Have you heard the song “Going on a Bear Hunt?” Look it up and take a close listen with your children if this is new to you. The book written by Michael Rosen — which is a fun thing to read aloud to preschoolers and other young children — inspires the song.
There are also plenty of “going on a bear hunt” activities you can incorporate into your next nature hike. It’s an amazing way to entertain your child, as well as stimulate their imagination. In fact, these tips will help you make your next hiking adventure all that much more fun for everyone involved.
Practice the Song
The first thing you need to do is make sure you and everyone who hikes with you know the bear hunt chant, song, and book well. You can read the book at home, sing along with the various songs out there, do the actions, and have a good time with it. Once you know the song, everyone will catch on to your hiking activities a lot easier.
Adjust the Story
You aren’t actually going to hunt a bear on your hike, so as you prepare for the fun, you might want to adjust the story to your liking. You can say going on a bear “hike” instead of ”hunt.” You may not have a river to splash through, but you can find a puddle to stomp in. You can adjust it any way you’d like to make the song unique and fun for everyone.
List Obstacle Options
If you know your hiking route well, you will know what types of obstacles might best serve you’re going on bear hunt activities. If this is your first time, take an opportunity to rough out a course beforehand. With a list of possible obstacles in mind, hit the trail ahead of your family to move things around and set everything up just right. For example, you might want to move tree branches or larger stones to create options to climb, jump, roll, or do something else. You can even include some animal prints and pretend they are from a bear.
As you take your kids outside for the hike, start the chant as you have re-written it. Please go through the activities you have set up and once you are through, reverse them to come back to your house. That way, you get twice the fun out of one course.
Change and Repeat
You can adjust the route as many times as you’d like, and you can even change it for different ages. Your family will get a whole new appreciation for how much fun taking to the woods as a group can be when there’s a bear hike to enjoy. You could even take turns setting up obstacles so that everyone can be a part of the creative process and participate in the overall enjoyment of the activity.
Hiking is good exercise and getting fresh air with your family in nature is never a bad idea. But sometimes, it’s hard to drag kids along if they don’t feel like hiking. These “going on a bear hunt” activities can inspire them physically and fire up their imaginations to get them to engage with hiking in a whole new way.
Their gross motor skills, sense of balance, and self-control will all get significant boosts in the process. Best of all, it’s an easy activity to learn, and you can make it as involved or as simple as you’d like. This means even your youngest kiddos can take turns leading, so everyone gets involved.