Sometime after visiting Old MacDonald's Farm, preschoolers might want to know a little more about the lives and habits of animals, beyond the noises they make. If teaching about hibernation, you can help your preschooler understand the concept better through crafts. Use basic materials such as paper bags, cotton balls and tissue paper to create scenes of animals sleeping through the fall and winter months. For safety, always assist your child with skills he hasn't yet mastered, such as cutting with scissors.
Paper Bag Cave
Represent hibernation in a three-dimensional way with a basic brown paper lunch bag. Help your preschooler fold the bag flat and trim about three inches from the top edge. From the new top edge, cut a semi-circular "cave entrance." Fold about one inch of the top edge under and staple. Then, reaching your hand inside the cutout entrance, expand the bag open to form the cave. Place paper or real leaves inside the cave as a sleeping area, and add a small toy bear or paper craft bear who will "hibernate" there.
Tissue Paper Collage
Create a hibernation scene with the help of tissue paper in autumnal colors. Assist your preschooler in cutting 1-inch squares from brown, yellow, orange and red tissue paper. Arrange the pieces over the back surface of a plain white paper plate and glue into place. In the center of the plate, atop the "leaf pile," glue a cutout shape of a hibernating animal. If desired, paste additional foam leaf shapes over the tissue paper backdrop as a final touch.
Gather leaves in the park or your own backyard during the fall to create an animal hibernating in its own "nest." Have your preschooler choose a hibernating animal, such as a bear or hedgehog, and assist her in drawing a basic outline sketch of that animal on paper. Next, have your child fill in the animal shape with layers of leaves and glue. Help her arrange the leaves while gluing to maintain the distinct shape of the hibernating animal.
Cotton Ball Snow Scene
Depict a bear hibernating in a snowy cave with cotton balls, googly eyes and construction paper. Assist your child in cutting a brown semi-circle of the desired size to represent the bear. Center and paste the semi-circle along the bottom edge of a blue sheet of construction paper. Glue three semi-circular rows of cotton balls along its edge to cover the bear with "snow." Paste a pair of googly eyes onto the bear. Then, cut a crescent moon shape and bare tree silhouette from yellow and black paper for some final touches.