World Book Day Art and Sensory Ideas – We’re going on a bear hunt

Happy World Book Day! Here are some World Book Day art and sensory ideas which you can try at home, or in a nursery or school setting.

We love ‘We’re going on a bear hunt’ by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury as the descriptions of the adventures really spark children’s imaginations. If you don’t have the story, don’t worry. You can watch Michael Rosen’s performance of ‘We’re going on a Bear Hunt’ on YouTube. It’s fantastic for sensory play. You can find out more about the benefits of sensory play here.


World Book Day Art and Sensory Ideas – We’re going on a bear hunt

Long wavy grass

Swishy Swashy! Swishy Swashy! Swishy Swashy!


I’ve used straw which I’ve painted green. You could let your child paint the straw as part of the activity, or use green wool, or paper strips. You can hide pictures from the story in the grass that your child can find and match to the story. You could take it in turns to find a picture. If it matches the next image in the story you win a point, if it doesn’t you have to put it back in.

A deep cold river

Splash splosh! Splash splosh! Splash splosh!


Kids love water play! You can add water beads or tapioca pearls to it for extra sensory fun! Use tapioca pearls if you have a little one in the house that still puts things in their mouth, as they’re edible.

Thick oozy mud

Squelch squelch! Squelch squelch! Squelch squelch!


Make some thick oozy mud by mixing cornflour, water and cocoa powder. It smells yummy too! You could add Playmobil, Lego or Happyland people. We put old wellies in our ‘mud’ once, squelched them up and down, then scooped the ‘mud’ into them with our hands and spoons!

A big dark forest

Stumble trip! Stumble trip! Stumble trip!


I love using self adhesive or contact paper for collages as it’s quick, easy and mess free! Draw an outline of trees on the shiny side of the self adhesive paper. Turn the paper over, so that the paper covered side is facing you, then masking tape the self adhesive to the table or wall. Peel the paper cover off so that you’re left with a sticky picture. Provide your child with paper or fabric scraps to decorate the picture.

A swirling whirling snowstorm

Hoooo woooo! Hoooo woooo! Hoooo woooo!


You can make a great snowstorm picture with wadding, packaging chips, white glitter, some white paint and glue. Or you could shake yourself a snowstorm, like you do with my Winter Wonderland Craft Box. Put your piece of paper in a box, then dip a few dry pasta shapes into white paint. Put the paint covered pasta into your box, then close the lid and shake the box. Open the box to discover your snowstorm picture!

A narrow gloomy cave!

Tiptoe! Tiptoe! Tiptoe!


Make a cardboard cave, then let your child paint it. Your cave doesn’t need to be this big! Kids love painting cardboard structures.


I don’t have all the materials!

If you don’t have all the materials you need to do the activities above and you are still keen to celebrate today with some World Book Day art and sensory activities you can make some playdough.


Playdough is quick and easy to make at home. You can have a look around the house to see if you can find bits and bobs to stick into the playdough to add to the experience. Tree, bear or people cutters, googly eyes, buttons, poms poms, sticks from outside for your dark forest. You can also use playdough mats. Early Learning HQ has some free ‘We’re going on a bear hunt’ playdough mats you can download.

Playdough recipe


  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar (makes it last longer)
  • Food colouring


Mix all the ingredients in a saucepan and cook over a low heat, stirring continuously. When the mixture starts to pull away from the edges of the saucepan and form a dough tip it onto a surface. CAUTION: It will be hot. Knead it for a couple of minutes. It’s now ready to use.

Storage: You can store it in a cool, dry place for several weeks. When you re-use it you may need to knead it first as the salt may have come up to the surface.


If you try any of the ideas above I’d love to see your pictures. Share them on Facebook or Instagram tagging @squidgydoodle or Twitter tagging @SquidgydoodleHQ.

I hope you enjoy these World Book Day art and sensory ideas. What’s your favourite book? Are you doing anything to celebrate World Book Day?

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  • Natasha Posted March 1, 2018 11:55 am

    This looks so fun!

    • Debbie Denyer Posted March 1, 2018 12:47 pm

      Thanks Natasha. Don’t forget to share your pictures if you try any of the ideas. I’d love to see them. Just tag @squidgydoodle on Instagram or Facebook and @SquidgydoodleHQ on Twitter.

  • Katy – Hot Pink Wellingtons Posted March 5, 2018 7:37 pm

    These are fabulous ideas! We’re big fans of We’re Going On A Bear Hunt and I know my son would love these, especially the cave – he loves a den! Thanks for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

    • Debbie Denyer Posted March 8, 2018 11:18 am

      Thanks Katy, We love making dens too. The cave is so easy to make. You should definitely try it. Kids love painting large bits of cardboard.

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