, Snacks, Games, Jokes, Easter Egg Ideas and more...


Gardening Theme Page 1

December 14, 2011 17:49 by Barbara Shelby

Page 1 consist of  'How' to Plant and Grow, Experiments, Worm Farms in bottles, and Community Service Ideas.

Page 2 is loaded with activities for Art, Crafts, Games, Snacks, Songs and Jokes...The following ideas  on both pages have been collected from about the site for anything to do with gardens/gardening)



Deciding WHERE and WHAT to Plant...

Contain your plants. Many vegetables and flowers grow well in either indoor or outdoor pots. Once your plot or pots are chosen, help children begin researching what to plant. For speedier and more certain results, plant seedlings instead of seeds; however, children will miss out on the excitement of seeing that first sprout peeking through the soil.

With container gardening, you control the soil and drainage, and you can avoid most garden pests. In 3- to 5-gallon pots, you can grow beans, carrots, peppers, tomatoes, corn, broccoli, cabbage, kale, leeks and even melons.

Pots as small as 4- to 6 inches are fine for growing peas (choose shorter peas, ones that grow to about a foot), lettuce, spinach and Swiss chard.

Choose medium size pots for beets, eggplant and cherry tomatoes. Of course, all of your pots will need plenty of sun and water


MAKE A CONTAINED OUTDOOR GARDEN... in a children's swimming pool!
Here's a good idea if you can't dig up a plot for a garden!
   1.  Get a a small swimming pool and be sure to punch holes for drainage.
   2.  Fill with dirt---plant seeds, or small flowers, water, fertilize and watch the flowers grow!
   3.  The kids will love to work their "garden"



Children often want to plant seeds left over from fruits (peach pits, apple seeds, watermelon seeds). If your climate is conducive and you have the space, try planting some peach pits in a corner of the yard. In about three years, some tasty fruit may appear.



Be sure to ADD your 'child-grown' goods to... soups, salads, beverages and desserts!

Peonies, pansies, nasturtiums, dandelions, day lilies, squash flowers, elder flowers, carnations, violets, marigolds and sunflowers?

Wisteria, holly, bird of paradise, hydrangea, oleander, poinsettia or philodendron.



Instructions: Take a plastic zip-loc baggie, put cotton balls in it and saturate cotton balls with water. Put popcorn kernels into the bag, seal it and tape to a window. Add water as needed and watch the plants grow. Transfer to potting soil later. (It doesn't take much to get a popcorn kernal going!

My grandson had a kenal laying on its side on the sink--in just a drop of water. In a couple days it was sprouting a small leaf and stem! (Barb)



1.  Cut off both ends of a potato.
2.  Stand the potato upright on one of the flat cut surfaces and scoop out a hole in the other end.
3.  Carve out a face on one side of the potato.
4.  Have the children place two cotton balls in the potato’s scooped-out top.
5.  Let them water the cotton balls and sprinkle them with grass or alfalfa seeds.
6.  Place in a sunny spot and watch his hair grow.


Materials Needed:
Film Container
Cotton Balls
Flower or Vegetable Seeds and Screw Eye Hook

Instructions: This works great with the clear containers.
1. Put two-four cotton balls into the container.
2. Tuck in about a few seeds between the cotton balls and the outside of the container, so that you can see them. Large seeds work best. Peas, Cantaloupe, etc.
3. Add a few drops of water, just until cotton balls are damp, but not soaked and not enough to puddle water on bottom of container.
4. Use a screw-eye with a medium size eye on it and screw it through the center of the lid. Put the lid on the container tightly. 5. Braid three pieces of yarn long enough to go around the child's neck and slip over the head.
6. Thread yarn through the screw eye and tie in a circle.
Kids like to wear these necklaces and watch the seeds sprout and grow inside the container. If you time this right, you can plant them into starter pots when they get too big for the container, or outside into the garden.


 PLANT A GARDEN TO ATTRACT BUTTERFLIES! A list of plants that attract adult butterflies:

  • Aster
  • Blanket Flower
  • Day-lily
  • Phlox
  • Sunflower
  • Verbena
  • Black-eyed Susan
  • Butterfly Bush
  • Milkweed



PLANT A CIRCLE OF TREES... It'll take a while to form--but will be wonderful when it does!
In the January issue of Exchange, Rusty Keeler contributed the article, "A Spring Playscape Project: Building a Tree Circle", which he introduces with...  "If you are dreaming of adding nature to your yard, this project may be perfect for you. The Tree Circle is a green gathering area for children made by planting trees in a circle.

• For children... the Tree Circle becomes a magical place for dramatic play, quiet retreat, or lively nature exploration.

• For teachers and parents... it becomes a shady grove for snacks and stories.

•The trees create a sweet spot that changes during the seasons and grows over time. A beautiful addition to a child’s life — and yours too!" You can read the instructions of the tree circle in its entirety. Click here


You can grow a blooming rainbow by planting curved rows of different-colored flowers. For the best effect, use plants that have similar heights.


GROW THINGS (Horticulture)

•  Grow different types of beans in wet cotton and plastic bags; tape the baggies to a window and some in a closet.  Observe and photograph (or draw) sprouting once a week. Discuss differences in growth patterns and what plants need to grow. Measure and graph plant heights.

  Plant a garden and eat harvested vegetables.



 Have each child plant their own green beans. It's a great way to introduce children to gardening and the connection between food and the earth.

You need...bean seeds, small garden pot (3 inch across) some soil and water. You will also need a place  to put the pot where it will get 4-6 hours of sunlight.

Fill the pot with soil; make a small hole using the little finger about 1/4 inche deep--put in the bean-- cover over-- water. Place the pot in a sunny spot and watch it grow. Be sure the planter has drainage and be sure to place a saucer to catch the excess water... If children are younger, end the activity with reading JACK AND THE BEANSTALK!



Need: One healthy sweet potato; 2-litre, clear soda bottle; three tooth picks or wooden skewers, water, clean stones or gravel.

Easy Instructions:
1.  Cut the top off your bottle (start cut with a sharp knife, then use scissors).
2.  Place stones or gravel in bottom of bottle.
3.  Suspend your potato, narrow end down, into the bottle. Use toothpicks, punched into potato and resting on sides of bottle, to hold in place.
4.  Fill bottle with water so that at least half of your potato is submerged.
5.  Your sweet potato vine should show new roots within a week or two. Leafy purple sprouts will appear shortly after. Use a magnifying glass to see tiny root hairs and to examine little sprouts. Ask students to PREDICT what will happen next.

TIP: A sweet potato purchased from a natural foods store or farmers' market may sprout sooner than one from a supermarket--because it's less likely to have been sprayed with a sprout inhibitor.

Before you prepare your experiment, ASK students what plants eat
. The general answer to this question is "nutrients collected from soil by roots." But what about plants grown in water? Students may guess that there are nutrients in what appears to be pure, clear water. Are there enough to support a whole, big plant?


A sweet potato is a root tuber, a fleshy root that stores food for a plant and produces adventitious shoots or shoots growing from unusual positions--in this case, out of the sides of the root.

What's happening to the potato, itself?  Your vine will continue to grow for months if you are careful to replenish water and/or change it when your bottle becomes cloudy.

You may wish to plant your sweet potato outdoors in the spring, after danger of frost. It may not survive but, on the other hand, you may find a small crop of sweet potatoes in the fall. Dig up the plant and use one of the new potatoes to grow another vine.



  Using four toothpicks have child suspend the vegetable on the rim of a jar or mug filled with water.
2.  Make sure the bottom half - the pointed end - is under water.
3.  Place in a sunny spot and change or add water as needed.
4.  In a few days, roots will form below the water. And, two to three weeks later, leaves and stems will sprout from the top.
5.  Continue to grow the plant in water or, after a month or two, pot the sweet potato in a houseplant potting mix.
6.   Keep the soil moist.
7.  The stems are weak, so help children tie them to strings, wire or a stake.
8.  Feed once a month with a balanced water-soluble fertilizer such as 20-20-20. As the vine grows, cut it back a few inches to force the plant to grow bushy. Some are treated with heat to keep them from sprouting on grocery-store shelves, but most grow roots in a matter of days after being placed in water.




Plant two seeds each in their own clean cup with potting soil. Cover one with a black bag or a box over it. Only open it to water it and then re-cover it immediately. Plant the other one and place it near a window or under a grow light.
Ask what the children predict? After 2 weeks---see what happened!



 1.  Take a small zip-lock bag and using a needle, punch a few holes in the bottom seam of the bags.
2.  Get some alfalfa or mung bean seeds and place a teaspoon of seeds in each bag.
3.  Zip the bag closed and have children place the bag in a bowl of warm water.
4.  Soak the seeds overnight.
5.  The next day, take the bag out of the water and let it drain; have it sit in indirect sunlight the rest of the day. For the next few days, have children dunk the bags in water for a few seconds and then drain and put back in indirect light. 6.  On the fourth day, have your child set the seeds IN THE SUN.
Have fun watching the sprouts turn green.
7.  BE SURE TO USE THE BEANS! When ready eat the sprouts by sprinkling them on top of a green salad, on a sandwich or on top of cream cheese spread on crackers.


MIGHTY SEED: Learn about: exothermic reactions- Observe the power of seeds when you try to limit their growth.
Clear plastic cup
5 tablespoons of Plaster of Paris
2 or more tablespoons of water, Plastic spoon for mixing, Dropper
3 soybeans

1. Put the plaster of Paris in the plastic cup
2. Add 2 tablespoons of water and mix.
3. Continue to add drops of water until the mixture has the consistency of a very thick milkshake.
4. Push the soybeans into the plaster until they are covered and then smooth the surface.

Now, explore! What do you think will happen to the soybeans? Make regular observations. What happens? Why?

5.  The next day add a tablespoon of water to the cup and continue to make observations. What happens? Why?  What's Going On?

  • Seeds require moisture and warmth to germinate. In this case the seed absorbs moisture from the plaster mixture.
  • As the seed absorbs water it increases in size and applies pressure to the surrounding plaster. This force, combined with the strength of the germinating sprout, causes the plaster to crack and allows the shoot to grow up through the plaster.
  • This strength and ability to grow in adverse conditions allows plants to survive in a wide range of environments.
  • You may also notice that when water is mixed with plaster the cup becomes warm. A chemical reaction which gives off heat like this is known as an "exothermic reaction." Source:



As the project is written, it is geared to GRADES 6 to 8; however, it can be adapted to ANY grade level.
Question: Can a plant grow from just the top of a carrot?
What kind of root does a carrot have? Why is the root so big? What is needed for a plant to grow?
Can the carrot top provide what is needed for the plant to grow?
Materials: Shallow container, 4 carrots

1. Cut about half an inch off the end of the carrot that has the leaves. Cut the leaves off close to the base of the carrot.
2. Put the carrots into the container with the cut side down.
3. Add enough water to cover about half the carrot top.
4. Place the container in a well-lighted window.
5. Observe the carrot tops each day for any changes. Remember the changes may start out small and change slowly. Look for new leaves and roots.
6. Use a metric ruler to measure any growth you may observe.
7. Continue your observations for six days and write your report on the sixth day. For younger children---just have fun observing the carrot, while making observations along the way!

No growth will occur since the carrot is not living-OR Leaves will grow since even this small part of the plant is still living.
Possible Conclusion: The carrot top should show some new growth each day. The student should discuss the possible reasons for the growth.
Adapted from Judy Schneider



A terrarium is a sort of living landscape inside an enclosed plastic container or jug.
•To start, put a layer of pebbles or charcoal at the bottom of the container for drainage.
•Cover that with two inches of topsoil.
•Add a few rocks, some twigs or branches, moss,and small plants.
•Moisten the terrarium with water, but don't overdo it.
Cover the opening with a sheet of plastic wrap.


2 clear 2-liter bottles (soda)
1.  Cut one bottle so that the bottom is approximately 4" high--this creates the bottom and base of the green house.
2.  Next, cut the second bottle so it's about 9" high this will be the "lid" or top for your house.
3.  Place small aount of potting soil in the bottom of the 4" base.
4.  Add soil and seeds. Water the seeds--- then slip the top over it to create a “greenhouse”.
5.  Put in sunny place and plants will appear in 2-5 days -- depending on the seeds you use.


 1.) Thoroughly wash and dry the clear plastic bottle. A clear juice bottle or 2-liter soda bottle works. With the scissors, cut all the way around the bottle to carefully remove the top one-third of the bottle.

2.) Place about 1 inch of loose grave in the bottom of the bottle, then add about 3 inches of potting soil.

3.) Make small holes in the dirt and plant the small plants or seedlings in the soil, just deep enough to cover the roots.

4.) Add a few drops of water in the bottle, but do not soak the soil. As the bottle will be almost an enclosed garden only a little bit of water is necessary.

5.) Gently place the top part of the bottle back in place on top of the planted section. Use the wide clear tape to secure the 2 parts of the bottle together. (You may need an extra pair of hands for this part.) Once the sections are back together and in place, if you desire, you can decorate the bottle with sticky-backed ribbon to cover the joint where the bottle sections are taped together.

 6.) Place the green house in a sunny warm location and water only when necessary. You do not need to keep the lid on the bottle as the air and condensation will give the plants all the nutrition they need to grow into healthy, thriving plants. Source:



Worms are vitally important for the gardener. Not only do they aerate the soil and improve its condition by breaking down rotting plant waste in the soil, they will also produce  higher quality compost in your compost heap, eating their way through quantities of kitchen waste at the same time.


  • Cut the top off a plastic soda bottle, tape the edge.
  • Pour in 2 inches gravel or stones for drainage (good way to get small rocks out of the yard!)
  • Alternate 2 inches of sand, 2 inches of dirt. (VERY lightly spray the dirt with water) Worms 'breathe' through their skin, which must be damp for this to happen. Put a few small pieces of banana peel in the middle for worm food.
  • Continue with layers till top.
  • Add worms. Tape the top back on or cover top with plastic wrap and tape. Either way, put in several air holes. The jar should not be put anywhere too cold.

Tape black construction paper around bottle, and leave for a day or 2 -- try to do this on a Friday. When you take the paper off, you will see the tunnels the worms have made, and the layers will have shifted and mixed. 

Make sure you check your bottle ecosystems every day; moisten the soil; add more moistened food to the top layer if necessary. Always ensure the contents of the jar are moist, not too wet and definitely not too dry.

You can also: 1.) Observe your ecosystems and record your observations. 2.) Draw a picture or take a digital photograph of your ecosystems.

Charles Darwin studied worms for 39 years, and concluded that life on earth would not be possible without them. Mainly because they increase soil fertility so efficiently, but also because they reduce quantities of plant waste.


WORMS CAN BE FUN... Activity Two

Go to bait and tackle store and buy bait worms. Dump them into two large tubs of dirt and let the children observe them as they dig. The children can use their hands to dig up the worms. If your children a young, have a variety of plastic birds  at the table for pretend feeding.

With the children, TAKE THE WORMS OUTSIDE and put them in the garden at the end of the day. Have a box of baby wipes available for hand washing.


TURN A PROTECTED SECTION of your home, program or school yard into a nature shelter.

In warm weather or cold weather- birds, squirrels and other small wildlife are in constant search of food, fresh water and safe shelter. Set up a bird feeder, bird bath and bird house where you and the children will be able to quietly observe. Youth enjoy watching different animals seek the food and water and your bird house will be there when needed. Visit Bird Theme 



When fall approachs, it's  time to get  bulbs in the ground for spring blossoms such as tulips, hyacinths, daffodils and lilies. When flowers welcome next spring-you'll be happy that you did!
For the best results:

  • Plant before the first frost.
  • Dig a trench and place the soil on a plastic sheet.
  • Place the bulbs in the trench according to your design, but don't let them touch. Make sure they are facing the right way up.
  • Replace the soil.
  • Water thoroughly. You can also add a layer of mulch to keep the bulbs moist.
  • Now all you have to do is wait for spring to see healthy green sprouts that will grow into colorful flowers!


Grow a selection of salad crops to make a lovely summer salad and introduce children to practical gardening. It will increase their interest in healthy food and help them to understand plant life cycles.

A plot of good soil, garden tools, compost or manure, watering can,
Seed Ideas for salad: lettuce, nasturtium, pot marigold, cherry tomato, tomatoes, peas and crystal apple cucumber

1. Help children dig the soil and mix in some compost or manure.

2.  Plant  seeds following the directions on the seed packets. You don't have to grow the crops in rows -but can plant in patches, spirals or pots and window-boxes. Be sure children leave enough space to be able to get to the plants for watering, weeding, slug removing and picking!

3. When seeds are planted, water them gently. Seeds MUST be kept moist to germinate.

4. When seeds start to grow, take steps that slugs don't visit and eat everything. (A slug trap can be made with some beer in a jar - make sure you dig a hole to place the jar in so that it sits at soil level.)

5. Remind kids to keep pulling out the weeds, but not to disturb  salad crops. You can give the pea plants some sticks to climb up.

6. Be patient until the salad crops look ready to eat!

RAW PEAS can go in salad - the children just need to take them out of their pods.
The NASTURTIUMS AND MARIGOLDS are advised for two reasons: they encourage pest-eaters to come into gardens... and  can also be eaten. The marigold petals and the leaves and flowers of the nasturtium will brighten up any salad.


How to grow TOMATO PLANTS (from seeds) with your child.

• Around March/April, start by filling a small flowerpot with fresh potting compost.
• Press the soil until it's firmly packed and then evenly sprinkle a few tomato seeds on the surface of the soil.
• Cover the seeds by putting a little compost into another pot and shaking it gently over the new seeds, like a pepper pot.
• Cover the pot with cling film or a plastic bag and secure it with an elastic band and place it in a warm, light place until the seeds begin to sprout.
• When the seedlings appear they will need to transfer them to their own pots. And around June time, when the weather is warmer, plant them outside in larger pots or in the garden.
• Ensure plants are well-watered and give them a special treat of plant food once a week.

Be sure the children wash their hands after gardening, as well as the produce before they eat it.



• Improve the school grounds and plant trees or wildflowers.

Plant produce. Donate the harvest to a local food bank.

Plant seeds. Sell the flowers or plants and donate the proceeds to a local organization in need.
Form a litter patrol on school or park ground

Put on a play at your school, a fair, or festival about local environmental issues.


This is page 1...Go to page 2 for Gardening Themed ideas for Art, Crafts, Games, Snacks, Songs and Jokes!


Some interesting categories that could blend with a 'Garden Theme' are: