For this month’s Virtual Book Club for Kids, we are all reading & playing with Corduroy the Bear! Ella and I have ambitious plans to make our own felt teddy bear later this month, but for now a Building a paper Corduroy is the perfect shape identification activity for after reading Don Freeman’s classic, Corduroy.
Have you ever read Corduroy? It’s a sweet tale of a little bear who lives in a department store who has somehow lost a button to his overalls. Late at night after everyone has left the store, Corduroy sneaks off the shelf and goes on an adventure through the store looking for his missing button!
The story ends happily with a little girl saving up her money to buy Corduroy, accepting and loving him just the way he is, buttons or none! The idea of exploring a giant store after closing is a favorite with kids, and the vintage style of the book is half the charm for me.
How to Make Your Own Corduroy Shape Craft
First, assemble your materials:
- Brown construction paper
- Green construction paper
- Red cardstock (to hold the weight of the buttons)
- Buttons, various sizes if possible
- Googly eyes
- Glue stick
If your child is skilled with scissors, you can encourage them to identify the shapes within Corduroy’s body and cut the shapes out themselves, but I just did this step and left the shape identification to the process of actually building our Corduroy.
- 1 big brown circle (head)
- 2 small brown circles (ears)
- 1 large brown oval (body)
- 2-4 skinny, long brown ovals the same length of the body (arms and optional legs)
- 2 small brown ovals (feet)
- 1 large green square (overall body)
- 2 small green rectangles (overall straps)
- 2 larger green rectangles (overall legs)
I didn’t cut out any leg ovals and Ella was not impressed, so you might want to avoid a lecture from your crafter and include those!
We started off by re-reading the book and I encouraged Ella to point out shapes to me as we read. She noticed square boxes, the triangle “mountain” escalator, the circular tables, and the rectangular beds.
Next, I presented her with the shapes and asked if she’d like to make her own Corduroy – which, she had little choice to do after I cut out all of those shapes on less than a cup of coffee. Luckily for both of us, she was excited to give it a try!
We first went through the shapes and identified which parts of Corduroy’s body and outfit the shapes were intended for – comparing them to the other shapes and the illustrations in the book. At first, Ella thought the small green rectangles would be his legs – and then when she noticed the larger rectangles, she re-evaluated and determined they were probably his overall straps.
We then discussed which order she would do her craft in – should she start with Corduroy’s body, his outfit, do both at the same time? Working through these things helps children develop an artistic process and reinforces an orderly approach to work. It doesn’t have to be super formal, but it’s good to encourage kids to think for a minute before diving in so they avoid creative frustration later.
After gluing and assembling first the body, and then the overalls, we moved on to picking out Corduroy’s buttons. It should come as no surprise that my daughter went for the biggest buttons in the pack! You can also draw on Corduroy’s face or add in extra shapes to make the yellow snout and black nose.
This was a great shape recognition activity and a great fundamental artistic activity. Learning how to draw (or sculpt) often involves learning how to break objects down into smaller shapes or components and learning how shapes compose greater figures, and this activity is a great introduction to that concept while being age appropriate. It’s also a great activity for mixed age groups.
Would your child enjoy making their own Corduroy? What shape identification activities have your kids enjoyed?
Check out some of our other shape activities:
Be sure to check out these other awesome Corduroy activities for kids:
Button Box ABC creations by Rainy Day Mum
Learning Your Name with the Corduroy Book by Growing Book by Book
Teddy Bear Button Counting Activity by Mom Inspired Life
Corduroy’s Button Sensory Bin & Fine Motor Fun by Preschool Powol Packets
Teddy Bear Picnic Dessert Idea by The Educators’ Spin On It
Button Stacking by Still Playing School
Button Hop – A Movement Game for Toddlers by Inspiration Laboratories
Colorful Friendship Bracelets by Mama Miss
Corduroy Math: Learning with Buttons by I Can Teach My Child
Teddy Bear Number Button Matching by 3 Dinosaurs