Adventure Stories | Little Bear Takes a Walk

Adapting an Adventure Story to Your Locale

Adventure stories are stories that move from place to place as you tell them.  Each place represents a different locale in the story.

Where do you find adventure stories? Well, you can make up your own adventure story. You also can search for an existing story that has multiple settings, and you can adapt a story to make it work in multiple settings.

“Take a Little Walk, Bear” is a story I found in one of Margaret Read MacDonald’s wonderful books, Five Minute Tales.  I selected this story for its sweetness and simplicity – making it the perfect adventure tale for toddlers.

But, I have found that school-age children relish this story as well, so it is suitable for all ages.

As with many adventure stories, I needed to adapt the story to my particular environment.

Adapting the Story

The original story was first set in Bear’s home. Then, chasing a bee, Bear goes over a stream, across a meadow, and up a tree. This is followed by bees chasing Bear back along the same route until he reaches his home and into the arms of his mama.

I had a tent and a play structure already in place in the backyard. I added a few more moveable sets: a thicket, a bridge over a stream, and a cave.

TENT

The tent became Little Bear’s den.

I had this branch fall off of my enormous eucalyptus tree. So, I stripped it of its leaves, staked it in the ground and called it a “thicket” in the story.

BRANCH

More branches from my eucalyptus tree after a tree trimming became the “bridge.”

LOGS

I had on hand these squarish wooden boxes. I put them along Bear’s route and called them “caves.”

CAVES

The play structure, already in place, and also fashioned from eucalyptus tree wood trimmings, became the “tree” in the story.

So, as you can see, the story structure remains the same, but the locales changed and were expanded in my version.

TREE

It’s hard to see, but at the top of the play structure, hanging from the arc-shaped branch, I fastened a bee hive prop – which was simply a spool of yellow cord.

When acting out this story, an adult can play both the mama bear and the bee chasing the Little Bear(s), who are played by the children.

So that completes the set up that I did for this adventure story.

The point is, you can adapt a story to your environment, and adapt your environment to your story, in whatever combination that works.

Also, if possible, keep your adventure story sets out for awhile as children may like to revisit the story multiple times over several days.

Here is the version of the story that I used for my backyard adventure:

Little Bear Takes A Walk

Little Bear wanted to go out and see the world. He peeked out of his cave. [TENT] “You may go out, Little Bear,” said his Momma. “But pay attention to what I tell you now: STAY AWAY FROM THE BEES.”

“Oh yes, Momma. I’ll stay away from the bees.” So Little Bear went out the door. The world looked big and wonderful! “Ohhhhhh!”

 Take a little walk, Bear, walk, Bear, walk, Bear. Take a little walk, Bear, walk, Bear, walk. (3x)

 Suddenly….BZZZZZZ there was a …..BEE!

“BEES! BEES mean HONEY!” said Bear. Little Bear forgot what his Momma had told him. He started following that bee. The bee flew threw a thicket [BRANCH]. Little Bear followed right after. 

Take a little walk, Bear, walk, Bear, walk, Bear. Take a little walk, Bear, walk, Bear, walk. (3x) The bee flew across a bridge [LOGS]. Little Bear went right after it. 

Take a little balance Bear, balance, Bear, balance, Bear. Take a little balance, Bear, balance, Bear, balance. (3x)

The bee flew in and out of two caves [WOODEN BOXES]. Bear chased right after. 

Take a little skip Bear, skip, Bear, skip, Bear. Take a little skip, Bear, skip, Bear, skip. (3x)

The bee flew into a hole in the top of a big tree! [PLAY STRUCTURE]

Take a little climb, Bear, climb, Bear, climb, Bear. Take a little climb, Bear, climb, Bear, climb. (3x) Little Bear smelled something.

Take a little smell, Bear, smell, Bear, smell, Bear. Take a little smell, Bear, smell, Bear, smell. (3x)

“It smells like honey! It looks like honey! It is honey!     
…YOW! BEES! I want my MOMMA!”

Take a little climb, Bear, climb, Bear, climb, Bear.
Take a little skip, Bear, skip, Bear, skip, Bear.
Take a little balance, Bear, balance, Bear, balance, Bear.
Take a little walk, Bear, walk, Bear, walk, Bear.

“MOMMA! MOMMA! BEES STUNG ME!!!”

“Well then….take a little hug, Bear, hug, Bear, hug Bear. Take a little hug, Bear, hug, Bear, HUG.”

~ THE END ~

When I told this story to my nephew who just turned 3, he said one word in response: “Again!” with a big grin 🙂

Have you found a story that would work as an adventure story? Please share.

Here is another post about adventure stories from Storytime Crafts:

Adventure Stories | Take your story on an Adventure! | Drake’s Tail

Are you ready to take your children on an adventure? ...
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Adventure Stories | Take your story on an Adventure! | Drake’s Tail

Are you ready to take your children on an adventure?

Adventure stories are stories that are set in different parts of a room, the house, the backyard, or the playground.  The storyteller along with her entourage of listeners travels from location to location while telling or dramatizing the story. Stories that have multiple settings adapt well to this activity.

For one French story, Drake’s Tail, I set up the playground at a preschool to represent the different locations in the story.  In this story, the main character, a duck, traveled a great distance to meet a king. During his journey, he  encountered friends at specific locations along the route. One by one, the friends joined him on his adventures.

In short, the duck walked down a road, through a swamp, over a bridge, over a mountain, across a sea, until he arrived at last at the kingdom of the roi.

This is how I represented these different locales in the story:

A Road

The photo above is a chalk drawing on concrete – it’s a bit hard to see in the photo – I used two colors for either side of the road. The children skipped or galloped along the road as they played the duck in the story.

A Swamp

I made circles out of train tracks to represent the swamp. Children were to leap into each circle without falling outside in order to get through the swamp as the duck.

 

A Bridge

I used a plank to represent a bridge in the story. Later one of the students laid down blue cloth underneath the plank to represent the river. The children crossed the bridge by balancing on the beam. Some of the students challenged themselves to hop on one foot along the bridge as well! Others walked backwards!

 

A Mountain

The climbing structure was, of course, already part of the playground. I decided that it would be the mountain the duck climbs over.

The Sea

Mats were laid out to represent the sea. The children had the best time rolling across the mats as ducks over water! I added a little extra zest by floating a blue cloth over them as they rolled.

 

 

The Kingdom

This was by far the most challenging part of the set-up. However, because it is a traditional chalk design used in French games – the escargot – I thought it appropriate to include in a French story. Children jumped from section to section to get to the center of the escargot – in this case, the center represented the palace of the roi.

How to make an Escargot

The white spirals in the escargot were made by attaching a long cord to a 5-gallon bucket on one end, and chalk on the other. Starting at the outer edge of the spiral with the cord taut, I marked the chalk on the concrete while circling around the bucket in the middle. With each completed circle, the string wrapped itself around the bucket, and hence, the spirals were automatically created! So cool!

Adding a Map

Because I was presenting the French story for older preschool children, I chose to include a map of the story’s different locales to further challenge their complex thinking skills. They had to  relate the symbolic representations on the map to the locales represented (again symbolically) through the physical props. It was challenging for some children initially, but they were able to figure it out with a little practice – and once they made the connection, they were glued to the map after that! The map includes the pictures of the friends the duck meets at each of the locales: a fox, a ladder, a river, and a wasp’s nest – I know…the story is a bit wacky!

Simple Adventure Stories

Although the escargot in the French story took a bit of prep, adventure stories do not need to be complicated. A story can begin under a table (a cave) and move on top of the couch (a raft) and then over to an island (a rug). If you have time, by all means, set up some extra objects to add interest. But, don’t avoid doing an adventure story because it seems complicated!

In the adventure story above (actually it was an adventure song), we just tied together some bamboo sticks which we covered in brown cloth to represent  a mountain, a hula hoop wrapped in green ribbons to represent a forest, a green shawl on the ground to represent a meadow, and blue fabric for the river. It was quite simple… although, in retrospect, I would recommend props that don’t require an adult to hold up.

After telling an adventure story my experience is that the children re-enact the story again and again on their own. The physical props representing the locales stimulates and facilitates this re-enactment.

I often do a sit down telling of the adventure story first so the children can concentrate on the details of the story. By the second telling, the children are quite ready to dramatize the story in the adventure format as they journey with me from locale to locale.

Do you know of any stories that would adapt well to an adventure story? Please share them with us!

Here is another post on adventure stories from Storytime Crafts:

Adventure Stories | Little Bear Takes a Walk

Adapting an Adventure Story to Your Locale Adventure stories are ...
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