(not a) Flannel Friday: Bear Went Over the Mountain

Well. Let me start off with this:

Dear Ladies and Gents of Flannel Friday,

You blow me away each and every week with your creativity and craftiness.  Your flannels are beautiful and fun and oh-so-perfect for storytime, and I will be busy until Kingdom Come making them all. But I WANT and NEED to make them all because they are, in a word, funtascraftycreativiful (try using that in wwf).  Thank you for sharing your flannel boards (and other great ideas) each week!

Best wishes and fun in flanneling,


Now, having said that (and I meant every word), I have no flannel this week. My plan for the winter is to spend every spare moment crafting in some way, including lots of new flannel boards. In the meantime, here is a not-a-flannel board activity that could be turned into a flannel board activity if you like.

I like to turn the classic song Bear Went Over the Mountain into a participation activity. This works well for a smaller storytime crowd because of the time it takes to complete the participation part of the song.  This song also works well if you have a shy crowd, because they don’t actually have to say much.

I printed and cut out pictures of several everyday objects that kids would easily recognize, and taped each one to a jumbo craft stick.  Of course, I also needed a bear and a mountain.


Each storytime kid gets a picture to hold, and stands up. I start off singing the first verse of the song. Then I say “what did bear see?”, go to each child one at a time and ask them to show their picture and tell everyone what is is. I repeat the object and then sing (just in a sing-songy voice) “bear saw a (object), a (object), a (object), bear saw a (object)–oh no!” I then instruct the child to “turn around and around and then sit down”. This is repeated with each child until they are all sitting down.

This can be modified in many different ways. Sometimes I sing Bear jumped over the mountain, and then Bear jumps over each item held by the kids (this fits in well with a jumping-themed storytime, see here and here).  You could also use this to introduce the Spanish words for the objects in a bilingual storytime. Or, rather than using craft sticks, you could make each object into a flannelboard piece and place them on the flannel board as you sing the song.

Today’s flannel friday roundup  is being hosted by Rain Makes Applesauce.  Be sure to visit the beautiful Flannel Friday Pinterest account, and stop by So Tomorrow for past roundups and future hosting schedule.


5 thoughts on “(not a) Flannel Friday: Bear Went Over the Mountain

  1. Pingback: Flannel Friday Round-Up for September 30, 2011 | Rain Makes Applesauce

  2. Tracey, thank you for your thank you message! I too am blown away by the amazing good ideas, good cheer, and goodwill of the Flannel Friday crowd. My to do list gets longer every week. Now I am going to have to add this to our resource packs! It can fit in so many themes. I never really used The Bear Went Over the Mountain in storytime because it didn’t really seem that dynamic, but this is an excellent way to extend it and gently invite participation. Thank you!

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