Best We’re Going on a Bear Hunt Sensory Activity

There are many classic stories that children are introduced to when they are little. Nursery rhymes, fairy tales and other stories that seem to stay popular over the years. Turn one of these stories into a wonderfully engaging activity with this, We’re Going on Bear Hunt sensory activity.

I loved this story as a child and was excited to share it with my kindergarten class. Many were already familiar with the book, and all of the kids loved the story. I wanted to create more learning opportunities using the story as the focus.

There are lots of hands-on activities and table top centers you can do with this book, but I wanted to take our learning outside and let the children go through each of the landmarks and feel for themselves what it may have felt like.

we're going on a bear hunt sensory activity shows a pintrest pin.

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt Sensory Activity Materials

You need five bins for this activity. The bins do not all have to be the same size or shape. The bigger the better. Each bin is filled with something to represent each of the five areas the kids travel through in the book to get to the cave.

sensory walk shows five bins filled with different things.
  • Grass
  • Water
  • Mud
  • Twigs (Or leaves)
  • Ice water (Or snow)
  • Book (Optional)
  • Towel (Optional)

Once you have each of the bins filled with something to represent each location, you’re ready to go!

we're going on a bear hunt sensory activity shows five bins. One filled with grass, water, dirt, sticks and ice.

Setting Up Your Sensory Walk

At first some children may be reluctant to take off their shoes and socks and walk through each of the bins. Give children the choice and if they aren’t comfortable, they can always feel each of the materials with their hands. After doing this, they may feel more comfortable.

In my experience, there are always a few children who don’t want to try the activity at first; however, when they see their peers walking through and experiencing the sensory walk, they will often gain comfort, and confidence and join the activity.

Some of the materials in the bins can be a bit slippery. If you can hold their hand as they walk through or provide a table or other stable structure beside the bins for children to hold onto. You can also cut and place a foam mat in the bottom of each bin to prevent slipping. Make sure you are present while children are walking through each bin.

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt Sensory Activity – The Grass

I pulled grass from the yard to fill a layer on the bottom of the bin. You can get children to help you collect the materials needed for this activity.

As children walk through the grass, ask them what it feels like, and encourage them to describe what it feels like. Many children may never have walked through grass barefoot before, so it may be a new experience for some.

preschool activity shows a bin filled with grass.

Water / River

I used warm water and added a few drops of blue food coloring to make it stand out as water. The water can get pretty messy after several children have walked through it, so consider having extra water on hand to change it out.

As children walk through the water, encourage them to act out how they would move, or swim across water. This We’re Going on a Bear Hunt sensory activity is a great chance to mix in some drama and acting as children reenact the book.

kindergarten activity shows a bin filled with blue water.

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt Sensory Activity – Mud

Fill your bin with dirt and then add water. The more mud you make the messier this sensory activity will become. However, the mud is always many children’s favorite experience.

Encourage children to get both feet into the mud and wiggle them around. It’s a great sensory experience for children that they likely haven’t had before.

This is the main bin that can become slippery, some make sure you either have something on the bottom or are holding the child’s hand as they step into the mud.

If you’re worried about the mess, you can set a bin beside the mud for children to rinse off in before moving on to the next bin. Otherwise, much of the mud will come off in the “forest” and “snow”.

mud sensory play shows a bin filled with dirt and mud.

The Forest

Some of the children didn’t like the idea of stepping on the twigs. They have the option to skip it, but if you use small twigs and break them up, most children discovered that they didn’t actually hurt much to step on them. Alternatively, you can put leaves and smooth wood slices in the bin.

I like using twigs because it gives children an easy way to compare the bins. The grass is cool and soft, the water is warm and wet, the mud is cold and squishy and the twigs are hard and less comfortable on their feet.

we're going on a bear hunt sensory activity shows a bin filled with twigs.

The Snowstorm

When we read the book, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, in the winter, I filled my bin with snow. However, in other years, when we read the book in the spring and summer, I used ice and filled the bin with ice. You can add water, but the ice is a fun experience for the kids.

Encourage children to talk about what they feel when they put their feet in the ice. It can get very cold, very fast, so limit how long their feet are in the bin.

This bin can also be slippery, so I placed a squishy mat on the bottom to avoid kids feet slipping.

we're going on a bear hunt sensory activity shows a bin filled with ice.

Creating Your Sensory Activity

This is a great activity to try outside! Set the bins up in a row and have children take their shoes off at the beginning. Encourage children to walk through each bin slowly. The slower the better. Encourage them to get both feet in each bin to truly experience each materials.

If you only have a few children doing the sensory walk, another great option is to read the book as children walk through the bins. They can step in each bin, and act out each location as they travel on their bear hunt.

we're going on a bear hunt sensory activity shows a child stepping in blue water and grass.

In general, kids will love their bear hunt because it is something different. We don’t usually encourage children to take their shoes and socks off, and get messy, but when it’s for such a great learning experience I think it is very worth it!

we're going on a bear hunt sensory activity shows a child walking through bins filled with grass, water, mud and more.

For another great “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt” sensory activity, check out another sensory walk from This sensory walk is created by kids, and is a great chance to explore the book outside of the classroom. The activity also leads children to a ‘cave’ an a special surprise!


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