Inside: Bear Says Thanks activities to go with the much-loved Karma Wilson Thanksgiving picture book
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UPDATE 11/13/20 – I added 4 more activities for you at the bottom. Now you have 12 ideas to choose from!
One of my favorite books for the month of November is Bear Says Thanks by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman. The story is about a lonely bear with bare cupboards.
First, Bear decides to throw a feast. Then, one by one, his friends bring food to share. With each offering, there is the memorable refrain, “bear says thanks.”
I love using the book to talk to children about thankfulness and good manners, as well as themes of friendship and sharing.
I also love when children start to chime in on the repeated phrase,
“bear says thanks.”
Bear Says Thanks Activities
These 8 Bear Says Thanks activities are perfect for extending the story. Some also help you teach kids about the Thanksgiving season. Even better, some of these activities work on additional skills too.
Bear Says Thanks Thanksgiving Placemats
Placemats are a great way for kids to help with Thanksgiving prep. They’re fun to make for a school feast or for turkey day with family.
First up, this Thanksgiving placemats craft gives you beautiful kid-made placemats. Plus, the kids get fine motor skill practice. I suggest you make it with children at least for kindergarten age.
If you want more of a print-and-go activity, try this story-inspired free printable Thanksgiving placemat. It works for a wide variety of ages. Plus, it’s different than all the turkey placemats out there.
Bear Says Thanks Learning Activities
Kids can work on story sequencing with this easy Bear Says Thanks craftivity. It’s also perfect for teaching the difference between circles and ovals. Even better, there’s a free printable included!
Next up, Bear Says Thanks turns out to be a good text for teaching homophones. This homophone activity would work in the classroom. (Especially if you have a document camera.) It’s also well suited for homeschool. What a great way to fit in some word study at Thanksgiving time!
More Engaging Bear Says Thanks Activities
We LOVE sensory bins. This Bear Says Thanks sensory bin activity is a fabulous way to extend the story! It includes elements straight from the book. I love this activity for encouraging story retelling and imaginative play.
Next, I found a sweet, story-inspired gratitude printable. It’s the perfect canvas to help children explore the idea of being grateful
Looking for some story inspired, kid-made decor? You can make this pretty Thankful Banner after reading Bear Says Thanks. It sounds like a great way to extend the story and decorate to boot.
Finally, I found this adorable brown bear puppet. Megan from Coffee Cups and Crayons created it for a different story. However, I think it’d be perfect for extending Bear Says Thanks too!
BONUS: The Author, Karma Wilson, has shared some lovely activities and crafts for kids here.
Gratitude Activities to use with Bear Says Thanks
I know – the image at the top says “8 Thanksgiving Activities…” but I’ve updated it with a few more for you…
Since the book is basically about gratitude, here are some ideas that either are meant to go with the book or could easily be adapted to use with it.
First, going along with the food theme of the book, you might like this cornucopia thankfulness craft.
This gratitude pick up sticks game would work well with homeschoolers or other small groups of children. If you want to help children verbalize what they’re thankful for, this game is a good way to do that.
Next, these free printable gratitude trees are easy to implement with a wide variety of ages, so they’d be perfect for a multi-age group.
Finally, you might like to try making a thankfulness chain. I really like the neat neat twist this activity has that helps kids talk about what they’re grateful for.
Here’s a new, updated pin image you can save all these great ideas for later: