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We’re Going On A Bear Hunt – Easy activity

Bear-Hunt-Activity-Craft

Most of you already know the timeless story of by Micheal Rosen and Helen Oxenbury – ‘We’re Going On A Bear Hunt’

How about an easy craft to go along with the story?

For this craft/activity you do not need any complicated materials – it’s quite straightforward.

Bear-Hunt-Activity-Craft_1

Make your very own Bear Hunt map. Your trail will take you on a journey just like in the book. Walk through the long, wavy ‘swishy swashy’ grass. ‘Splash and splosh’ through the deep, cold river. Trudge through the thick, oozy mud that is so ‘Squelchy and squerchy’. ‘Stumble and trip’ as you venture into the big, dark forest. Get ready to battle through a whirling, swirling snowstorm as it goes ‘Hooo woooo’ around your ears. And, Uh-uh – time to ‘tiptoe, tiptoe’ into a narrow, gloomy cave. Who will you find in there! It couldn’t possibly be a bear could it!?

What you will need for this ‘Going On A Bear Hunt’ craft/activity…

Tools:

  • Scissors, preferably with a wavy edge (to form the wavy grass and the deep river.)
  • Double-sided-sticky tape.
  • Craft glue.
  • A black marker pen.
  • Crayons – white, grey, blue, green, brown,

Materials:

  • A piece of paper, preferably brown packing paper. Cut to size 27 x 20cm approx.
  • A small piece of green and blue paper/card to make the grass and the river.
  • A small piece of cardboard to make the cave.
  • A wad or ball of cotton wool.
  • A small picture of a bear. It’s best to laminate it so that it lasts longer.

Bear-Hunt-Activity-Craft_2
Materials & tools that you will need for your Bear Hunt

  • Cut out your piece of brown paper (size 27 x 20cm approx.)
  • Using the black marker, draw your long, winding trail.
  • Write down the names of the places that you will pass – The Grass (place a strip of double-sided-sticky tape onto the paper) The River. The Mud. The Forest. The Snowstorm. The Cave. Remember to leave enough space between them!

Bear-Hunt-Activity-Craft_3
Draw your trail, and the names. Put the sticky tape in place for the grass.

  • Cut out strips of long, wavy grass.
  • Cut out your river – place double- sided-sticky tape onto the back of it.
  • Tear the cotton wool to make several small puffs of snow.
  • Cut out your cave from the cardboard. Make a flap for the entrance to the cave if you wish. Place double-sided-sticky tape on just one side of the back of the cave.
  • Get your crayons ready

Bear-Hunt-Activity-Craft

Bear-Hunt-Activity-Craft_5
Place double-sided-sticky tape on the back of just ONE side of the cave

  • Stick the long strips of grass into place.
  • Colour the river to your liking and then stick it in place.
  • Colour your oozy mud.
  • Draw your forest.
  • Colour your snowstorm grey and white. Then glue the cotton wool over some of it to resemble snow.
  • Colour your cave. Only one side of the cave is stuck into place, so you can now slide your bear in and out on the other side.
  • Draw some scary bear footprints!

Bear-Hunt-Activity-Craft_6

And now you have your very own ‘We’re Going On A Bear Hunt’ map!

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Max The Brave craft idea

Ed Vere Max The Brave craft activity

Create your very own ‘Max The Brave’ craft activity with the kids

Here’s a very easy activity to make little ‘Max The Brave’ by Ed Vere, come to life.

Here are the items that you will need to have for this easy Max The Brave character craft (We have turned this one into a fridge magnet!)

What you will need…

Tools

  • Scissors.
  • Craft glue (white glue will not work on the felt and foam).
  • Double sided sticky-tape.
  • A pen or marker.

Materials

  • Card. (I used a frozen pizza box).
  • Coloured felt – yellow (eyes) black (eyebrows) purple (nose) red (cape).
  • Black crepe paper (for Max’s fur).
  • Two googly eyes (the ones with the wiggly pupils).
  • Black craft foam sheet (for the tail, legs and arms – or just use card).
  • A ribbon, optional.
  • A magnet, optional.

Of course you can substitute the types of materials for other things – e.g – Just use coloured card instead of craft foam and felt!

What you need to do, in easy steps

  • Draw Max’s body shape on the card – Just his head, ears and body. Cut it out. (Photo 4)
  • You can make a stencil for his arms, legs and tail if you wish, and draw them onto the craft foam. Otherwise, draw them directly onto the craft foam and then cut them out. (Photo 5)
  • Place a little bit of double sided sticky-tape onto his arms, legs and tail. Or do this using craft glue. (Photo 5)
  • Stick the arms and legs onto Max’s body – from behind! (Photo 6) Be sure to get them in the correct position.
  • Now take the crepe paper. Rip in into small bits, scrunch them up and glue them all over Max’s little body to create his fur. (Photo 7)
  • Take the felt – Cut out shapes to make his yellow eyes – his black, stern eyelids – and his little purple nose. Get out the googly eyes. Use the craft glue to stick them together to form Max’s valiant looking face. (Photos 8 & 9)
  • Cut out a wedge of red felt to make his superhero cape. You can also choose to give him a pretty ribbon of any colour you wish! (Photo 10)
  • Glue the cape onto the back of Max. Wrap the ribbon around his neck. Glue the magnet onto the back of his head (Photo 11)
  • Well done! – You now have your very own ‘Max the Brave’! (Photo 12)

Don’t worry if you don’t have all the necessary items for this craft, or if you don’t feel like doing all the cutting out and sticking. Try this idea. Why not just draw your ‘Max The Brave’ character on card, then you can cut him out and colour him to your liking!

You can just draw Max on card and cut him out. Colour him to your liking!

Ed Vere illustrates such loveable characters with big personalities. Beautiful stories accompany these characters. Full of friendship and kindness. They capture the attention of small children right away. Here are some other books by Ed Vere to look out for…

You’ll also find that there are bright, colourful and adorable board books by Ed Vere that parents love among their little ones book collection…

  • Max and Bird
  • Max at Night
  • How to be a Lion
  • Everyone’s Sleepy
  • Everyone’s Little
  • Everyone’s Noisy
  • Everyone’s Hungry
  • Chick: Which is a lovely pop-up book!
  • Too Noisy

Books by Ed Vere on Amazon:

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Amazon – USA

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Amazon – UK

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Amazon – ES

Checkout Ed Vere books on ‘BOOK DEPOSITORY’ too!

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The Book Depository
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Make a sponge cake without using butter

make a cake without butter

Here’s a great recipe how to make a scrumptious sponge cake without the use of butter or margarine

In Spain, it’s normal for people to make their sponge cakes without the use of butter or margarine, or milk!

What do they use instead then? you may ask yourself.

I was working in a nursery, when a mum came up to me and gave me a slice of her son’s birthday cake. Me, being a faithful lover of cakes and biscuits took it upon myself to wolf it down. And let me tell you, it was the yummiest cake ever! Yes, even more scrumptious than my banana and raisin cake.

I just had to know how this slice of palatable heaven had been brought into existence. The mum in question, Mrs. Wowwzers-This-Is-So-Tasty (Name changed to avoid you tracking her down and begging her to bake it for you) told me with a huge smile that it was the first time she had ever baked such a cake, and that the recipe in question had been given to her from a Spanish friend. With a huge beam, Mrs Wowwzers-This-Is-So-Tasty informed me that the cake contained absolutely no butter or margarine, and no milk. I didn’t even know such a feat was possible! I was brought up on the solid belief that all cakes had to contain butter or margarine. My recipe books were full of evidence.

So, come on, tell us – what was the magic ingredient that replaced the butter?

Some of you may already know or have guessed by now. Maybe some of you have always been using this substitute ingredient all along? Please let me now if you have, as it was new to my ears and all the people that I know.

Olive oil! Yes, Mrs Wowwzers-This-Is-So-Tasty informed me that Spanish people were accustomed to putting olive oil in cakes instead of butter or marge. And then she hit me again with yet another surprising ingredient. The cake also contained a pot of natural yogurt. Who would have thought – not me! And to astonish me further, she told me that also bicarbonate of soda was added in with the plain flour instead of baking powder or self-raising flour.

You can probably tell that I’m not a regular cake baker right! To me, all cakes were made with self-raising flour, eggs, butter, milk and sugar. Not once did it occur to me to be adventurous and use olive oil and soda. Thank you Mrs. Wowwzers-This-Is-So-Tasty for enlightening me and sending me on a path to messing up the kitchen counters and experimenting with items that are in the back of my cupboards.

I’ve since had quite a few attempts at making this no butter or milk sponge cake. Most of them turned out quite ok for an amateur. But see if you can do better and let me know how you get on.

Sometimes I sprinkle in raisins, and sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I add a squeeze of lemon juice. And sometimes I add in crushed almonds. It’s entirely up to you – it’s now your butter-free creation. And you don’t even need weighing scales or special measuring cups!

sponge cake without butter or margarine

Recipe for Mrs Wowwzers-This-Is-So-Tasty’s butter-free sponge cake

Ingredients

  • 3 medium sized eggs
  • 1 cup of natural yogurt (I used a small 125g pot)
  • 1 yogurt cup measure of olive oil
  • 2 yogurt cup measures of sugar (brown or white)
  • 4 yogurt cup measures of flour (wholemeal or plain)
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda

Let’s get started making this cake…

  • Separate the egg whites and beat them until the liquid is fluffy and white.
  • Add in the egg yolks and whisk it all together.
  • Add in all the other ingredients: measures of sugar, olive oil, flour, yogurt, bicarbonate of soda.
    (Squeeze in fresh lemon juice if you are doing a lemon cake)
  • Optional: You can either leave the mix like this, or add in any other ingredients that you may prefer. Such as one mashed banana. Mixed dried fruit. Crushed pineapple pieces. Canned cherries. Etc.
  • Now give it all a good mix.
  • Line/grease a cake tin – and pour in the mixture.
  • Place in a pre-heated oven at 180º for 40 mins. or until it is golden brown and baked all the way through. Test it with a skewer if needed.

Ice the cake if you wish

sponge cake without butter or margarine

I turned my butter-free cake into a birthday cake by icing it and adding sprinkles.

Find out here what is the difference between a fairy-cake and a cupcake!

Enjoy your butter-free sponge cake, courtesy of me and Mrs. Wowwzers-This-Is-So-Tasty

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A list of the best books for storytelling

For all those who wish to read stories to small children

“I love reading stories to young children! I have been doing it since 2012. Children thrive from storybooks – make it your duty to read to them as often as possible. Help turn them into book-worms – exploring the pages of books like magnificent wings of butterflies. Storybooks are more powerful than you could ever imagine”

Sherry – Storyteller for What Children Really Want

The main comment that I hear amongst parents, teachers and carers is “Gosh, there are so many children’s storybooks out there on the market, but which ones should I go for?”

At my story-time events, it’s so wonderful to experience the delight on the faces of the children that I’m reading the stories too. I try to pick easy digestible stories for ages 3 – 7 years approx, making sure that there is something for everyone, whether they are native English speakers or not (as most of my work is in Barcelona)

I’m happy to share a list of my favourite books that I use for my storytelling.

Maybe you know some of them? You may not know all of them, but they are worth seeking out as these are the ones I use and get a good reaction to at my story-time events.

I’ll also do a list of the storybooks that I use when I teach English to small children. I make sure I read from a fun storybook in amongst the teaching. I choose books that the kids really respond positively to, and ones that can be read several times without the risk of them getting bored with the story. I sometimes create a craft to go with the story. An attractive but easy craft that I can prep, and the children can complete it with a little bit of help if necessary. All of which you can easily do too! – I will soon be posting and doing video tutorials of the crafts that I do!

My personal lists of the best storybooks for story-time

Books that make great storytelling and are best read to a large group of children…

These are my personal top ten choices for books that I like to read to children when I am doing story-time to 8 – 20 children. Recommended for 3 years and up.

  • ‘Open Very Carefully – A book with bite!’ By Nicola O’Byrne and Nick Bromley.
  • ‘Beegu’. By Alexis Deacon.
  • ‘Something Beginning With Blue’. By Nick Sharrat and Sally Symes.
  • ‘Pants’. By Nick Sharratt and Giles Andreae. Can be used as a quick warm-up story
  • ‘Max The Brave’. By Ed Vere.
  • ‘Mr. Big’. By Ed Vere.
  • ‘Upsy Down Town’. By Sue Hendra.
  • ‘Animal Pants’. By Brian Moses and Anja Boretzki.
  • ‘Thank You For Looking After Our Pets’. By Tim Hopgood.
  • ‘The Ravenous Beast’. By Niamh Sharkey.

My all time favourites have got to be these 3…

  • ‘Shark In The Park’. By Nick Sharratt
  • ‘We’re Going On A Bear Hunt’. By Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury.
  • ‘The Colour Monster’. By Anna Llenas.

Books that are best read to children in small groups

These are my personal top ten choices for storybooks books that I like to read to children when I am teaching 1 – 4 children. You can easily read these choices to children at home.

  • ‘So Much’. By Trish Cooke and Helen Oxrenbury.
  • ‘Peter’s Pebbles’. By Cherie Zamazing.
  • Grizzly Dad’. By Joanna Harrison.
  • ‘The Tale Of Jack Frost’. By David Melling.
  • ‘The Kiss That Missed’. By David Melling.
  • ‘Billy’s Beetle’. By Mick Inkpen.
  • ‘Give That Back Jack – A Cautionary Tale’. By Phil Roxbee Cox and Jan McCafferty.
  • ‘The Day Louis Got Eatten’. By John Fardell.
  • ‘Big Mum Plum’. By Daniel Postgate.
  • ’10 Minutes Till Bedtime’. By Peggy Rathmann.

My bonus fav is this one!…

  • ‘Meet The Parents’. By Peter Bently. Illustrated by Sara Ogilvie. A great storybook for family members, or teachers, etc to read to children and remind them of how fantastic their parents are!

Buy your children’s books on Amazon

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Children’s books on Amazon USA

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Children’s books on Amazon UK

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Children’s books on Amazon ES

How to take a step further into story-time…

You don’t always need an actual book for storytelling.

  • Use puppets, cut-out figures, flash-cards or adapt any other simple props that you can easily find around you (sock puppets!)
  • Memorise a story, or make up your own one. Preform it in a wonderful, expressive storytelling manner with lots of vocal changes.
  • Make your own story on sheets of A2 and laminate them! You can see the result of my hand-painted story that I like to perform during the festive season

‘In A Cold Snowy Forest’ – by Sherry

‘In A Cold, Snowy Forest’

Do you want to add to these lists? Help others by letting us know if there are any other storybooks that you find great for storytelling/story-time.

Now jump to our other post where I share some of my great tips on techniques for storytelling…

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Simple tips for storytelling to young children

Tips and techniques for Storytelling to young children. Storytelling with Sherry
Tips for storytelling to young children. Story-time with Sherry

Hi all! Sherry here – I’m a children’s storyteller. Many people ask me for my personal tips and techniques on storytelling/story-time* to young children.

So I’ll dive straight in!

My personal simple tips and techniques for storytelling/story-time are: 

  • If parents/carers are present, then allow the children to sit with them as many children may feel shy to be placed without a comforting adult.
  • Make ‘happy’ eye-contact with the listeners. Sit on their level e.g, don’t tower over them. If your’e standing, then bend down as often as possible and be close to the children.
  • Speak clearly and try to project your voice at an adjusting tempo – adding slow suspense and fast excitement as needed. 
  •  Be mega expressive with lots of gestures – even when you’re holding a book! Try to know most of the words so you don’t have to be staring at the book the whole time.
  • Try to choose a big book with colourful pictures that can easily be seen and understood. (I’ve used small books before, but I make sure I know the words so I can make up with engaging gestures and different vocals. And when using small books, it’s important to walk around the group).
  • Go around the group showing the children the pictures close-up. Always remember that some may not be able to get a good view, so make sure you find these children and show them the pictures too.
  • Try to make the stories inter-active. Ask questions and allow the children to answer and prompt their imaginations.
  • Choose age appropriate stories. I choose fun stories that are easy to digest and don’t contain heaps of text for 3 – 7 year olds.
  • But sure to select easy to understand books, with engaging stories and illustrations for non-native listeners – such as my all time favourite ‘Shark In The Park’ by Nick Sharratt.
  • Have lots of fun with the children! Don’t take yourself so seriously, and don’t show embarrassment – let yourself be a kid again – Smile and laugh a lot. If you make mistakes, just laugh them off and start the sentence again.
  • Try to wear ‘fun’ clothes that children will relate to – I like to wear a bright t-shirt with a fun character on the front, such as The Cookie Monster. Sometimes I wear a sequinned clowns tie and a waistcoat, with pedal-pushers and stripy socks. But don’t over do it, otherwise your outfit will be distracting.
Festive Christmas story-time with Sherry
Festive story-time with Sherry

Bonus tip for those who want to dive deeper into storytelling/story-time for kids…

Planning a storytelling/story-time event in brief, simple steps.

You can do your story-time as a 45 minute event like I do:

Storytelling with Flashcards. Story-time and songs with Sherry
Story-time and songs with Sherry, using flashcards.
  • No doubt, some people will arrive late to your storytelling event. Don’t worry, this happens for different reasons, and most of them are understandable if it involves kids. So, have something prepared for a little warm-up while you wait 10 mins or so. Play music that the ones who are present can sing-a-long to, or play a simple game with flashcards, play ‘eye-spy’, tell silly jokes, see if they can say any tongue twisters, ask names, etc.
  • Do an introduction when everyone is there – tell them your name and a little bit about yourself and the hosting venue. Or the host can do an introduction for you.
  • Tell two stories: 1 short, fun story to start with. The 2nd story should be a bit longer and very expressive (Such as ‘We’re Going On A Bear Hunt’ by Micheal Rosen and Helen Oxenbury.)
  • Follow the stories with action songs! The children will be in need of lots of movement by now. If you don’t have action songs, then do popular sing-a-long ones that the children are likely to know. Try to get the adults to join in too! I like to do songs by ‘Super Simple Songs’ such as ‘A Sailor Went To Sea’, and ‘There Was A Farmer Had A Dog’. I use flashcards that are blue-tacked to the wall. Kids are very visual and the flashcards make it more fun for them, but they are not a must.
  • After the songs is where I would throw in a game, to get the children calmer and ready for the end of the story-time event. You could play musical statues. I like to play a game of ‘Animal Snap’ if there are no more than 20 children. I give out various animal cards making sure each child has about 5 different animals in their hands, and I keep one of every animal card for myself. I then call out the animals that I’m holding one by one, and if a child has a matching animal that I call out, then they must shout out ‘ SNAP’ and I collect their card. The winner is the one who manages to get rid of all their cards. They get a sticker on their hand as a prize. The game continues until every child gets a sticker – so they are all champs!
  • If there is time and you are feeling adventurous, you can add in an easy craft that you have prepped, or give out colouring sheets. (The colouring sheets should be related to the story)
  • Try not to go over an hour – leave them wanting more!

“I used to give out balloons to each child after a storytelling event, but after realising that balloons just end up in the trash or the sea, creating useless waste and potentially endangering wildlife, I happily decided to ditch them.”

Sherry – What Children Really Want
We're Going On A Bear Hunt easy craft for pre-schoolers
We’re Going On A Bear Hunt, my easy craft idea for pre-schoolers

I’ll be posting my craft ideas and tutorials soon!

So, these were my easy to follow tips for techniques on storytelling to young children

*Side note…

I prefer to describe what I do as a ‘story-time’ for children. I mainly read from a story book as children are gathered round me.

I would describe ‘storytelling’ more as telling a story through acting, and without the use of a book in my hands. I imagine it as someone up on a stage and giving more of a performance.

If you need some advice on selecting some great books for storytelling, then read my blog post that contains

a list of my personal favourite books for story-time

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