Going on a Bear Hunt Small World Play: This is something I have been planning in my head for a while. And I was looking for an excuse to make it a reality. I had the chance over the Bank Holiday weekend as the weather was rubbish. Plus we had friends coming for dinner on Sunday with their little boy who is the same age as Monkey. I am a little disappointed that I didn’t manage to get any photos of them actually playing with it.. But because of needing an adult to read the story it just didn’t really work out!

Putting the scene together

This one did take a bit longer to put together than the other small world play set ups we have done but I think it was worth the effort. First  I started with a Melissa and Doug Doorbell House and some little people for the characters from the story. For the swishy swashy grass I used a place mat! I was looking for artificial grass and came across the place setting which was a cheaper option. You could use real grass (probably a better sensory experience if I am honest) but I wasn’t sure how long I was going to leave it out so opted for the fake kind.

I toyed with the idea of using real water for the deep dark river, but instead used blue cellophane with some glass beads in different shades of blue. I suspect the boys would have preferred water but I was trying to keep the mess to a minimum…

For the think oozy mud I used some chocolate gloop we had left over from Easter, its a fantastic substance made from only three ingredients, you can find the recipe here at pagingfunmums.com. I have never come across anything like it before and can see us making various different versions in the months to come.

What about the big dark forest?

Now the one which I really needed to think about was the big dark forest. I made trees in  advance with pom poms I brought from HobbyCraft and some black straws. I used a glue gun to attach the two together. A word of warning it works better when the glue it not too hot that it melts the straws… otherwise you end up with  lopsided pom poms! I stuck each one into some brown plasticine which I had rolled thinly for the forest floor. If time is not an issue then brown home made play dough would achieve the same thing and probably be better smelling.

A swirling whirling snowstorm was easy – fake snow from Christmas.. cotton wool balls would have the same effect. For the bear cave I used a piece of grey card stuck into some play dough. Around the cave I sprinkled some small sea shells. In addition to the above I used pebbles to divide some of the areas up and some fake bushes used in railway models… I saw them at Hobbycraft and thought they would come in handy at some point!

And the verdict?

The boys loved it and couldn’t wait to go and play which is always a nice feeling! They had great fun with the story. After, the snow became the point of fascination and hiding the bear in it. The then play moved on with the boys fetching diggers from the play room. They used them to move the snow around, mixing it up with the gloop and the small shells. It was a lovely afternoon of play & giggles.

Heres the Door Bell House: (please note this is an affiliate link to Amazon)

If your little ones love the story then you can also find my Story Bag for Going on a Bear Hunt here. and we recently celebrated Monkey’s 3rd Birthday with a themed Birthday party here. I also have a pinterest page for Going on a Bear Hunt

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Going on a Bear Hunt Small World Play



  1. How amazing is this?! I love it, I fear my boys would trash it in around 5 seconds though! #bloggerclubUK

  2. happyhema

    I really disliked Bear Hunt when I first read it (shocker, as we adore MR) but it’s totally grown on me. My daughter and I love the indulgent language, it’s such a pleasure to read aloud. I love this idea, it’s so inventive! We’re definitely going to try out the chocolate mud.

  3. Becky, Cuddle Fairy

    Your creativity always amazes me. This is such a great idea. The making of this scene would be so fun & then getting to play with it would be so fun. I love making things the kids can then play with. It makes the fun last much longer. I’m going to check out this mud recipe! #BloggerClubUK

  4. Blessing @ BB's Pantry

    This is cool, i really like the cellophane water idea… #bloggerclubuk

  5. DomesticatedMomster

    Visiting this time around from #bloggerclubUK…thanks so much for hostessing! ?Trista

  6. Laura @ Life with Baby Kicks

    I need to do some small world play. Our book from nursery this week is actually we are going on a bear hunt!

  7. butterflymum83

    This looks fantastic! Such a creative idea 🙂 #bloggerclubuk

  8. Wow! That’s so cool! I love how you have represented each part of the book. I really want to try this out myself. X #BloggerClubUK

  9. Lisa@IntoTheGlade

    Ah so lovely and a great idea, love the ‘water’. This used to be one of our favs when our girls were little. Thank you for hosting xx

  10. Someone's Mum

    Oh this is a lovely idea! My son loves Bear Hunt so would love this. Gorgeous! #BloggerClubUk

  11. What a lovely idea! I think the forest is my favourite bit! It looks like great fun to play with x #BloggerClubUK

  12. Educating Roversi

    This is such a good idea! I can’t wait to do things like this when Mini R is a little older. I love your tress – so cute! #BloggersClubUK

  13. An imperfect Mum (@animperfectmum)

    Wow that looks fantastic. We have made small world things at school before but they didn’t look anything like this. I wish you were one of our parents, I’d be asking you to make things every week

  14. Laura Crichton

    Not sure if my last comment worked – but just to say great idea! Definitely going to copy to get my daughter more involved in some of her stories!

  15. Shaz Goodwin (@shazjera)

    What a fab idea – such a fun way to learn too.


  16. Sara Handy Herbs

    I love that story and what a fabulous way of extending it for little ones! You always have creative ideas! Pinned Love it 🙂 #BloggerClubUK

  17. Kate Tunstall, Refined Prose

    What a fab idea! So creative ?

  18. randommusings29

    This is fantastic, it must have taken ages to make. What a great way of bringing a story to life 🙂 I think it would have been a very brave option to use real water lol. Thanks for hosting #bloggerclubuk

  19. love, love, love this. I need to up my game in the creative stakes!!! #BloggerClubUK

  20. Jess Powell (Babi a Fi)

    This looks amazing! I bet it really made the story so magical for them. Your craft posts are always so inspirational! x #bloggerclubuk

  21. Hannah G

    My toddler (and I) would love this!! Definitely going to have to attempt this in the future, thank you for sharing such a fab idea!! #BloggerClubUK x

  22. Sarah - Craft Invaders

    This is adorable, such a clever idea. The only thing is I’d hate to see it get trashed if I had made something so cute!

  23. You are so creative Clare! I don’t think I’d be able to make it as Tyler would just wreck it or stick his trains on it. One day he might sit still and listen to a story, one day i hope! x

  24. beautybabyandme

    This is amazing! I am useless with crafts and Josh is too young to appreciate any of them but my sister in law is amazing at crafting and my niece would just love this so I am going to get her on the case!! xx #BloggerClubUK

  25. nightwisprav3n

    This is very creative and very interesting! I remember the bear hunt song! I used to sing that to my youngest and the preschool kids I used to teach loved this song as well. We used to go all around the room acting out the song. It’s a great activity! #bloggerclubuk

  26. Kerry-Ann

    This is spectacular and, again, I have to hang my head in shame as guilt sweeps over me for being a particularly uncrafty mommy? I’m sure real water and sand would have gone down a treat but a wise decision to abandon that idea, lol. #BloggerClubUK

  27. Little Steps/Dean B (@LittleStepsTwit)

    A friend introduced this kind of play to my daughter when she visited us a few months ago. And I’m embarrassed to admit that we haven’t done it again! Thank you for reminding me of how fun it was, creating it and then playing with it 🙂 #bloggerclubuk

  28. I love this – what a fabulous idea and a wonderful way of really bringing the story to life. I’m so tempted to give this a go with my girls or perhaps adapt it to fit other stories that the girls love. #BloggerClubUK

  29. Rebecca | AAUBlog

    This is brilliant, i love it. so creative and lots of fun #bloggerclubuk

  30. This is so sweet! I love the idea of small world play ! I don’t think we’ve done anything like this! and we have that doorbell house (it’s fab) so I will have to try and make something #BloggerClubUK

  31. agentspitback

    Lovely! You are so creative!! Great idea of extending the story and allowing imagination to run free! #BloggerclubUk

  32. islandliving365

    What a lovely way of bringing the story alive, it looks fantastic too! You are very clever. If I attempted anything like this it would look rubbish but you have inspired me so I may have to try now 🙂 #bloggersclubuk

  33. The Speed Bump

    That’s amazing! I wish I was crafty! #BloggerClubUK

  34. The Anxious Dragon

    What a fantastic Idea. My problem if I had done this would be my reluctance to let anyone play with it after I had made it. #BloggerClubUK

  35. 2teens1preteen

    Oh I am super impressed with your craft skills – I was the most uncrafty mummy when mine were small – my poor children – it was just all glitter and pritt stick! A huge well done to you! #BloggersClubUK

  36. naturemumwales

    I love bringing stories to life. If you go onto my blog you can see how we made the Stick Man story a reality!! It makes it so much fun and really opens the child’s imagination. This looks incredible! #BloggerClubUk

  37. collleyswobbles

    I totally love this. Amazing. Where did you get the blue base from? Id love to do this with my toddler but it will have to be out of reach from my ‘everything goes in their mouth’ baby ☺️ Gem x #BloggerClubUK

  38. Wow what a fantastic idea to make the story come to life! I never did such things with my parents, so it is a fantastic idea that I can introduce to my children when I finally have them. Is brilliant you’re so dedicated to making the learning as fun and interesting as possible #BloggerClubUK xxx

  39. leannelc

    that is SO clever and great for helping your children use their imaginations – I love it when mums take that little bit of extra time to make something special for their kids.

  40. mudpiefridays

    Thank you for hosting 🙂 glad I found you x

  41. mudpiefridays

    It’s such a great book thanks you for stopping by 🙂

  42. This looks stunning! What a beautiful invitation to play. Thanks so much for linking up to #ToddlerApprovedTuesday

  43. Caroline (Becoming a SAHM)

    Wow this is seriously impressive! We love that book so I have no doubt Monkey would adore this actvity!! xx #toddlerapprovedtuesday

  44. mudpiefridays

    Thank you for hosting 🙂 x

  45. mudpiefridays

    I saw a yellow one the other day too which looked fab!!

  46. mudpiefridays

    Thank you 🙂 I’m a bit addicted!!

  47. Sarah Doyle - let them be small

    wow! This is AMAZING. I have a tuff spot but haven’t set anything up for my two like this yet. This is seriously impressive though

  48. theladybirdsadventures

    Wow, this looks fabulous. We love bear hunt in this house too.

  49. Claire Ridewood (@thefrfamily)

    So sweet, I love the mellissa and doug range of toys… and I love your ‘tuff spot’ I must get one, I’ve only ever seen them in black but really prefer the blue one!

  50. larabeeuk

    Oh this is fabulous, i love it! I’m a bit bear hunt obsessed so this is right up my street.

    Thanks so much for joining us at #toddlerapprovedtuesday 🙂

  51. Pingback: Going on a Bear Hunt Birthday Party | Mudpie Fridays

  52. DomesticatedMomster

    The lengths us mommies go through to let our kids have imaginations. Love this idea. I have been wanting to make fairy gardens with my 3 littles and actually found kits to do so with at a local store. Thanks for linking up with #momsterslink.

  53. mudpiefridays

    Ahhh thank you for the lovely comments – he’s requested a Birthday party with the same theme! Ut oh! – will be back next week – thanks for hosting xx

  54. Caro | The Twinkles Mama

    What an absolutely GORGEOUS thing!!! I would have wanted to play with it myself! Clever you — I bet the kids were totally transfixed by it?! One of the twins favourite books is ‘— especially the ‘SWIRLING, WHIRLING SNOWSTORM’! They love the sound effects that I do!! LOL! Love this kind of creativity — thanks for linking up to #TwinklyTuesday x

    Caro | http://www.thetwinklediaries.co.uk

  55. mudpiefridays

    Thank you for your lovely comments 🙂 much appreciated xx

  56. Doctomum

    This must of been the most funnest thing ever in the world to make…I want to indulge my craft fantasies too now! That little doorbell house, and the river and just everything – so wonderful!
    My son loved the bear hunt as a song and we have to walked round the house doing it every evening – now this little craft beautie would save my legs!
    You’re really talented to make it #twinklytuesday

  57. mudpiefridays

    Thanks 🙂 took ages to clear up… lol!! 😀 xx

  58. moderatemum

    Yargh! This is amazing. Specially love the shimmery water x

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