Eric Carle’s Birthday and Museum

At the museum in Massachusetts, they conduct many wonderful classes and special celebrations .  Check out their website –!  If you visit you will see lots of art work from picture book artists all over the world.  There is a craft room where you can create, and a library where you can browse lots and lots of books.

They were getting ready to celebrate Eric Carle’s 80th birthday and the 40th anniversary of The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

The walls were decorated with these banners and signs.

The tiles contained pictures from Brown Bear, Brown Bear!  

Some of the exhibitions rotate or are only there for a limited time.   They had a great display of Leo Lionni books, and they were renovating their Tomie de Paola section .  They have a great gift shop – and you can order lots of fun stuff online!  Owen has a Very Hungry Caterpillar bedroom at my house – with caterpillar curtains, posters, bedspread and sheets, and of course tons of books!  They sell fabric by the yard that coordinates with his books!

So in honor of Eric Carle’s birthday – here is a little story/science experiment that I loved to do with my Kindergartners, and often used it when we read Polar Bear, Polar Bear What Do You Hear.  You could really do it anytime – but the character in the story is a polar bear.

Basically you tell a story and encourage the children to chime in on a chant that is repeated several times.  You need one of those plastic bears that come with honey inside – empty and washed out well.  You begin the story with clear water in the bear bottle, and a piece of white paper behind it so it looks white to the children.  You add drops of different colors of food color as you tell the story and the Polar Bear changes color.  Then at the end of the story he changes back to white – and you add drops of household bleach until the water turns clear again.  To the children it seems like magic!

Here is a copy of the story and directions!  Even if you don’t choose to do this activity, find some way to include some of Eric Carle’s wonderful books in your classroom.

Polar Bear story

Source: Kindergarten Nana

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