There are few things as comforting for a child (and some adults) as a cuddly teddy bear. Not only are they great to snuggle with in bed, but they can also be great partners for activities. So if you’re looking to keep your kids entertained for a few hours, we’ve rounded up the best teddy bear games your little ones will love.
1. Teddy Bear Fashion Show
Time to break out your teddy bears’ best outfits. Have your kids dress them up in doll or baby clothes (or scraps of fabric or whatever else you have around) and then have them walk down the runway in a fashion show. Of course, the human children can dress up too. Crank up some tunes and strut your stuff!
2. Teddy Bear Catch
Yes, this is pretty basic, but it will do in a pinch if you’re caught somewhere like a dentist’s waiting room without any toys or (gasp) an iPad. This game is exactly what it sounds like: have your kids stand a few feet apart from each other and throw a teddy back and forth, playing a gentle game of catch. Keyword: gentle.
3. Organize the Bears!
What do kids love even more than playing? Cleaning and organizing! OK, that’s not quite true, but putting their teddy bears and other stuffed animals into different categories can be a surprisingly fun (and tidy) way to spend some time. Have them go through their stuffies and sort them by groups like size, colors, those wearing bows, ones with missing limbs, etc. At the end, count the number of teddies in each category and see which is the most popular. (Survey says: missing limbs.)
4. Teddy Bear: Behind the Stuffing
Have your child make up a backstory for the teddy bear. What’s his or her name? Where did they come from? How did they get to your house? If the kiddo is older, they can write out the story or even make it into a comic strip. For the younger ones, a nice picture of their teddy’s origin story will work just fine. If there’s a group of kids, have them go around and share their bear’s story with everyone else.
5. Draw that Bear!
You may think that all teddy bears look the same, but they really don’t. Provide your child with paper and crayons, and have them draw pictures of their teddy bear. Tell them to focus on what makes their bear unique. Bonus points for creativity and/or making it lifelike (or as lifelike as a stuffed bear can be).
6. Pass the Bear
In this version of “hot potato,” the kids pass around a teddy bear instead of the usual roasting spud. In case you need a quick refresher on the game, they sit in a circle on the floor and pass the bear from one person to another while a song plays. When the music stops, whoever is holding the bear is out. The game continues until one person is left.
7. Teddy Bear Parade
Who says teddy bears should be kept on the shelf or on top of a bed? Give them their day in the sun (or at least the hallway) by throwing them their own parade. The kids can dress them up, and even make “floats” for their bears using things like wagons or larger toy trucks. Then stick on some music (perhaps something involving a marching band) and let the parade begin!
8. Find That Bear!
Have one child hide a teddy bear somewhere in a room, house or yard while everyone else closes their eyes (kind of a reverse hide-and-seek situation). When the children are instructed to open their eyes, they have to search the area and try to find the bear. The first to locate teddy wins.
9. Teddy Bear Book Club
Teddy bears and books go together like peanut butter and jelly (but without having to worry about allergies). Start a regular teddy bear book club in your house or community. Have your kids pick their favorite bears and their favorite books and gather everyone together for story time. Bonus points if you read books about teddy bears or where a character has a beloved stuffed animal.
10. Teddy Bear Tea Party
It’s tea time for teddies! Have your kids gather their favorite stuffed animals, your finest plastic tea set (or regular cups will do just fine) and some snacks and meet at a table (ideally one their own size). Put on some sophisticated classical music, and enjoy a calm, civilized afternoon with the bears.