A preschool engineering activity does not need expensive materials or take a lot of time. This engineering activity for kids is a great way to engage your child with hands-on learning and grow their creative thinking skills.
Did you know bears don’t hibernate?
As, M-Woww and I were researching animals that hibernate, we came across this interesting article “The Truth About Bears and Hibernation”. The article states that a bear does not hibernate but rather it enters a deep sleep called torpor.
Bears sleep for weeks at a time, but they do wake up. For example, a Mama bear does wake up to feed her baby cubs (a Mother’s work is never done)!
Hibernation: Animals that sleep all winter undisturbed (bats, skunks, groundhogs, snakes and bees)
Torpor: Animals that sleep for weeks at a time during the winter but do wake up (bears)
To extend M-Woww’s interest in bears and learning about hibernation, I presented a building engineering challenge to her and her brother, Lil B (6 yrs).
The challenge also became a lesson in teamwork and working together. Read below for our challenge tutorial.
Engineering Challenge for Kids:
Build a “cave” that will stand on its own without falling down for 10 seconds and you must be able to fit inside of the cave.
Lil B and M-Woww had an additional challenge, they had to work around Baby Bear otherwise known as Jellybean (19 months).
Couch cushions or large pillows
Blankets or Flat Sheets (My children opted not to use the provided sheets)
Step 1: Ask It
Ask questions to identify the problem. What is the problem? What do you already know?
M-Woww- “We need to use the cushions to make a cave”
Lil B – “We need to build the wall before the roof”
M-Woww- “Caves are usually dark”
Step 2: Imagine It
Brainstorm different ways to solve the problem.
Lil B and M-Woww both tried different solutions on their own that turned out to be not very successful.
Step 3: Build It
After a few failed attempts working alone, Lil B and M-Woww decided to team up and build the cave together.
Even baby bear tried to help.
Step 4: Test It
Success! The cave fit all three children and stood up for over 10 seconds.
Questions to Ask:
Why do you think bears hibernate in a cave?
How do bears stay warm in the cave?
What other types of animals live in a cave?
What other types of animals hibernate?
How did you build your cave?
Additional Engineering Challenges:
Build a cave tall enough for you to stand in.
Build a cave that can fit two people.
Affiliate links below- click here to read our disclosure policy
To learn more about hibernation, stop by our Creative Preschool Friends
Hedgehog Hibernation Preschool Craft | Artsy Momma
Paper Bag Chipmunk Kid Craft| I Heart Crafty Things
Paper Bag and Toilet Roll Hibernating Bear Craft | Pink Stripey Socks
Hibernation Sensory Bag | School Time Snippets
Paper Plate Hibernation Bear Craft | A Little Pinch of Perfect