November 7 is Hug a Bear Day! Although I’m pretty sure it’s referring to teddy bears, I can’t help but think of this photo of my grandfather in Michigan’s upper peninsula. Even though I wasn’t around yet, I can totally hear my grandmother insisting he get back in the car. Fortunately, he just gave the bear cub a pat on the head and didn’t attempt any hugging.
For this STEAM activity, we’re going to stick to the soft, sweet, inanimate bears that pose no danger. Place a teddy bear at a center along with a variety of materials, such as tissue paper, fabric, faux fur, construction paper, pom-poms, feathers, yarn, cardboard tubes, small boxes, and tape. Explain that the goal is to create a hat for the teddy bear. Add a challenge for older students: the hat must be warm, stay in place, and cover the bear’s ears. Encourage students to give the teddy bear a hug while they work. We can all use more hugs!