Teaching children through stories is so valuable and important. I always piece together my own curriculum each year, and many times I use stories as the base and foundation for many of my activities. This was my inspiration for these Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? glass bead story pieces. We loved using our story stones, and I decided to make another extension with hands-on characters by turning them into glass beads as well.
They are so inviting and easy for little fingers to hold! If you’ve never used glass beads for play, you must try them! I’ve never met a preschooler who wasn’t drawn to them. I’m a sucker for them too :).
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Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? is my favorite childhood book! I remember my teacher reading it aloud in kindergarten, and it’s a story I have to use with my own children and classes each year!
We have our story pieces on my loose parts table right now. I don’t have a photo of it here, but you can see how I set it up on my instagram account.
To make your own story beads, just follow these instructions. It’s a pretty easy process (as are most of my activities). I am simple at heart!
Make Brown Bear Glass Beads
I found my glass beads/ flat clear marbles at the dollar store, but they are available in the link above as well. Print out the story characters and cut them out. I made two sizes since glass beads are not all the same size. Find beads that match as closely as possible. Glue the piece on with an old paintbrush and Mod Podge. I use an old paint brush because Mod Podge can be super tricky to get out of the brush, so I go with a brush that I won’t be devastated over tossing out.
Let the pieces dry for about an hour or so, and they are ready to play with! You’ll know they are dry because the “cloudiness” from the glue will fully disappear.
Brown Bear Story Beads
You could even use both sizes to make a Mama/Parent animal with the baby animal. We use these for sequencing and retelling the story of Brown Bear, Brown Bear. My kiddos also love to use glass beads with unit blocks. You could even magnetize them and use them on a magnet board. There are so many possibilities with these!
I’d love to hear about how you use yours!
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