Teddy bears are near and dear to the hearts of many 2-year-olds. The abundance of teddy bear songs, games, and books for the preschool crowd attests to this. Art activities involving bears can build on this affinity. In addition to being about a subject 2-year-olds love, a teddy bear art project can be an enriching educational experience. It offers wonderful opportunities for language interaction and it broadens a young child's understanding of how various materials in the world behave.
Help children make a teddy bear from felt. Cut out two felt bears. Hot glue the edges together, leaving a gap around the head. Let children help you stuff the bears with cotton balls before you glue them closed. Let the 2-year-olds use markers to create eyes, a nose and a mouth for the bears. Or create a wall hanger with a large teddy bear cut from felt and glued onto a larger felt banner. Let the toddlers decorate the teddy with large buttons, bow ties, fabric clothes or felt hats.
Paint your 2-year-old child's foot with washable paint. Use brown to create a traditional teddy bear, but any colour can be used to create a variety of bears. Have the child step onto a piece of white butcher paper. Make two or three prints to be sure to get a good one. Turn the footprint so the heel is at the top. This becomes the bear's head. Add a finger dab for ears and a tail. Let the print dry and bubble cut around the bear. Let the child use markers to make eyes, a nose, buttons or a tie.
Make a teddy bear book for counting. Cut several bears from a variety of sources such as magazine pages, fabric, gift wrap or paper bags. Prepare a book of several blank pages from poster board. Then let the children glue the teddy bears onto the pages by putting one teddy on the first page, two on the second and so on. Finally, write "1 teddy bear," "2 teddy bears" and so forth on the appropriate pages.
Goldilocks and the Three Bears
After reading the story Goldilocks and the Three Bears, help children colour or paint the characters from the story on construction paper. When they are finished, cut out the characters. Use these props to retell the story, showing children how to take on the parts. Glue the characters on craft sticks to make puppets. These can then be used for acting out the story. Once children are experts at telling the familiar story, change it up by adding new characters or different events.