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Bear Hunt

Bite-sized brain snacks for Chicago’s early learners.

Explore

At your next visit to the park, invite your child to pretend that you are on a "bear hunt." Introduce position words like over, around, and under as you go on an adventure together. For example, "Maybe the bear is UNDER the slide. Should we go AROUND the swings?"

Why It's Important

By making movement a part of play, your child will learn to move in new ways such as running, climbing, and navigating stairs. Your child will learn about positional words as together you go over, around, and under the playground equipment.

Journal/Talk:

Ask your child, “If we could go on an adventure to anywhere you want, where would you like to go? What would you like to see?”

Not Ready Yet

If your child is just beginning to run and explore, you don’t have to hunt for bears at the park! Your child might be more comfortable running, crouching, hopping, and rolling in a grassy field. With a parent’s shared imagination, this will still be an exciting adventure!

Need a Challenge

Let your child take the lead and decide where you should go on the bear hunt! If you want to encourage your child to try new challenges, point to the slide and suggest you “climb up the mountain” or “jump over the lava” by hopping over the sidewalk.

Book Recommendations:

"We’re Going on a Bear Hunt" by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury.

Extend the learning:

If you and your toddler find yourselves heading inside a store with lots of items that shouldn’t be touched, pretend to be mice that don’t want to be seen or heard! You will find that channeling your child’s energy in an imaginative way can make a stressful situation be a successful story!