Storytime: Mr. Will Reads Sleep, Big Bear, Sleep!

Thanks to the generous support of Mother Cabrini Health Foundation for making this Storytime possible.

Mr. Will reads Sleep, Big Bear, Sleep! written by Maureen Wright and illustrated by Will Hillenbrand. It’s time for Big Bear to hibernate, so Old Man Winter keeps telling him: “Sleep, Big Bear, Sleep.” But Big Bear doesn’t hear very well. He thinks Old Man Winter has told him to drive a jeep, to sweep, and to leap. Big Bear just can’t seem to hear what Old Man Winter is saying. Finally, Old Man Winter finds a noisy way to get Big Bear’s attention.

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Sanity Saver: Mancala Craft

By: Will Kawalec
Lead educator

Presented by BankOnBuffalo

In this lesson we will learning and creating the game of Mancala. Mancala was created in Africa around 1300 years ago! It is one of the world’s oldest known games. It came to America in the minds of enslaved African slaves and immigrants, and is still played today!

Download a printable PDF of this lesson here!


Game instruction sheet.
48 of the same pieces, anything can be used marbles, stones, candies, coins, or whatever you decide!
Egg carton
Glue (hot glue preferred)


Set up: 2 Minutes
Creating Game Board: 3-5 minutes
Gameplay: 10-20 minutes

Academic Subject(s):

VA: CR 1.2. 1,2,3a
VA: PR 5. 1,2,3a
Social Studies
K.3a, b, 1.1b, c, 1.2a, 2.2b, 3.4a, 3.8a
This lesson supports Kindergarten to Fourth Grade:
This lesson supports areas of Elementary Education.

This is not only a fun craft, but an educational one, parents, teachers, or caregivers, can not only facilitate this project as an art craft but also use it to inform children about games, sportsmanship, and rule-following. As
well as giving them some background on this game!

Directions for Game Creation:

Step 1: take your egg carton and cut off the flap with scissors.
Step 2: cut the top into thirds (you can toss the middle portion)
Step 3: glue the cut pieces to the base of the egg holder portion, this step should create two ‘baskets’ at the
end of the carton.
Step 4: place 4 game pieces in each of the holes, while none in the ‘baskets.’
Step 5: read the instructions and play Mancala!

Vocabulary Words

Board Game: any game played on a board, especially one that involves the movement of pieces on the board.
Instructions: detailed information telling how something should be done, in this case playing Mancala.

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Sanity Savers, STEM Edition: Snow Volcano

Presented by National Grid

Written By Dan Walsh
STEM Educator

Supply ideas:

Vinegar, dish soap, food dye, baking soda, snow, small cup


10 minutes 

Academic Subjects:


Directions for Snow Volcanos  

Today we are going to be looking at an explosive subject, volcanos! A volcano is a type of landform (sometimes a mountain) where molten rock erupts through the surface of the Earth. One of the most active volcanoes in the United States is Kīlauea in Hawaii. Kīlauea last erupted on December 20th, 2020. Now let’s create our own volcanos outside in the snow!!  

  1. Find a nice snow pile to create your own volcano. 
  2. Carve out the top of the volcano. 
  3. Place your cup in the hole. (The cup will prevent the snow from melting in the next few steps) 
  4. Sprinkle some baking soda into the cup. 
  5. Add a drop of dish soap. 
  6. Add a few drops of food dye. 
  7. With the help of an adult slowly pour in vinegar. 
  8. Marvel as the baking soda and vinegar react and pour out of the volcano. 

Snow Volcano Vocabulary:    

Lava– Molten rock that breaks through the surface of the Earth.  

Magma– Is molten rock stored under the surface of the Earth.  

Let’s take a look behind the scenes of what happened when you combined the baking soda and vinegar. Both the baking soda and vinegar are made up of different building blocks or elements. When the elements touch each other, they have a reaction. Hydrogen ions in the vinegar react with the sodium and bicarbonate ions in the baking soda. One of the results of the reaction is gas bubbles! The bubbles form in the liquid and cause the volcano to fizz! 

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