Science/Movement Activity: Mother Bear and Cubs

In this activity, children will learn some facts about bear behavior and have some fun imitating bears.


  • A large space for children to move around in.


  • Ask children to discuss what they know about bears. You might prompt the discussion by asking questions, such as:
    Where do bears live? (in forests or wooded areas) What are baby bears called? (cubs) What do bears like to eat? (berries, honey, fish, insects, small animals, almost anything) How do bears move? (walking on all fours) List children’s responses on chart paper.
  • Tell children that they are going to pretend to be bears. Have them practice walking around on their hands and knees. Then divide the class into groups of three or four. Explain that like many animals, bear cubs learn from their mother. Choose one person in each group to be the “mother bear”. The other children will be “cubs”. Tell the mother bear to choose a behavior to teach to her cubs. If children need ideas, you may want to refer them to the chart paper or suggest some ofthe following activities:
    – catching fish
    – getting honey from a hive
    – sleeping in a den
    – sharpening claws
    – climbing a tree
  • Explain that the mother bear must not use words to teach her cubs. When the cubs have demonstrated that they have learned one behavior, choose a new mother bear for each group and have her teach the cubs something new.


  • Play bear charades. Choose two teams. One team acts out a bear activity and the other team tries to guess what the activity is.
  • Have bear relay races. Divide the class into two or three teams and have them race doing the bear walk.