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Story Time: Can’t You Sleep, Little Bear?


Can’t You Sleep, Little bear? is so cute and sweet and makes a great bedtime story, but if your littles like it as much as mine did, they will want to read it any hour of the day.  It’s also a great way for littles to examine their fear of the dark and to see that it is nothing to be afraid of.

Barbara Firth’s illustrations are soft and lovely, with all the wondrous personifications a little likes to see in his story time animals.  Big Bear’s patience with Little Bear’s fears is gentle and soothing, and a bit of a reminder to us mamas who are dead on our feet at then end of a long mama-ing day to take our littles’ feelings seriously and address them without frustration. Win.

Can't You Sleep, Little Bear? activities include free printables, a step by step tutorial for a Paper Lantern craft for kids, a recipe for Peanut Butter Honeyballs, and other lesson ideas for the homeschool or classroom

Can’t You Sleep, Little Bear? Activities

But if you’re going to read this book at a time other than bedtime, you’re going to need some activities to go with it, now aren’t you?  And you know how I love to provide them!  So let’s get to it.


Because the personification of this book is such a wonderful feature, take some time to talk to your little about how storytellers use it to help us relate to our own feelings and to animals and other objects in our world.  Grab a free personification worksheet for you kids.

personification-can't sleep little bearScience

Want a fun way to make your littles less scared of the dark!  Teach them to make shadow puppets!  You can have a conversation about how without dark the light wouldn’t be so cool.

Can't You Sleep, Little Bear? activities include making shadow puppets for a fun science lesson

Have your littles move their light closer to their hands and farther away so they can see the difference proximity makes in the shadow.  Explain to them that their hands interrupt the light, causing the shadow to appear on the wall, the same as their whole-body shadows do on a sunny day.  The dark is easier to understand when you realize it’s caused by an object being between you and the light.  And knowledge trumps fear.


Paper Lantern

Big Bear brings bigger and bigger lanterns to Little Bear’s bedside to chase the shadows away.  Your little can make his own lantern night light with a few simple supplies.

Step by step tutorial for a Paper Lantern Kid's craft is one of the Can't You Sleep, Little Bear? activites for homeschool or classroom

What you need:

lantern supplies

What you do:

  • Easy peasy.  If you’re paper is not already 8 1/2 x 11, cut it down.  Either way, you need to cut a 1-inch strip from it first thing (it doesn’t matter from which side) for the handle.

fold paper


  • Fold the paper in half longways

mark lines

  • Mark a 1-inch strip along the unfolded edge.  This is the part you won’t cut.
  • Mark 1-inch strips off from the folded edge to your original mark


  • Cut those strips


  • Unfold paper
  • Put a strip of double-sided tape along the front of one short edge


  • Roll the paper so that the two short edges meet up
  • Press down onto tape (or if you’re using a stapler, staple the top and bottom and somewhere near the middle)


  • Put a piece of tape on the front edge of each end of your 1-inch strip.  Attach to either side of the lantern from the inside
  • (or staple it)

Finished lantern - Copy

  • Turn on your flameless candle and put the lantern over it.

I told you this was easy.


Bears and honey, duh.

Peanut Butter Honey Balls

Peanut Butter Honey BallsThis healthy snack is so simple your littles can make it themselves.  Middle learned it years ago from a beloved homeschooling family who live nearby, and he has been making it ever since.

I’m telling you.  Easy.  And Healthy.  Not making this up.

What you need:

  • 1 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

What you do:

  • Dump all that in a bowl
  • Stir it around
  • When it’s all mixed together, grease your hands
  • Roll into 1-inch balls

Told you I wasn’t making it up.  Now, you can add chocolate chips or dried fruit or whatever else tickles your fancy (about 1/2 cup will do), but this basic recipe is delicious and good for your littles.  Also, you can refrigerate them for an hour or so to harden them a bit, but if your littles are like mine, they aren’t going to want to wait.  And that’s okay.  Their pretty good while still slightly gooey.

Next time your little can’t sleep or is feeling afraid of the dark, pull out this bag of tricks and teach him something.  Yeah yeah, my friends.  That’s the stuff.

Love wins,


Looking for more Story Time activities? Check out:



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KT Brison

KT Brison is a former children’s librarian and educator who gave all that up for the most important job in her life—homeschooling her boys.Though she loves the outdoors and rambling around her farm, she can usually be found with her nose in a book. Any book. As long as it has words.
KT Brison
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About KT Brison

KT Brison is a former children’s librarian and educator who gave all that up for the most important job in her life—homeschooling her boys. Though she loves the outdoors and rambling around her farm, she can usually be found with her nose in a book. Any book. As long as it has words.
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  1. So precious! I would love to share this book with my littles! Thanks for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday on Mommynificent.com!

  2. This sounds like such a delightful book! Your activity ideas also seem fun and your easy snack sounds delicious to me! Thanks for sharing at #LMMLinkup!
    Gayl Wright recently posted…We Are Better TogetherMy Profile

  3. Sounds like a lovely book. Shadow puppets are always fun.
    Thanks for sharing with #LetKidsBeKids
    Let kids be kids recently posted…Father’s day coastersMy Profile

  4. This looks like such a cute book, and I love the lantern.Thanks for linking up at Family Joy Blog Link Up party this week.
    Charlene Asay recently posted…Influenster Spring Bloom VoxBoxMy Profile

  5. We loved this book when the kids were little. You’ve shared some great ideas. I miss those days.

    Please drop by and say hello!
    Harvest Lane Cottage
    …doing what I can with what I’ve got where I am
    on a short shoestring budget!

    • ktbrison@gmail.com

      Me, too, Laura. My littles are into chapter books now. Which is great but still…:(

      I will definitely be stopping by! I love your blog name.

  6. This is a great post, I love all of the activities you have put together which relate to the book and really bring it alive. #LetKidsBeKids

  7. What creative ideas!
    I found your post today on Tuesday Talk.
    Hope you have a blessed day~

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