Bear Stays Up for Christmas: read and play

One of the many joys of Chrismas is sharing Christmas books with children.

Books that capture the magic of kindness and giving. Books that remind us what the season is about.

Bear Stays Up for Christmas
written by Karma Wilson
illustrated by Jane Chapman
published by Simon and Schuster, 2005

Open up the book, go past the inside cover (where there is always a lovely double page spread telling us what season it is - and drawing out conversation with small children), to the beginning of the story. 

opening lines  
The day before Christmas,
snuggled on his floor,
Bear slept soundly
with a great big snore.

"Dear Bear, GET UP!"
Mouse shouts in his ear.
"We won't let you sleep 
through Christmas this year."

Bear's friends wake Bear up from his winter hibernation
 and keep him busy so that he does not fall back asleep.
Bear manages to stay awake, even when his friends fall asleep. He spends the night so focused on making surprises for his friends that he does not hear a Special Visitor. 
And Bear's friends know exactly what a hibernating bear will appreciate.
all book illustrations from Chapman and Warnes
learn about Jane Chapman 
learn about Karma Wilson
Bear's friends made him a quilt.  If animals without opposable thumbs can make a quilt, then kids can too!

Quilting is a wonderful way for kids (and grown ups) to combine artistry and math.  

Bear's quilt is mostly blues and browns - so I cut blue and brown 6"x8" rectangles for the quilt back.

Quilt squares -  I used wrapping paper with a small pattern.  Scrapbooking paper would work wonderfully (and be easier to work with cutting it into squares), but wrapping paper is cheaper and I had it in my basement.

This set came from Ikea.

I cut 2" and 1" squares.

Let the creativity begin!
These are quilts that I made.
Kids are far more creative than this!
Bear and his friends teach us a lot about kindness.
Super Mommy Club,  Tutus and Teaparties, The Mad House and The Imagination Tree, all have great ideas how to provide opportunities for kids to show kindness over the Christmas season (and, really, any time of the year). 

1+1+1=1 created free printable story props for retelling the Bear Stays Up for Christmas and highlighting some key story words. 

Happily Ever After Education put together a beginning-middle-end story activity which she offers for free on her TPT page. 

These bear paw cookies from Not Just a Food Blog would work perfectly as a post-story snack.

There are so many wonderful Christmas books to enjoy reading with children.   More than 20 bloggers are sharing favourite Christmas books and activities.  Find them at The Pleasantest Thing's Read and Play homepage

Remember to check out the Christmas Read and Play Pinterest Board - it has links to all these books and activities - and more! 

Follow Carolyn { Pleasantest Thing }'s board Read & Play on Pinterest.

happy reading,



  1. I love this story! How creative that you came up with a way for kids to make a quilt too. And those bear paw cookies are awesome!

    1. It's one of my favourites too. I am trying to think of a nut-free alternative for the bear paw cookies.

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  3. Complimenti per il tuo bellissimo blog... da oggi ti seguirò con grande piacere.
    A presto
    Maestra Valentina

    1. Grazie . Mi piace guardare un blog inpiration . Le attività che si fanno con i vostri figli sono belli .

  4. What a great post! I love the Bear series of books. Found you on Crafty Moms Sharing Saturday and will share your post. :-)

    1. Thank you for visiting - and for sharing our post. I will enjoy checking out your book thoughts and reviews.

  5. I absolutely love those bear paw cookies!! I hadn't heard of this book, but it reminds me a lot of Merry Christmas, Big Hungry Bear by Don and Audrey Wood. It sounds fun! Thanks for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday! Hope your Advent/countdown to Christmas is going well!

  6. What a sweet book! I don't have that one yet. Love the quilt, too.


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