Monday, May 17, 2010

Travelin' Teddy Bears

Go, Bears, go!
The second graders at my children's school recently participated in a project called Traveling Bears. This project is similar to Flat Stanley, if you are familiar with that. Each child brought in a teddy bear to send along with family and friends on their adventures. My daughter named her pink teddy bear Cotton Candy. The students then kept track of the states and countries that each stuffed teddy bear visited. Each teddy bear had a notebook in its back pack where the sponsors could write about each adventure. Cotton Candy sent letters or postcards to the school from each stop, too.

We sent Lil Missy's bear with family on their trips from January to April. The lucky bear went on a cruise to Hawaii, California, Arizona, Indiana, and Wisconsin. We took the bear with us to Canada (see pic above of Niagara Falls), Michigan, Ohio and Indiana on spring break as well. The students also made a flat bear to send to places. Lil Missy's flat Cotton Candy visited Spain, Montana, and New York. It's a fabulous project that incorporates so many school subjects like music (there was a Teddy Bear Singalong to kick off the project), geography, world cultures, reading, writing, and more.
Lil Missy just had her Teddy Bear Fair to end this five month school project, and I wanted to share a few of the fun pictures that came from Cotton Candy's adventures.

On the cruise ship in the Pacific Ocean


A few fabulous authors also hosted Cotton Candy. I am a helper in my daughter's classroom and also a mystery reader in her class so I shared the stories of Rena Jones and poetry and illustrations of Douglas Florian with them. They were excited to receive pictures and correspondence from these two authors as well.

Rena took Cotton Candy to many scenic spots in Montana and created a wonderfully creative packet about the trip. She also sent taffy for the students to share!


Douglas was kind enough to paint a bear and send a note from New York for Lil Missy to share with her class. Isn't it beautiful? This polar(k) bear will be framed soon!


THANK YOU so much Douglas and Rena for going above and beyond for my daughter and her class!! Also thank you to my family and friends for letting Cotton Candy tag along with you, too!

I also want to say a big CONGRATULATIONS to my friend, Anita Laydon Miller! Anita recently signed a contract with Sara Megibow of the Nelson Literary Agency! Go to her blog and say congrats! I just know the news of your book being sold will be next, Anita!


Stina Lindenblatt said...

I love the Flat Stanley idea. My son's class did that last year. His FS didn't go any where nearly as exciting as Cotton Candy, but he did end up with a girlfriend after my niece made him one. ;)

Caroline Starr Rose said...

This is very similar to something I used to do with my students, an international exchange called Travel Buddies.

We'd pick a stuffed toy that represented an indigenous animal and send it with a bag, a journal, and a disposible camera.It was a really, really wonderful way to learn about another culture.

Susan Fields said...

Congrats to Anita - what awesome news! My daughter's class did Flat Stanley and she had a lot of fun with it. I love the pictures you've included, it sounds like Cotton Candy had a great time. :)

Candyland said...

Well with a name like Cotton CANDY, how can this bear *not* be awesome! What a cute idea.

Tina Laurel Lee said...

So sweet! And we have a bear named Cotton Candy too!

storyqueen said...

What a cool idea!

Love the polar bear painting.


Laura Pauling said...

What a great educational idea! I bet the kids loved it!

Jonathon Arntson said...

Uber-fun post, Kelly. I hope one day I can be half the parent you are.

Hema P. said...

How cool, Kelly! I was involved in some Flat Stanley projects myself for nieces and nephews, but your daughter's project seems like a longer and more fun one! And so many places around the world, wow! I agree that it's such a great way for kids to learn without seeming to. (Love the Polar(k) Bear, btw :).)

And congratulations to your friend, Anita! Every time I hear that a new author has made it to the next step, I feel exhilarated.

Anonymous said...

kel - so, did em do the polar bear painting? awesome! cotton candy bear made lots of exciting travels! Beth

Denise said...

Looks like Cotton Candy had a good time!

Suzanne Casamento said...

Too cute! I love that Rena and Douglas put so much effort into the project. Very cool.

Next time you need a destination, feel free to send a teddy to LA. Maybe I could take a bear to a concert like you took that wacky Flat Stanleyish dude (but it wasn't Flat Stanley - who was he??) to one of your rockscapades!

Rena said...

You're very welcome, Kelly! We had a lot of fun with Cotton Candy. My boys love taking part of these sort of things. We're thinking of Dilly going on some adventures too!

Kelly said...

Stina - How cute that she made a girlfriend!!
Caroline - That sounds like a cool idea, too!
Susan - I wish I could have gone on half the travels Cotton Candy did! ;)
Candy - But of course!
Tina - Awww, they could be buddies!
Shelley - The painting is amazing!

Kelly said...

Laura - The kids enjoyed it so much!
Jon - You are sweet, and I am certain you will make an excellent parent one day.
Hema - Family and friends are so willing to help with school projects like this too. Fun for all!
Beth - No, silly. An illustrator made the bear for Emily. We are going to frame it and hang it!
Denise - I realized I put Indiana instead of Chicago for when you had the bear. Doh!
Suzanne - Thank you for the offer!!!
Rena - Thank you again for all of your hard work. A traveling Dilly would be fun!

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

What a cute idea!

Once when we were in DC we saw a young couple with a lawn (k?)nome in front of the Lincoln Memmorial. They set him on the steps and took a photo...

Ann Marie Wraight said...

Gorgeous piccy - the polar bear ROCKS!

Loved reading about your adventures Kelly! Sounds like your daughter is REALLY lucky to have such a great class.

Sliding on the Edge said...

Very sweet. Flat or fat, Stanley would super and a lot of fun.

Carrie Harris said...

HOW ADORABLE! We took our stuffed turtle to Chuck E Cheese and out camping in the backyard. I think he's probably jealous of cotton candy.

Dawn Simon said...

The polar bear painting is great. I love projects like that. We've hosted a couple Flat Stanleys for little cousins.

Congrats to Anita! That's awesome!

Anita said...

How did I miss this?! Thanks for your support and confidence!