Tuesday, November 6, 2012

2 Detective Activities inspired by The Berenstain Bears and the Missing Honey

This post is sponsored by BabbaCo by Jessica Kim!
This month we are excited to share two simple book-related activities created exclusively to go along with The Berenstain Bears and the Missing Honey by Stan and Jan Berenstain which was featured in October's BabbaBox. October's BabbaBox was detective themed and even included a special gift for subscribers that was curated by me! If you're unfamiliar with the Babbabox, you can read my post titled BabbaBox: A cool learning tool for kids! for a little bit more information.

In the book The Berenstain Bears and the Missing Honey, the Berenstain bears are on a hunt for a pot of honey that has disappeared from their house! They look everywhere and follow a series of clues until they find the culprit!

We love hunting for missing items at our house... especially if it involves using a flashlight, so our first activity was a Detective Flashlight Hunt to find our own missing honey!

Detective Flashlight Hunt

Materials Needed: Flashlight (we used the one in our October BabbaBox), pot of honey printable, and a semi dark room.

This activity was so simple yet amazingly fun.

  1. Print off the honey printable onto cardstock. Color and cut it out. Laminate (optional).
  2. Have one person hide the honey in the semi dark room while the other person covers their eyes (or goes out of the room).
  3. Have the other person use the flashlight to search for the honey.
  4. Once found, switch jobs and play again.
  5. Take turns and play again and again.
For older kids: Write alphabet letters, names, sight words, or word family words on several jars of honey. Hide the honey jars around the dark room. Tell the child a specific word/letter to hunt for or give them simple clues about the words. Play until they've found all the honey jars.

The second activity we planned was a treat and activity all in one!

Detective Decoder Cookies

Materials Needed: store bought sugar cookie dough (we used Pillsbury) or homemade sugar cookie dough, crushed red candies (we used Jolly Ranchers), baking pan, baking spray, foil or a Silpat, oven, plastic baggie, something to crush the red candies, markers (red, orange, pink), and a blue pen.

I found this idea for Secret Decoder Valentine's Day cookies on Spoonful and knew we had to try them out this month with our detective box!  

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Make your cookie dough into little thin flat coils and use them to make a large circle on your baking pan. Ours was almost as large as my hand. Add a long handle of dough to complete your magnifying glass. Don't make the dough too fat or high or else it will spread out too much. Ours was about as thin as my pinky finger.
  3. Crush the red candies inside a baggie until they are in very small pieces. We used a metal salad server for crushing.
  4. Add the crushed red candies to the center of your circle.
  5. Place in oven on a baking pan covered with greased foil (or use a silpat like I did) and bake for 7-8 minutes... or until edges just barely start to brown.
  6. Let cool and then carefully lift off the pan with a pancake flipper.
  7. While the cookies are cooling, grab some paper and write a secret message on the paper with blue ink. Color over the blue message with designs and other words using orange, red, and pink pens/markers until the message is barely visible.
  8. Once the decoder cookie is cool, lay it on top of the secret message. Only the blue secret message should be visible through the red of the magnifying glass!
  9. You can reuse the decoder cookies again and again and write new messages, or you can just eat them! :) 

In addition to the cool flashlight, there were several other awesome activities in our BabbaBox this month. 

  • Created a shape detective memory game
  • Explored using a detective's fingerprinting kit
  • Created using a secret message spy notebook (and we made fingerprint animals too)
  • Read The Berenstain Bears and the Missing Honey
  • Connected online using the Monkey Preschool Lunchbox App!
  • There were also coloring pages and other suggested activities in our box!

I usually love our monthly Babbabox but this month I have especially appreciated our box since it arrived the day before our new baby (#3) arrived!! On Monday when I got home from the hospital I needed a special activity to do with my older two kids that was fun and gave them some extra attention... but I had no energy to come up with anything! We grabbed our Babbabox and had such a fun afternoon creating and exploring together!!

If you want more time to connect with your kids... but don't have tons of time to be creative and come up with ideas, you will love the Babbabox!

Do you want to sign up for your own BabbaBox? You can get 20% off your membership order by entering this special code for Toddler Approved readers: TA20OFF 

Do you have any other fun detective ideas for me?? Please share them in the comments!! This theme has been one of our favorites!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of BabbaCo. BabbaCo will be compensating me for my monthly book-related craft and activity posts. All posts reflect my personal opinion and endorsement and are not swayed by compensation and/or free products. Please note that this post reflects my opinion and preferences and you might not share that same opinion. This post contains affiliate links.


  1. That looks so fun! Kids love playing detective! Thanks so much for these great ideas!!!

  2. my oldest would love to find the honey jar with a flashlight! What a fun idea. He spends a lot of time hunting in the dark with his flashlight anyways,lol. Now maybe i can put something out for him to find:-) Thanks for sharing, jaime@FSPDT

  3. The decoder cookie is awesome! I bet they were delicious!

  4. This is the coolest baking + literacy activity EVER!!!!!!!!!!!! LOVE it. (In case you couldn't tell!)


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