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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Fathers' Day Blog Hop, courtesy of Father Bear

Fathers' Day is coming in the Northern Hemisphere, hard on the heels of Mothers' Day down here in the South. Deborah from Teach Preschool has organised another blog hop so we can share ideas for Fathers' Day books and activities, so I've been putting some thought into choosing a story which features a strong father figure.
There are many printed versions of
this old favourite!
Well, to be honest it didn't take much thought really! I have never met a child who didn't like the story of The Three Bears. It's one of my 'magic tricks' when the day just isn't going well- sit the kids down, preferably on comfy cushions, and start telling them about a certain naughty little girl and the trouble she got into in the forest. And I always, always make Father Bear a large, loud, growly old softie- the epitome of loving fatherhood.

Here's the way I tell the tale. (Mind you, it's never the same twice!) I have a picture book of The Three Bears which I use to illustrate the story, but I never actually read from it- I tell the tale my own way. I'll pop in some activity and discussion ideas along the way, with some specific Fathers' Day ideas at the end.

I wouldn't use all these ideas in one storytelling session, of course- I'd only use the ones that were relevant to the current programme and to the children's recent interests.

*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *
Once upon a time there was a very, very naughty little girl called Goldilocks. She was a pretty little girl, but she was Not Nice. She was even mean to her mummy and daddy.

One morning Goldilocks woke up feeling Very Grumpy.

"Goldilocks!" called her mum. "It's time to get up. Your breakfast is on the table. It's WeetBix this morning."

Goldilocks stomped out to the kitchen. (stomp feet on floor)

"Don't want stupid WeetBix. I want PANCAKES."

"GOLDILOCKS!" said her mum crossly. "Don't be so rude! Go back to your bedroom Right Now and stay there till you find your manners!"

Well, Goldilocks did go back to her room, but she didn't find her manners. She frowned, and she sulked, and she threw things around the room.

"I'm bored," she said to herself. "I don't want to stay in my stupid bedroom."

And do you know what she did? She climbed out the window, and she went for a walk in the forest all by herself!!

Protective behaviour link: Was that a good idea? Is it okay for kids to climb out the window and go for a walk by themselves  without mum or dad knowing? - Talk about places it's okay to go alone, and places where you need a parent with you.

Well, she'd been walking for a little while when she started to get very tired and very hungry, because of course she hadn't had any breakfast. Her tummy was growling like a tiger, it was so empty.

Nutrition/maths links: Did you kids all have breakfast today? What did you have? What are some yummy things to have for breakfast? Are they 'sometimes foods', or is it okay to have that every morning? - Make a chart of what everyone had for breakfast; turn it into a bar graph.

Soon she saw a little house in the forest.

Literature/belonging link: Who do you think lives in the house? - The story will be familiar to nearly all children, so asking a question they can answer easily will enhance their sense of self.

She thought "I know! I'll go and get some breakfast over there and sit down for a while." So she knocked on the door. (knock on floor three times)

Nobody answered, so she knocked again. (knock on floor three times)

Still nobody answered the door.

Protective behaviour and problem solving link: What should Goldilocks do now? Should she be knocking on the door of a strange house? When is it okay to knock on the door of a strange house? - Talk about stranger danger issues, safety houses, neighbourhood watch signs etc. Familiarise children with 'safe place - safe person' indicators- police uniforms, safety house signs etc.

Well, here's what she did. She pushed the door open and walked right in- into a strange house, where she didn't know the people!

Protective behaviour link: Was that a good idea? - Discuss times when you might need to ask for help from a stranger, and how to do it. Teach children how to dial correct emergency number for your country.

The first thing she saw was a table with three bowls of porridge on it- a great big bowl, a middle sized bowl, and a teeny weeny little bowl.

Maths link: Who do you think owns the big bowl? Who owns the middle sized bowl? Who owns the littlest bowl? - Put different sized bears or dolls around the home corner table; provide different sized plates and ask children which is the right size plate for each doll/teddy.

It was lovely looking porridge, with brown sugar and butter and honey on top. She was a greedy little girl, so she grabbed the biggest bowl and started to gobble it up.

"OWWWWWWWWW!" screamed Goldilocks. "It's TOO HOT! It burned me!"

Safety link: What's the best thing to do if you get burnt? - Teach about using very cold water, stop-drop-roll etc. 

So she picked up the middle sized bowl and started to gobble that up instead.

"BLEAUGH!" said Goldilocks. "It's too cold. It tastes like glue!"

Science link: Can you eat glue? Should you eat glue- is it a good thing to put inside your body? What is glue made from? - Mix flour and water to make a simple, safe glue for paper mache. 

So she picked up the teeny weeny little bowl and took a little taste- and it was Just Right, so she gobbled it all up.

Feeling faces

Social link: Was that okay, to go and eat someone else's breakfast without asking? How will Baby Bear feel when he finds that someone's eaten all his breakfast? - Use happy, sad and angry 'feelings faces' to help children identify emotions.

Then she looked round for somewhere to have a rest. There were three chairs- a great big chair, a middle sized chair, and a teeny weeny little chair.

First she sat on the big chair. She bounced up and down, and jumped on it like a trampoline, and tried to get comfy, but it was too soft. She sank right down and nearly disappeared!

So she climbed onto the middle sized chair and tried to bounce around.

"OWWWWW!" said Goldilocks crossly. "Too hard! I hurt my bottom!"

So she squeezed into the teeny weeny little chair. It was very comfy. It was just right. But- BANG! Goldilocks was too big for that chair! All of a sudden the chair broke into a million pieces and Goldilocks hit the floor!

"OWWWWW!" screamed Goldilocks. "That hurt!"

Social link: How will Baby Bear feel when he sees his broken chair? - Talk about how individual kids have felt when their toys have been broken by siblings, etc. What are some okay ways to show that you feel angry? What are some not-okay ways to show that you feel angry? Sing "If you're angry and you know it, fold your arms".

Goldilocks was really tired now, and really cross. She stomped up the stairs (stomp feet on floor) and found three beds- a great big bed, a middle sized bed and a teeny weeny little bed.

So she climbed onto the big bed. She threw the pillows around, she tossed the covers around, she wriggled and she jiggled, but she couldn't get comfy.

"Too hot!" said Goldilocks.

She climbed onto the middle sized bed. She threw the pillows around, she tossed the covers around, she wriggled and she jiggled, but she couldn't get comfy.

"Too cold!" said Goldilocks.

So she climbed onto the teeny weeny bed.

"Ahhhhhhhhhhh!" said Goldilocks. "Just right!" And she went straight to sleep.

No sooner had she dropped off to sleep than...


(stomp feet on floor)

They looked around the room.


"Someone's been eating my porridge!" said Mother Bear.

"Someone's been eating my porridge, and it's all goooooone!" wailed Baby Bear.

"Never mind, Baby. I'll make you some more," said Mother Bear kindly.

Music and belonging links: Can you make your voice sound like Father Bear, Mother Bear and Baby Bear? Does your daddy have a big, loud, deep voice? What does a baby's voice sound like? - Play some low, medium and high notes on a musical instrument. Which ones are like Father Bear? Mother Bear? Baby Bear?

Then they looked around the room some more.


"Someone's been sitting in my chair!" said Mother Bear.

"Someone's been sitting in my chair, and it's all brooooooooken!" wailed Baby Bear.

"Never mind, Baby," said Father Bear kindly. "I'll make you a new chair."
My dad cooks!

Social link: Who has a dad who makes things? Does your dad fix things? Does your mum fix things? Can your dad cook? - Provide images of mothers and fathers in different roles.

Then they went upstairs.


"Someone's been sleeping in my bed!" said Mother Bear.

"Someone's been sleeping in my bed," squeaked Baby Bear, "and she's STILL HERE!"

And when Baby Bear squeaked in her ear, Goldilocks woke up- and saw THREE BEARS standing over her! She screamed! She jumped out of bed, she ran down the stairs, she raced out the door, she rushed down the path to the gate and out into the woods.


"Come back, little girl! I'll make you some more porridge!" called Mother Bear.

"Will you play with me?" squeaked Baby Bear.

But Goldilocks was so scared she ran all the way home without stopping. And she never climbed out her window to go for a secret walk again, and she never knocked on a stranger's door and went into a stranger's house without asking.

Social link: Were the Three Bears nice bears or scary bears? - Talk about kind behaviour, mean behaviour and scary behaviour as seen in the story. Use feeling faces to link to emotions and expressions.

Fathers' Day follow-up activities

Painting my dad: We've seen what Father Bear looks like. What does your dad look like? Does he look like a bear? What colour is your dad's hair? Eyes? Skin? What does he like to wear? Provide an oval 'face' shape as an art template, with flesh-coloured and hair-coloured paint as well as other colours. Let the kids loose to paint dad's picture as a gift. You might like to provide coloured cotton wool balls and glue for hair, beards and moustaches, and so turn it into a collage activity too.

My dad loves me: Father Bear made Baby Bear a new chair when Goldilocks broke the old one. What does your dad do to show how much he loves you? Does he play ball with you? Take you to the park? Give you big hugs? Read stories? Play chasings? Tell me about your dad. Write the activities each child associates with their dad or what the child says about dad, in the child's own words, as a 'frame' around their completed portrait of dad.

Pretending to be a father: Let's play Three Bears. Who wants to be Father Bear? Who wants to be Mother Bear? etc. Tell the story again and let the children act the parts and say the words they remember. You can introduce this activity by just waiting at crucial points when you tell the story- "And Father Bear said..." -the children will fill in the blanks.

My dad fixes trucks.
Move the activity on to creative role play. What do you think the Three Bears were doing before they came home and found Goldilocks? What was Father Bear doing? Let's pretend we're Father Bear. Take photos of the children pretending to be Father Bear, label them and include them in the Fathers' Day gift. Watch for spontaneous role play growing out of this activity and be on hand with the camera! A photo, with a description of what you saw going on as the children pretended to be the dad, is a lovely and unique gift.

I guess you've worked out by now that I'm not a fan of the generic Fathers' Day craft activity. I think gifts should be personal and meaningful. It does take a little more effort, but if your Fathers' Day activity can be educational for the children as well as providing a gift for the parent, it's a win-win situation!

Why not visit some of the other great blogs participating in this blog hop? Just click on the links below.

Teach Preschool : Aunt Annie's Childcare : Living Montessori Now : The SEEDS Network : Music Sparks :Males in Early Childhood : Little Illuminations


  1. Wow! You really went all out here Annie. So many links to different areas of learning. And here I thought it was just a silly old story. Goes to show you make of it what you will and you definitely made the best of it.
    Greg :)

    1. Crazy, isn't it? I've used that story so many times, and it's gone down so many different roads depending on where the kids were at!

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  2. Love all your discussion points! I have shared this story so many times and you have helped me to see it in a new way. Thanks, Annie!

  3. This is one of our favorite stories, too! After telling it a couple of times, I let the kids act it out. It's always fun to see and hear what they come up with. I adore the idea of "painting dad" ~ gift any dad will treasure!

    1. Thanks, Ayn. I started out the whole 'paint someone' idea when we were talking about friends and not-friends- I really wanted everyone to participate, even the reluctant artists, so I gave a template of an oval as a starting point and I was amazed that every single kid painted the face of a friend. Some painted mum or dad, some a friend from preschool and some a sibling or friend from home, and one bright spark even painted himself because he said he was his own best friend! What a genius! So it's only a small step from there to painting dad.

  4. Great blog and cute story. I really love my dad, so I got him a gift from

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