These bear messy play ideas are perfect for preschool, pre-k, and kindergarten kids any time of the year! Be sure to check out my BIG list of messy play ideas once you’re done here.
You’ll find art, crafts, sensory, and science activities for your next bear unit below. Each of the bear-themed ideas can get a little messy as the children are playing and learning. But that just makes it even more fun, right?
In fact, the messy bear activities allows your students to really use as many of their senses as possible. And that just adds to the playful learning!
Yes, these ideas are messy. But don’t let that scare you too much. As we all know, young kids can make a mess pretty easily. So why not embrace how that adds to what they’re learning? Have a good clean-up plan, explain your expectations up front, and help guide the kids throughout all the messy fun.
Bear Messy Play Ideas
I’ve collected bear activities that explore a variety of early learning concepts. You’ll find some art and crafts, as well as science and sensory play ideas. Literacy skills will show up in many of the activities, as will math. All while the kids are exploring and playing.
Supplies for the Bear Activities
Here are some of the materials you might want on-hand for the bear messy play ideas (I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post):
- Washable tempera paint
- Fake snow
- Bear toys
- Counting bears
- Baking soda
- Liquid watercolors
Of course, you can change up the items you use depending on your preferences and the kids’ interests and needs. I highly recommend taking a peek at your favorite messy bear activities first. See what materials they need and go from there.
12 Bear Messy Play Ideas
Click on the links (underlined, blue text) to read more about the individual ideas! I’ve included collages that show sneak peek images of each bear activity, too.
- Grab your favorite fake snow for the base of this bear sensory bin.
- Create a rainbow sensory bin based around the book Bear Sees Colors.
- Don’t let the pompoms fool you! This bear messy play definitely belongs here.
- Put together some bear soup for the kids and watch as they tell stories as they scoop and play.
- Let the kids be scientists as they create a baking soda bubble bath for bears.
- We can’t talk about bear messy play ideas without including a brown bear, brown bear sensory bin!
- A goopy bear hunt is just what the kids need after reading the classic book We’re Going on a Bear Hunt.
- Let the kids get creative with a paint splat teddy bear craft.
- A handprint bear craft is perfect for kids who love painting with their hands.
- When it comes to bear messy play ideas, this polar bear process art is a must-try.
- Use various art techniques and materials for a polar bear art project with the kids.
- Last, but not least, try a mixed-media polar bear craft.
Now, the question becomes which of these bear messy play ideas are you going to try first? Be sure to save this post for future reference. And check out my Bear Theme Pinterest board for even more bear activities for the kids.
Goldilocks & The Three Bears Lesson Plans
Let Preschool Teacher 101 save you a TON of time with fully-developed early childhood resources. You can find them in our shop or join The Pack, our membership for preschool and kindergarten teachers (members get access to materials at a steep discount). We love helping teachers take back their personal time!
Click on the image below for our Goldilocks lesson plans. They come with a weekly overview, detailed daily plans, whole group activities, small group lessons, center ideas, book suggestions, and related printables. There are even editable weekly overviews if you need to make a few tweaks.
You can also find us on Teachers Pay Teachers.
Bear Books for Kids
I love to pair children’s books with activities! If you’re the same, here are a few books that pair well with all the fun bear messy play ideas:
- Bear Snores On
- We’re Going on a Bear Hunt
- Mother Bruce
- Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
- The Bear Ate Your Sandwich
- The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear
- Don’t Wake Up the Bear
Do you have any favorite books you like to read during a bear theme?