Last week on Animal Day, the Red Roomers got a lovely surprise – Molly the Flamingo brought us a very special present! It was an armful of baby Black Bears who needed a good home and children to take care of them. Each child chose the Bear that called to them, and then helped tie on a special tag with their own name on it. The children were so excited to hold their small, furry, and very cuddly new friends.
We asked the children what they would like to call their Bears and how they would help to take care of them.
Inez: Leslie. He’s a sister. I’m gonna feed her some ice cream.
Solomon: Dovereeni. I give her cheese. Sleep in bed.
Marina: A girl bear. Yellow. Chocolate to drink.
Lilah: Icecream. Change her diaper.
Issac: I’m going to name my bear Issac (later he added Book, possible a middle name). I will have pants for Issac.
Enzo: Franklin. I put a bandaid.
Max: Max. Put a bandaid on him. Change his diaper. Take care of him.
Evan C: Solomon. Water to drink.
Harriet: Harriet. I will give her a sweater.
George: George. I’m going to get her some milk.
Evan B: Bellony. I’m going to help her. I will give her chocolate to eat.
Eben: Fah. Chocolate cookies.
Olivier: Olivier. Snack.
The next day, the Red Roomers went about their activities, some of which now included baby bears. Baby bears were seen at the clay table, and having fruit and vegetables on the carpet. Baby bears had naps with their children. Bears are sitting on children’s laps during Morning Meeting and helping friends build a train track out of blocks. They are watching from a safe distance as their children paint at the easel. They are there whenever their children want or need them. One Red Roomer even “fed” his black bear part of his lunch before eating the rest himself. Sharing with his new friend helped make eating his lunch so much more exciting and fun.
Now when we sing Raffi’s version of Goodnight Irene we swap out the line “Lion’s sleep in their dens” for ” Black Bears sleep in their dens.”
At Circle Time we watched a short video of a mother Black Bear and her cubs playing and climbing to give the Red Roomers a glimpse of Black Bears in their natural habitat. We asked the children what they saw.
Evan C: Baby Black Bear.
Eben: They’re climbing the tree. They’re walking on the bridge. (A tree branch)
Maryann: Is he going up really high?
Enzo: Like this. (Demonstrates, useing his hands like he is climbing up a ladder)
Issac: He’s climbing.
Evan C: Where’s mommy?
Maryann: Should we watch it again?
Eben: Yeah. Where is the mom?
Isaac: There it is. She’s walking.
Charlotte: To the trees.
Issac: To the bears. There’s the mom.
Enzo: Three. (Three baby bears)
Olivier: Baby Bear.
Outside on the playground, the spirit of Bears is popping up in imaginary games as the children become bears themselves, living together in a cozy cave and romping around in very beary ways.
Harriet is under one of the structures. Frankie and Inez soon join her.
Sara: Who are you?
Harriet: I’m the Mama Bear.
Inez: I’m a big girl bear. We’re going to the museum. To see froggie bowls.
Sara: What do bears like?
Inez: (laughing and hopping) Frogs! Hopping!
Sara: How do bears walk?
Harriet drops to all fours and bear walks around and the other two join her.
We are just beginning to discover who our Bears are, what they like and what they need. We look forward to following their lead as they guide us on all kinds of adventures though science and imagination. We can’t wait to see where the journey will take us.
In the meantime we are thinking a lot about bears…