teddy bear sandwich

Teddy bears have been having picnics for decades. It’s true. In fact, back in 1932, Jimmy Kennedy wrote the lyrics to the popular song we know today as Teddy Bear’s Picnic. It’s written to an amazing melody if you listen closely. There’s a lot of history to cute stuffed animals having picnics! There’s also hundreds of versions of the song, we especially like this one by Bing Crosby.  There’s even a kid friendly cartoon version but if you share with kids, be sure to use SafeShare.tv!

With Teddy Bear Picnic Day officially being, July 10th we decided to have some fun and create a special MyPlate themed Teddy Bear Picnic Activity Guide. Fresh Baby’s special MyPlate Teddy Bear Picnic Activity Guide is perfect for Head Start, Early Head Start, pre-K, play group and day care lesson planning.  The activities are adaptable but the main objective is to teach the children about the MyPlate food groups, healthy food choices and staying active!

Activity 1:  Teddy Bear Color Math & Counting Using Fresh Baby’s 5-Section MyPlate

Objective:  The children will learn the 5 MyPlate Food Groups.

Have the children color and/or cut out bears for each of the five MyPlate food groups, using our free teddy bear worksheet, available in black & white and color. Have the children match the bears with the Fresh Baby 5-Section Plate or a print out of the five MyPlate food groups.

Red bear = fruits

Green bear = vegetables

Purple bear = meat, eggs, fish or beans

Orange bear = whole grains, tortillas, rice, pasta or bread

Blue bear = milk, yogurt or cheese

Have the children match the bears with the colors of the plate. Discuss the different sections of the plate and the pictures. The idea is to help the children become familiar with the MyPlate food groups for eating a well-balanced diet, while also learning their colors and practicing counting.

Tip:  Provide parents information on the MyPlate daily food groups and share with them our free Must Have Picnic Items tip sheet.

Activity 2:  Feed Mr. Bear a MyPlate Meal

Objective:  The children will learn the five MyPlate Food Groups.

During whole group time, talk to the children about the different MyPlate food groups. You can use a photo or the Fresh Baby 5-Section MyPlate. After you’ve discussed the different MyPlate food groups, tell the children you need their help to feed a very hungry Mr. Bear!

Using a stuffed teddy bear and pretend play food, ask the children, one-by-one to choose a food to help feed hungry Mr. Bear! If all the children are choosing fruits, encourage them to begin choosing the other food groups. Remind them that the bear needs a well-balanced meal! We can’t just feed Mr. Bear broccoli, for example.

Tip:  You could use felt boards to choose the different foods and divide them by the MyPlate food groups or create a Velcro board.

Activity 3:  MyPlate Bear Hop

Objective:  The children will learn the importance of staying active.

This activity pairs well with the Feed Mr. Bear a MyPlate Meal, above. After Mr. Bear has eaten it’s time for him to get active and start moving! It’s similar to musical chairs and can make for a great transition game at the end of a whole group.

At the end of whole group, explain to the children why it’s important to stay active. Ask for their feedback on why we need to move our bodies. This is a great time to see what they know about physical activity and health!

Print and cut out our free large bear shaped paw worksheet, using the colors of the MyPlate food groups. You can print them on colored page, have the children color them or glue them onto colored construction paper. Laminate them and place them around the room.

Playing the tune of Teddy Bear Picnic have the children dance and move around the room. When you pause the music they must find a colored MyPlate bear shaped paw to freeze on. You can even quiz them and ask them to shout out what color MyPlate food group they’re standing on! For example, ask them to raise their hand if they’re standing on a red for fruits or green for vegetables.

The child who does not have a MyPlate colored bear paw, is out.

Tip:  This is a great time for them to get ready for outdoor play or wash their hands and be dismissed for snack.

Activity 4:  Make a Healthy MyPlate Teddy Bear Snack

Objective:  The children will review the MyPlate food groups.

Its snack time and children love to help in the kitchen! This is a great activity that allows for the children to make their own snack and learn about the different food groups and which food group they’re eating from for their snack. See if they can spot which food group they’re not eating from!

Using whole grain bread, have the children spread peanut butter on the bread. Depending on the age, the adult may do this for them.

Have the children decorate their peanut butter bread with strawberries for the ears, bananas for the eyes and blueberries for the nose and mouth. If they get creative with this, that is okay. It’s the process, not the final product that matters!

Talk with them about what MyPlate food groups their snack foods belong in.

Serve with milk and don’t forget to ask them what MyPlate food group milk belongs in!

Tip:  This is a great time to check their knowledge on the food groups and what they’ve learned or still need to learn. 

Activity 5:  Pack a MyPlate Picnic

Objective: For children to make healthy food choices and pack a healthy MyPlate picnic.

Using our free downloadable picnic basket coloring page, have the children tear or cut out photos of food from catalogs or magazines. This is a great fine motor activity!

Have them choose foods from the MyPlate food groups and have the MyPlate handy for them to reference, unless you’re using this as an assessment activity.

After they’ve cut or torn out one food from eachfood group, have them glue the photo onto the coloring page.

Tip:  When the children choose something like candy bars or unhealthy foods, talk to them about packing a healthy MyPlate picnic! This can also be used an assessment tool to see if they know the MyPlate food group.

Download the free Fresh Baby Teddy Bear Picnic lesson plan today or for the individual worksheets and coloring pages, click on the images below. Enjoy and please share!