TEDDY BEAR's picnic

A packed one day programme for school years 1 and 2. The children explore the natural world and learn about the “needs of life” for all living things. 

This programme of earth education activities was designed at the Bishops Wood Environmental Education Centre, Worcester. It is now being provided at centres all over the country. 

Complete with follow-up activities, this programme is based on the principles and practice of earth education. 

"They were so happy with the day, the activities and the environment. They were totally engaged by the Wild Things team and truly motivated by their total enthusiasm."
Maun Infants School

Teddy bear's picnic is designed to

  • nurture respect for the natural world through first-hand contact
  • provide some understandings of how living things obtain their needs of life from the environment and what those needs are
  • encourage young children to make a positive contribution to caring for their environment at a level appropriate to their age


The children are invited by Edward the Woodland Teddy Bear to bring their teddies along to a special day where they will learn to be Teddy Bear Guardians and discover the secret meaning of the word SWAF. 

1. Arrival

the children are introduced to the day by an illustrated story. Their Teddy Bears venture off to explore for themselves, taking the lunches with them!

2. Earthwalk

A series of sensory play activities linked by teddy bear themes designed to explore and discover the things that teddy bears need in the woods.

3. Teddy Bear Tag

With the aid of the initial story, costumes and props this game shows the meaning of the secret word SWAF (shelter, water, air and food), the needs of life for all living things.

4. Musical Trees

This exciting game illustrates that the needs of life are not available in unlimited supply and demonstrates the importance of trees to other living things. The children play the role of trees and bears. When the woodcutter comes the bears come to realise that they have to protect the trees that supply their needs of life.

5. Lost Teddy Bear Hunt

All the teddy bears and packed lunches have disappeared. Luckily they have left a trail of signs in the shape of paw prints which the children can follow. Each sign is attached to something in the woodland that provided the bears with one of the things that they needed to live.

6. The Picnic

The group joins their teddies in a clearing for a traditional woodland picnic.

7. The Story

Children and teddies gather round to listen to a tale from India called “The People Who Hugged the Trees”. This reinforces the Musical Trees game and illustrates the importance of trees to human communities.

8. Castaway Teddy

Each group is asked to create a desert island containing all the things teddies and all other living things need to survive. They have flags to mark shelter, water, air and food and must construct a shelter for their teddies. They tour each other’s islands and share their special features such as miniature gardens and play parks for their bears.

9. Departure

The children receive certificates to declare them qualified Teddy Bear Guardians.

10. Follow Up

The group can take an activity pack containing activities to do at school and at home in the following months building on the themes of the day.