We’re Going on a Bear Hunt

17 10 2011

I didn’t like We’re Going on a Bear Hunt the first few times I read it. I couldn’t quite work out who the characters were in the illustrations and I couldn’t read it to a rhythm I liked. Luckily I saw a clip of Michael Rosen reading the story and realised that he had a very specific rhythm to it  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ytc0U2WAz4s. In the version I saw he was reading it to a school and had them all involved in the actions. I’ve read it his way since and find it a much more interesting read. I also treated myself to buying it as a big book which adds a different dimension for children picking a story. It makes them look tiny! When we did this I hadn’t planned anything and it was more of an evolving afternoon of exploration.

I didn’t take it to the full sensory experience it invites which I think I’ll do one day in the future. I had a roll of packing bubbles which has been sitting on the fridge for ages. I was cleaning and decided to throw it away. My children then demonstrated why I don’t throw things away. BBL crawled along it having a whale of time with the noises and feel of the bubbles. LBM then rushed up and down it trying to pop the bubbles and the addition of a couple of water pistols brought the splish splashy bit about a river to life.

The next bit I was able to bring to life at short notice was the oozy mud. We only have a small roof terrace but it’s an outdoor space nonetheless (sadly I’m not allowed to use it for childminding which does limit the opportunity for play like this with other people’s children). Earlier this summer I’d created a mud pie kitchen and then we just didn’t get round to using it. It’s now definitely slimy and oozy as green stuff has started growing in it that I wouldn’t expect to find on a roof in the middle of a very urban area. Mother nature is obviously quite cosmopolitan. LBM was so excited to find real slimy mud and poked his fingers in surprised at the coldness of it. After only a few seconds he was digging it, making mud pies, pouring water and having a great time. BBL was keen to get involved too. I had some reservations as he’s still keen to explore the taste of everything and this was no exception. A handful of mud was followed by a taste of the gardening fork. I gave up worrying. He ate loads of sand at the weekend so I’m wondering if he’s now got excellent conditions for a vegetable garden….

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