How to Build a Bear Patience

Lily received this Build a Bear kit for Christmas. The age label reads 6+, and while I don’t always go by the age recommendations, Lily just turned four last November, and I didn’t think she would be able to do this project. Correction: I didn’t think I would be able to do this project. I was tempted to hide it in the basement until Lily was older. But I wasn’t fast enough! Lily insisted on opening the package, so I promised her we could work on the bear during Emmy’s nap time.
The bear had pre-punched holes and came with a safety needle. Lily sat on my lap while I held the fabric and showed her, hole by hole, where to put the needle. I had to refrain myself several times from grabbing the needle away from Lily and just doing it myself! This was also a practice in patience for Lily, since this project took several days to complete. She was very anxious for Emmy to take a nap, so we could work on the bear. It took us 5 nap times to sew around the arms and legs. Fortunately, the bear’s head came sewn together.

I let Lily stuff the bear, but whip stitched it shut myself. I have only so much patience!

The next day, we decorated the clothes. The butterflies and ribbon are iron-on, so this part was hands-off for Lily. She told me where to iron the decorations. I also did the glitter paint. That was a mess. The applicator was not very precise. Altogether, it took us about a week to finish.

I dreaded this project, but in the end I enjoyed spending Emmy’s nap time with Lily, working on something she really cared about. She stuck with it, learned how to sew a seam and thread a needle (in a four-year-old way). She also helped me remember that Emmy’s nap is time for us to connect. When Emmy was a newborn, I worked really hard to do special things with Lily when Emmy napped. Lately, I’ve been doing things around the house or blogging. So after the bear project, I’ve tried to give Lily some attention again. That takes some patience on my part, especially when I have things I want to get done, but it’s worth it!

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One Reply to “How to Build a Bear Patience”

  1. Wow – That turned out very cool! I might have to see if I can find a couple of those. After I saw the first picture (of the bear with the needle) I was like "Holy cow that's ugly!!" Hahaa.. I forgot you have to turn things inside out.Very neat project and sounds like you and Lily had a great time.Recent blog post: Site of the Week – The Bean

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