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Introduce the teddy bear theme to toddlers by showing them two very different teddy bears. If possible, encourage children to bring their own teddy bears to class and use two of them. Draw a Venn diagram on the board, and model how to compare and contrast the two bears. Pick easy similarities and differences, such as “big” and “small,” “brown” and “blue,” or “hat” and “no hat.” Even though children cannot read yet, this activity will help them become familiar with words, as well as the concepts of graphic organizers and comparing two objects.
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Books About Bears
Introduce the book “Corduroy,” by Don Freeman. Ask children where teddy bears come from, and make sure they understand that people buy teddy bears at a store. Explain that you will be reading a book about a teddy bear at a store who is waiting for a little boy or girl to buy him. Read the book aloud. At the end, make sure that children understand that a child finally bought Corduroy.
Then read them another book about real bears, such as “When Will It Be Spring,” by Catherine Walters or “Bear Snores On” by Karma Wilson.
Help students to differentiate between real bears and teddy bears by discussing the two books you just read. Ask students which book is real and which book is make believe. Then discuss what real bears can do, such as eat, sleep, or catch fish. Comment that you can pretend that teddy bears do the same thing, but that real bears do these things in real life. Let the children discuss the difference between real life and make believe. Then have them use a different Venn digram to compare and contrast real bears to teddy bears.
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Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear
This classic teddy bear song is an excellent way to end off a teddy bear toddler theme. Teach children the following song, along with the appropriate motions:
Teddy bear, teddy bear, turn around.
Teddy bear, teddy bear, touch the ground.
Teddy bear, teddy bear, touch your nose.
Teddy bear, teddy bear, reach your toes.
Teddy bear, teddy bear, turn out the light.
Teddy bear, teddy bear, say “goodnight!”
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Teddy Bear Crafts
You can do some great teddy bear crafts for a teddy bear toddler theme. You can build on the Corduroy idea by letting children glue buttons onto a teddy bear. Alternatively, you could give them two large paper circles and six small paper circles and show the kids how to arrange them to make their own teddy bears. If you'd like, have them glue the circles to the front of a card (paper folded in half), and let them "write" a letter - either to their own teddy bear or to someone else. Then let them read their letters aloud to the class. You can also use some of these other fun teddy bear craft ideas.
A teddy bear toddler theme is a great way to help kids share information about the teddy bears that they love. These ideas will make your teddy bear theme unique and exciting for toddlers.
Teddy Bear Theme for Toddlers: Book, Activity, and Craft Ideas
This series includes several preschool teddy bear activities, including crafts, games, and lesson plans that involve bears. You can use these activities for preschoolers, toddlers, or even kindergarteners.