- Teddy bears
- Picnic plates
- Picnic knives, forks and spoons
- Picnic blankets or placemats
- Picnic or snack food
- Device to play music (optional)
Before you begin
- Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Additional help to carry out your risk assessment, including examples can be found here. Don’t forget to make sure all young people and adults involved in the activity know how to take part safely.
- Make sure you’ll have enough adult helpers. You may need some parents and carers to help if you’re short on helpers.
Planning this activity
- Ask everyone to bring a teddy along to the session. You might want to bring a few spare teddies in case anyone forgets.
- You could run this activity outside or go to a park area.
- You could do this activity around Teddy Bear Picnic Day, celebrated every year on 10 July.
- Make sure the picnic equipment you’re using for the relay is not breakable or sharp, and safe for people to move around quickly with.
- If you’ve got lots of people playing, you might want to limit the race to walking, rather than running.
- Take a look at meal safety advice for four and five year olds to prevent choking.
- Decide how you’ll organise any food and drinks, and let people know if you want them to bring things in. If you’re having a full picnic, look at our handy tips for an eco-friendly picnic.
- Remember to check your ingredients against any allergy or dietary requirements to ensure everyone can enjoy the recipe. This may mean using alternative ingredients.
Running this activity
- Gather everyone in a circle and tell them you’re going to have a teddy relay.
- Divide everyone into teams, spread out one end of the meeting place. Give each team a tea towel.
- At one end of the meeting place, each group should put down a tea towel for a picnic blanket and place all their team’s teddies around it. You could even give them neckers!
- Gather everyone back together and explain that you’ll be having a relay race, with members of the team taking it in turns to go and give one item to the teddies. They can only take one item at a time and need to tag the next player in when they come back.
- Mark a start line at the other end of the meeting place, opposite to where the teddies are sitting.
- At the start line, give everyone with enough picnic equipment for each teddy to have a set and ask them to give it to the teddies in their team. You could have a reusable plastic plate, reusable plastic cup and reusable napkin for each teddy. You could have some pretend food on the plates, too. To hold their items at the start line, they could put it in a bag, hoop, small basket or picnic basket.
- Tell everyone that the first team to sit down, once all their teddies' places are set correctly, is the winner. You could also give out prizes for teamwork or cheerleading.
- Now, when the teams are ready, shout go. Everyone takes turns to race to give the picnic equipment to the teddies.
- Continue until all the picnic places are set up.
- At the end, talk about teamwork. Which team managed to set their picnic up first? Who worked best as a team and was the most supportive team, too?
- If there's time you could play again.
Teddy bear hide and seek
- Gather everyone together and explain that you’re going to play teddy hide and seek. They teddies will be hidden for young people to find.
- Everyone should hand their teddies to an adult volunteer or young leader.
- All the young people need to make sure they can’t see. They should stay in the space and sit together, facing the same way, with their eyes closed or using the necker as a blindfold, so they can’t see.
- This should leave one adult volunteer or young leader with all the teddies. They should hide them in safe, accessible places around the meeting space.
- When ready, ask everyone to open their eyes, count down from 3 and shout go. Everyone can start looking for their teddy. They could help their friends to find their teddy, once they’ve found their own.
- When all the teddies are found, everyone should come and sit in a circle for picnic time.
- Everyone should wash their hands.
- Now set up a big picnic blanket, or sit in a circle, and everyone should join their teddies for snack time or a full picnic.
- During your picnic, you could include the popular children’s song ‘The Teddy Bear’s Picnic’ or a related story.
This activity was a chance to get active, and spend some time with our friends. Here are some questions you could use to get people thinking about what they’ve done.
- How did people help each other in the game?
- How did you find your own teddy? How can you tell it’s yours?
- How are everyone’s teddies the same or different? Everyone could share something about their teddy, and what makes it special or what they like about it.
- What’s it like having a picnic with your friends (and teddies)? How’s it different to eating by yourself or at home?
- Active games
The game area should be free of hazards. Explain the rules of the game clearly and have a clear way to communicate that the game must stop when needed. Take a look at our guidance on running active games safely.
Remember to check for allergies, eating problems, fasting or dietary requirements and adjust the recipe as needed. Make sure you’ve suitable areas for storing and preparing food and avoid cross contamination of different foods. Take a look at our guidance on food safety and hygiene.
Adapt the songs to your audience – some songs have lots of moving around or need people to hold hands or link arms, so you may want to skip them.
To make the relay harder, you could add in some obstacles, such as a cone slalom. This could be like going through the trees in the woods to find the teddies!
If a relay race isn’t accessible for everyone, the items could be hidden around the meeting space instead. Everyone could search for all the items they need to set up their teddy bears’ picnic.
Only ask people to move around the space in ways that work for everyone. People can move at their own pace, so you don’t need to make it competitive unless it works for everyone. Make sure the equipment is laid out with enough space for everyone, including anyone using a mobility aid.
Picking up materials could be a challenge – so ask helpers to assist with collecting. If anyone struggles with fine motor skills, they could use larger materials. You could swap out the items for something easier to handle.
Make sure the objects are placed in areas accessible for everyone in the group and make sure that all the materials are at a level that can be easily worked on by wheelchair users. For example, in the relay, the teddies could be on a table.
If anyone doesn’t feel comfortable playing the hide and seek game, give them the opportunity to help run it or help hide the teddies instead.
Remember to check for allergies or dietary requirements and adjust the recipe or items in your picnic as needed.
If you're enjoying a song together, make sure any actions are things everyone can do.
All Scout activities should be inclusive and accessible.