Create a Hibernating Bear Den Activity

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Updated on Sep 27, 2012

Bears hibernate during winter cozying up in a den to sleep the cold months away. Your child can learn more about bears and hibernating by making his own creative and comfy den. He can use his finished den while pretending to hibernate through the long cold winter months!

What you need:

  • A large box – about 3 feet by 3 feet
  • Packing tape
  • Brown paint
  • Large paintbrush
  • Scissors
  • Blankets and pillows

What You Do:

  1. Share a story with your child about bears and hibernation such as Time to Sleep by Denise Fleming or Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson. After reading about bears, discuss hibernation and see if he knows any other animals that hibernate during the winter months.
  2. First, help your child seal the box with packing tape.
  3. Invite your child to help create the den by painting the outside of the big box. He can use a large paintbrush and brown paint to transform the box into a cave – encouraging his imagination!
  4. While the box cave is drying he can look for pillows and cozy blankets to place inside the cave along with having a nice snack to help him stay full, just like a bear does before hibernating. Bears love to eat nuts and berries before their long sleep, so a bowl of mixed nuts and cut berries might be in order!
  5. Help your child by cutting a large hole in the side of the box for him to use for getting in and out of his bear cave.
  6. Now your child can find the perfect spot to position his cave for hibernating. Encourage him to curl up inside and see if he’s ready to hibernate!

Did you know:  Bears hibernate for up to 6 months of the year! While bears hibernate their heartbeat slows and their body temperature drops to 88 degrees. A bear's normal temperature is the same as humans: 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit!

Sarah Lipoff has a K-12 Art Education degree and enjoys working with kids of all ages.