Bear in the Big Blue House is aimed at teaching lessons to preschool and early school-age children. In each episode, Bear explores learning concepts such as feelings, the alphabet, nature, science and more with the kids of the Big Blue House and/or out in Woodland Valley. Throughout the majority of its run, the program was seen daily on Disney. Currently, it is broadcast only on weekend mornings in the United States, but can be seen a more regular basis in some other markets.
At the beginning of each episode, Bear welcomes viewers to his house and tells them that he thinks they smell good. After talking with one or more of the characters, he introduces the show theme, or "Word of the Day" and sometimes sings a song about it. This segment, in the first three seasons, is often followed by one in which real kids discuss the topic of the day. Afterwards, Bear usually explores the house or valley, talking with the kids and aiding/assisting them as necessary. He will also sometimes stop to find Shadow, who shares a story related to the theme of the day. At the end of each program, Bear heads to the attic of the house and talks with his friend Luna, the moon, about the day's events. The two sing "The Goodbye Song" and notable scenes from the episode are shown in brief. Bear then shares a final thought for the day.