Polar Bear, Polar Bear Activities with Eric Carle


Eric Carle books are such a staple in preschool classrooms. The fun themes, brightly-colored illustrations, and simple, repetitive text make them a favorite among young children. These books integrate really well into a variety of classroom themes, like animals, zoos, winter, and even travel.

Eric Carle Books

Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? is a perfect book for a winter-themed unit. Here are fun Polar Bear Activities you can do with your preschool-age child:

  1. Thinking Skills - Gather a variety of different clothing items and sort them by "cold weather clothes" and "warm weather clothes". Likewise, cut photos of various sports and activities and have them sort "summer sports" from "winter sports".
  2. Matching - Make small copies of all the animals in the Polar Bear book. Place a rolled piece of tape on the back of each picture and have children tape the copy to the page of the corresponding animal in the book.
  3. Colors - Print pictures of the different animals in the book and have children color them the correct color. Older children can write the color names on each animal as well.
  4. Sensory Play - In a large bin, combine a variety of "snow" themed sensory items. This may include cotton balls, packing foam, snowflake confetti, and small plastic animals that live in the snow (e.g. polar bears, penguins, white foxes).
  5. Snack Idea - Used shaved ice to make snow cones.
  6. Arts and Crafts - Use white paper bags to make polar bear puppets. Use this snowflake math activity as a dual-purpose craft. See below for an additional craft idea!

Polar Bear in the Snow Activity for Preschoolers

Materials for an Eric Carle Inspired Polar Bear Activity

  • Blue and white construction paper
  • Textured white paint (just add sand to tempera paint)
  • Cotton
  • Wiggly eye
  • Glue
  • Glitter
  • Paintbrush

Directions for an Eric Carle Inspired Polar Bear Activity

Begin by cutting out a polar bear from white construction paper and glue it to a sheet of blue construction paper. If you need assistance cutting out the bear, you can print off a polar bear outline template like this one but it was pretty simple to freehand.

Glue Polar Bear that you cut from white construction paper

Mix white textured paint by combining regular tempera paint with sand. Paint the snow on the ground and snowflakes in the sky.

Paint snow on the ground and make snowflakes in the air

Glue cotton to the polar bear’s body and a wiggly eye. This is a 4-year old’s Polar Bear in the Snow.

Add cotton and eye to your Eric Carle inspired Polar Bear

You can also add blue, silver, or white glitter to the ground and sky. This is a 2-year old’s interpretation of the craft, which I have titled Polar Bear in a Snowstorm.

add glitter if desired for a more textured snowscape

As you talk through the stories with your children you'll be developing their language skills. And by bringing the stories to life you can keep their minds active, and hands busy, during the winter breaks when indoor activities are more important than ever for maintain sanity.

Do your kids have a favorite Eric Carle book?

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Dr. Carrie Wells is a college instructor, blogger, and work-at-home mother to two young children, Lydia (age 5) and Bryce (age 3). Carrie graduated from the University of Florida in 2001 with a Bachelor’s degree in elementary education and in 2002 with a Master’s degree in special education. After teaching children ages 3 – 21 with varying abilities for several years, she completed her Doctorate in special education in 2008 from Nova Southeastern University. In March 2010, Carrie began writing Huppie Mama, a lifestyle blog focusing on family, food, fun, fashion, and fitness.

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