Sleepy Bears by Mem Fox and Kerry ArgentThis is how we celebrated the hibernation season at storytime!

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First, we sang our greeting song, Here, Here sung to the tune of Skip to My Lou.

Here, Here
We’re all here
Here, Here
We’re all here
Here, Here
We’re all here
We’re all here today
Hello [sing child’s name], How are you? (Repeat two times)
We’re glad you’re here today!

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As always, we went right to our Action Rhyme: Winter is Cold

Winter is cold [Hug yourself and shiver]
There is snow in the sky [Flutter fingers above your head]
The squirrel gathers nuts [Pretend to gather nuts]
And the wild geese fly [Flap arms]
The fluffy red fox [Cup hands over head to form ears]
Has his fur to keep warm [Stroke arms as if stroking fur]
The bear’s in her cave [Form a cave shape with your arms]
Sleeping all through the storm [Fold hands under cheek and pretend to sleep]

More info about this action rhyme can be found here.

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Next we read Time To Sleep written and illustrated by Denise Fleming

 Time to Sleep

In this story, it’s time for the animals in the forest to go to sleep for the winter, but they each want to tell a friend first, putting off their “bedtime” a bit longer!

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Next we sang the song Where Is Bear? (sung to the tune of Where Is Thumbkin?):

Where is Bear? Where is Bear?
Here I am. Here I am.
How are you this winter?
Very tired, thank you.
Go to sleep. Go to sleep.

This song can be repeated with different hibernating animals including badger, rabbit, chipmunk, turtle, frog, bat, raccoon, squirrel, and mouse. You can use stick puppets along with the song.

Popsicle Stick Puppets

Images can be found online, printed out, and taped to popsicle sticks.

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We followed that up with the Hibernation Song  (sung to the tune of Wheels on the Bus):

The weather’s getting cold so bundle up, bundle up, bundle up 
The weather’s getting cold so bundle up, winter’s coming soon. 
The bears in the cave sleep all the time…
The squirrels in the trees get lots of nuts…
The frogs and toads go deep in mud…
The ducks and the geese go flying south…
The people in the town wear hats and gloves…

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We read our second book, Bear Has a Story to Tell written by Philip C. Stead and illustrated by Erin Stead.

 Bear Has a Story to Tell

Bear wants to share a story with his friends before hibernating, but they are too busy getting ready for their own hibernation to listen. In spring, the animals wake up and help Bear remember the story he wanted to tell.

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For our Craft, we made a simple and sweet hibernating bear.

Hibernating Bear Template

Templates for the bear and den can be found here.

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As always, we end story time with our closing song Hands Go Up to the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star. Children do the accompanying movements.

Hands go up and hands go down
I can spin around and round
I can jump upon two shoes
I can clap and so can you
I can wave, now show we how
Story Time is done for now

*** HIBERNATION BONUS ***

Here are some more books you can read to celebrate Halloween. Check them out of your local library!

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  • Bear Snores On written by Karma Wilson and illustrated by Jane Chapman
  • Hibernation written by Margaret Hall
  • Hibernation Station written by Michelle Meadows and illustrated by Kurt Cyrus
  • Old Bear written and illustrated by Kevin Henkes
  • Round Robin written and illustrated by Jack Kent
  • Sleep, Black Bear, Sleep written by Jane Yolen and Heidi E. Y. Stemple and illustrated by Brooke Dyer
  • Sleepy Bears written by Mem Fox and illustrated by Kerry Argent
  • Winter Lullaby written by Barbara Seuling and illustrated by Greg Newbold

Until next time, Happy Reading!

Love,

the Singing Librarian