This game is an oldie but a goodie. I’ve been playing it all my life, I think! It’s a fun hide-and-seek game based on the verse by A.A. Milne from his book “Winnie-the-Pooh”, with the added sensory value of tuning in to listening skills.
One child pretends to the be the “bear”, and is all tucked up with head down and eyes covered. Balanced on their back is the “honey”: an object that makes a subtle noise. We use the macadamia shakers that we made. I’ve also used bells.
While the bear is “sleeping” the rest of us chant the verse:
Isn’t it funny how a bear likes honey?
Buzz, buzz, buzz! I wonder why he does?
Another child will sneak away with the honey and hide. It will make a noise and the bear will feel it as it is taken from their back, but listens carefully to the direction of the sound while still pretending to sleep. When the honey is hidden the child will shake it to make the noise loud and clear. Before the bear can open their eyes and go look, the rest of us chant:
One, two, three, look and see!
I wonder where the honey could be?
It’s a great game to play inside, specially on really rainy days, but I like to play it outside because there are generally more hiding places, and more environmental sounds so the children will need to listen very carefully to focus on the one they are waiting for. It’s also a good game to play to encourage children to extend their comfort zone outside. If a hiding place is required quickly, children are less hesitant to scramble up trees, slide behind logs, burrow through a bush or bury themselves in a pile of leaves. Plus it is a wonder opportunity to share more A.A.Milne magic! He managed to capture the essences and impulses of childhood just perfectly.
This game can also be adapted to go along with the story of The River Elf, one that I tell to help children settle in to our nature play rhythm. The ‘honey’ can be a set of bells, and the person hiding it can be the River Elf, using the chant from the story:
“Did you see something running past? It was green and purple and very fast!
I didn’t see it very well, but I’m sure I heard a jingling bell!”