What You Need to Make a Set Exactly Like Ours:
Flesh colored craft foam (or white painted flesh colored like I had left over)
Yellow craft foam
Red craft foam
Four very small googly eyes
Four small googly eyes
Yellow yarn (about two feet?)
Red yarn (about four inches?)
Bear cookie cutter
Light brown felt
Three tiny black pom poms
Fine tip marker
Paper doilie (like you use for Valentines)
Thin white ribbon (about a foot?)
What to do:
Goldilocks was harder for me to make than the bears. I didn't have a template, so I had to draw her pieces by hand. I first made a circle for her head on the flesh foam. Then I drew her shoulders, chest, and arms on the flesh foam. I drew her dress being careful that it matched the size of her arms. Lastly, I made her boots. Once all the pieces were cut out, Natalie helped me glue them together. She then helped put on her face. My husband drew the smile. I cut out her hair and glued it on, then glued on the little red bow. If Natalie was a bit older, I would have had her help with the hair.
The bears were much easier since I traced our large and small bear cookie cutters. Baby Bear is the small cookie cutter traced along the inside. Momma Bear is the bigger bear cookie cutter traced along the inside, while Papa Bear is also the bigger cookie cutter, but traced along the outside to make him just a bit bigger. I cut out a lighter shade of brown to make their muzzles. Natalie glued these on along with their noses and eyes. I made the tie for Papa Bear out of a scrap of felt. I then made the apron out of a Valentine doilie. I made the apron by holding the heart up to Mama Bear with the curve of the top of the heart as the bottom of the apron. I then just cut it to be as wide as her body and trimmed it to the length I wanted. I wrapped the white ribbon around from behind her and glued it in place before making the bow. I then made the little bow for her ear and glued it on.
Substitutions and Alterations:
First of all, the colors can all be changed. I let Natalie pick Goldilocks' dress, nose, and boots. I would suggest keeping her hair yellow, since her name is Goldilocks, but otherwise all the colors can be changed. You could use all felt, all craft foam, or all construction paper. I chose not to use paper to make them more durable. I liked the felt for the bears to make their texture closer to fur. Pom poms or small buttons can be substituted for googly eyes, or you could draw all the elements of the faces. You could skip the clothes on the bears or alter them. Barton's bears don't wear clothes, but Cousin's do.
As I said, I made these with / for Natalie because she really enjoyed reading this story. It was one of the first books of which she could recite huge sections. I had planned for her to use these as dolls to play with and act out the story, but she really only took to Goldilocks and Baby Bear.
- You can use the dolls while you read the story and act it out.
- You can use the dolls on a felt board. Just make Goldilocks out of felt, mount her on felt, or put Velcro on her back. If you do this, you could also make the other items in the story, namely the bowls of porridge, chairs, and beds.
- You can use your bear cookie cutter to make bear cookies. We made these to use up a can of frosting that was going to expire, and Natalie still talks about them over a month later. I used a gingerbread girl cutter to make Goldilocks. You can also decorate the bear and girl cookies in detail; we didn't because we don't have the supplies.
- Play with the dolls using a dollhouse's furniture and / or dishes.
- Use the bears to talk about sizes. Have your child put them in size order or put them in the correct size bowl.
- Use the bears to talk about opposites, depending on how you tell the story. Barton's vesion uses hot / cold, fast / slow, and hard / soft. You could have your child sort the bears and other objects that fit these categories.