Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Pom Pom Care Bears

For those of you not in the know, from left to right: Cheer Bear, Funshine Bear, Good Luck Bear, and Grumpy Bear.

Natalie and I were working on a different project for Father's Day using pom poms while we had a Care Bear movie on in the background.  I looked down at the pom poms and couldn't resist pulling some out to make her a Care Bear.  We wound up with four and she still wanted more.

What you need: (The first four items listed should all be the same color)
Two large pom poms
Four medium pom poms
Three small pom poms
One tiny pom pom
One white small pom pom
Two black tiny  pom poms
White paper (a scrap will probably do just fine)
Craft glue
Sticker or markers (to make the "belly badge")

What to do:
This one is pretty straightforward.  Glue the bear together in any order.  The large pom poms make the body and head.  The medium size ones made the arms and legs.  The small ones are for two ears and a tail.  The small white makes the muzzle, and the tiny colored pom pom makes the nose.  The two tiny black ones are for eyes.

Next, cut out a circle from the white paper.  Either use a sticker for the belly badge or draw the symbol.  Glue it onto the bears tummy.

Grumpy Bear came out the best, I think.  Note Care Bear movie in the background. :)

You can use a white pom pom for a body if you don't have two large ones of the right color.  We had used our other yellow pom pom to make a bee, but Natalie was insisting that we make a Funshine Bear.  She didn't mind the white at all.

For two of the bears I didn't have tiny pom poms of the right color to make noses, so I used small sequins.  You could also use beads or a tiny piece of craft foam.  You could draw it with a marker or with puffy paint.

You could use googly eyes instead of pom poms, or use different colors.  She insisted on green for Good Luck Bear, who we made first, and then I didn't let her pick after that.

You could use felt or craft foam instead of paper for the background of the belly badge.

So, Care Bears is about as commercial and fluffy as you can get, but you can still have a little bit of educational value in there.
  • Ask your child to line up the pom poms in size order.  
  • Ask your child to pick out the pom poms letting her know what size, color, and number you need.  An older child could read a list, while a  young child you would want to tell one at a time.  
  • Read a Care Bear book.  There are tons of them out there.  We own a couple; one was free and one 50 cents, both are used.  Our local library doesn't have any, but I interlibrary loaned some from our system.  I was able to get two or three of the ones I read as a child back in the mid 80's.  I'm looking forward to sharing that experience with Natalie since I have very fond memories of those books back in my elementary school library.  
  • Make your own Care Bear!  You can either make him out of pom poms or draw him.  You can just make him and name him, or you could go in depth and really talk about his belly badge and what it represents.  
  • The Care Bears do offer some opportunities to discuss real topics.  Some of the "generations" are more deep than others.  You can either discuss the caring situations from the books and movies, or you can talk about what each bear represents.  
  • The Care Bears are a great opportunity to talk about colors.  You could label their colors, and even get really precise.  You could do color sorting, such as matching a crayon to the bear's color or going on a scavenger hunt to find items the same color as the bear.  And then there is also rainbows.  You could sequence the bears in rainbow order and talk, read, and experiment with rainbows.  
  • I'm currently making Care Bear hopscotch.  Natalie just one day said she wanted to play it with her friend, so I've been putting it together.  I'm coloring in pictures of the Bears from a coloring book that I copied with our printer onto card stock.  Then I'm going to make some numbers using the punch out type teacher's use on bulletin boards.  Lastly, I'll adhere it all to a sheet.  I hope to put a backing on it so it doesn't slide on the floor, but might not since our play room is carpeted.  For rocks, I'm using rocks Natalie painted and I'm going to paint on the little star friends.  
  • Color the Care Bears.  We have been doing a lot of this.  I have been using the same dollar store coloring book over and over by printing out copies of the same big pictures of the bears.  While coloring doesn't seem very educational, in just a few days, I saw a massive improvement in how Natalie colors.  Coloring is excellent fine motor skill practice.  
Here is the progression of her coloring.  Started as scribbling, then moved to coloring the smaller areas, and then the whole figure!  Yeah Care Bears for motivation!


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