By now, it’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of process art for kids. I think that when we focus on the process of painting and not necessarily the end result, every kid gets to feel successful. Kids who had success once are more willing to try something new and trying new things is how we learn and grow. If you want your kids to grow confident as artists, low pressure, process-based art projects are a fabulous way to start that journey!

Today’s project is a simple teddy bear. I designed this project to accompany the book Teedie by Don Brown and in the full YouTube video, I go over how the teddy bear was named after Teddy Roosevelt. Obviously, you don’t need to read the book to enjoy this activity, but it is a great way to make a connection! This would also be perfect for a teddy bear picnic craft. Whatever you use this project for, I hope you have so much fun with it!

Supplies: To Paint Our Teddy Bear, We’ll Need:

The supplies we need to paint our teddy bear
  • Thick paper: You can use thinner paper, but it might pucker.  It’s up to you!
  • Brown paint: I used tempera paint, you can use whatever brown paint you have on hand.  Heck, it doesn’t even have to be brown!
  • Cotton Balls: To dip in our paint
  • A Clothes Pin: To hold our cotton ball
  • Cardstock: For your eyes, ears, and nose.  I used brown, white, and pink.  You pick the colors you’d like.
  • A Paint Pen: To draw on the nose and mouth.  You could also use a marker or crayon.
  • Glue: To put on our features.

Step 1: Get Ready To Paint Your Bear

A pair of hands grasping a cotton ball with a small clothes pin

   Pour your paint on your pallet. I’m using a paper plate to hold my paint.

   Take your cotton ball and get a good grip on it with your clothes pin.  You’ll want the cotton ball to be firm, not floppy!

Step 2: Paint

Hand using cotton ball to spread paint all over the page

Dip your cotton ball in the paint.  Now, take it over to the papers and start dabbing.  If you’re running low on paint, come back to the place you originally hit with your cotton ball; it will have thicker paint than elsewhere.  Keep dipping and spreading into a circle shape.  Dip and spread until you get the shape you think your bear should be!

Step 3: Let It Dry

Let your paint dry overnight. 

Step 4: Cut Features

Completed bear head with features cut on it

Using the template, cut out 2 eyes, 2 pupils, 2 outer ears, 2 inner ears, and a snout.  I cut everything out of brown cardstock except for the inner ears in pink and the eyes in white.

Step 5: Make the features

Hand holding glue stick and a completed bear snout

Glue your inner ears to the outer ears and the pupils to the eyes.  Set those aside.

Now take your paint pen and draw a nose and mouth on the snout in the classic “bear” style!  

Do bear snouts really look like this?  I have my doubts, but I hope to never be close enough to examine one!

Step 6: Glue Your Features On

Play around a bit with where you’d like those placed on the bear.  Remember, this isn’t brain surgery, there is no wrong way to do it!  Once you like where your features are placed, glue them down!

Completed Teddy Bear Painting with teddy bears and the book that inspired it, Teedie.

And that’s it!  You’ve painted a Teddy Bear!

If you want to learn more about Teddy Roosevelt, read Teedie, The Story of Young Teddy Roosevelt by Don Brown and check my shop for more Teedie activities.