Animals are fascinating to preschoolers and your little one is probably amazed to think that certain species sleep all winter. If only you could get your child to sleep all night. Maybe you can encourage more sleep by having your child pretend to hibernate, but in the meantime a few arts and crafts activities will help him grasp the concept of hibernation in an entertaining and hands-on way.
Give your preschooler a variety of interesting craft supplies such as paper, fabric scraps, socks, googly eyes, pipe cleaners, colored pom poms, wooden craft sticks, glue and safety scissors. Ask your little artist to make a hibernating animal puppet with as many of the items as she wants. Perhaps she'd like to make a bear with wooden craft sticks or a frog from an old sock. Ask her to put on a puppet show for her siblings or grandparents when she's done.
Cut eye holes in several paper plates and let your child decorate them with paper, sequins, fabric scraps and other craft supplies to look like his favorite hibernating animals. Instead of paper plates, use craft foam, which comes in a variety of colors and is more durable than the plates. You might also buy already made mask cut-outs and let your preschooler use craft supplies to make them look like hibernating animals. Have your child wear each mask and act out each animal. Switch places and wear the masks yourself. Your child will hoot with laughter.
Give your child some plain white paper and markers. Ask her to draw a hibernating animal, such as a bear, bat, chipmunk, frog or hedgehog, on one piece of paper. On the other piece of paper ask her to draw where that animal hibernates, such as a cave for a bear or a large leaf for a frog to sleep under. With supervision of course, ask your preschooler to cut out her animal and glue it onto the habitat. Let your child make hibernating animals out of colored construction paper instead as another fun craft, or give her magazines, paper, glue and safety scissors and ask her to make a hibernating animal collage.
If you're up for a mess, give your preschooler a lump of clay and encourage him to make a hibernating animal. Let him smash the clay and make as many animals as he wants. Show your child how to make a cave with his clay and then challenge him to make a bear small enough to fit inside. Make your own clay creations alongside your child. It'll be a fun way to spend quality time together learning about hibernation.
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