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Bear Stays Up for Christmas Snowy Invitation to Play

This snowy winter invitation to play offers children a magical world for winter themed indoor play.

small world snowy and winter inspired by bear stays up for Christmas by Karma Wilson

We lived in often-snowy Massachusetts when my children were tiny, and they loved to bring snow in to play. They enjoyed playing out of doors, too, of course, but it was usually too cold for very young children to stay out there for very long. Bringing snow indoors allowed my children to enjoy the sensory experience inside a nice warm house.

My kids enjoyed shapes in the snow – especially tiny snowmen and igloos! They also added toys for all sorts of pretend play. Bringing snow in to play was one of our favorite wintertime activities.

Then we moved to sunny California, where winter cold in any form is a distant memory.

Bear Stays up for Christmas by Karma Wilson

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Bear Stays Up for Christmas is a very snowy winter tale. As a hibernating animal, bear of course typically sleeps through Christmas. This year, his friends work hard to help him stay awake so that they can celebrate with him.

We enjoyed the story, and I wanted a snowy scene for my kids to enjoy. We didn’t have any snow to bring in, so I decided to find a snow-inspired invitation to play substitute.

I pulled a white-backed quilt out of the closet and laid it out on the ground. The patterning of the quilting lines offers a nice snowy texture for play time.

using duplo animals and play figures for small world activities with preschoolers

Now it was time to find some characters for a book-inspired invitation to play.

I’ve discovered that all too often, I overthink invitations to play. I knew I wanted to use DUPLO bricks and minifigures for this invitation to play, but we don’t own a DUPLO bear. We pulled out one of our green counting bears at first; later on, the kids substituted in a black wildcat as a bear-like figure.

kids playing with a snowy small world activity

The kids spent a while coming up with fun presents the other animals could bring the bears, and eventually the game evolved (as it so often does) into more open-ended play.

And that’s the beauty of invitations to play! A set-up as simple as a few DUPLO bricks on a blanket sets off initially themed play. The themed play can become increasingly detailed, or it can evolve into something else entirely. Either way, children develop storytelling skills, learn to develop plots and characters and work through complex emotions and social relationships.

More Fun Pretend Play Ideas for Bear Stays Up for Christmas

There are so many delightful ways to celebrate this book! Here are some of our favorites:

winter wonderland invitation to play for young kids

Do you have a favorite Christmas or winter themed invitation to play? How about an activity idea for Bear Stays Up for Christmas?

More Small World and Invitations to Play for Kids

Ocean Themed Small World Invitation to Play

Bakery Themed Invitation to Play

Farm Small World Invitation to Play

More Bear Stays Up for Christmas Activities for Kids

Get creative and make your Bear Stay up for Christmas with this STEAM activity for Kids.

3 Part Montessori Cards Inspired by Bear Stays Up for Christmas to use with your kids plus a selection of activities you can do with them.

Keep the kids active during the colder months with these Bear Stays Up for Christmas Gross Motor Activities.

Create a Woodland Leaf Garland inspired by Bear Stays for Up for Christmas.

Enjoy a set of paw print cookies made with the kids whilst you finish off this activity and re-read the book together.

Why not Pin this Invitation to Play and Use Again in the Winter Months

small world snowy and winter inspired by bear stays up for Christmas by Karma Wilson

Share this Simple Small World Play Idea for Christmas and Winter with Others on Facebook

winter play scene for kids
Picture of MaryAnne from Mamasmiles Blog.

MaryAnne is the fourth of ten children, raised in five countries on three continents. She now lives in California’s Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children: Emma, Johnny, Lily, and Anna. She blogs at Mama Smiles – Joyful Parenting about building a rewarding family life through mindful parenting and educational and creative family activities.

You can follow MaryAnne on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.

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