Every bear has a story to tell…
Meet a special collection of well-loved furry faces in this exhibition and workshop experience for schools that celebrates the success of one of the world’s favourite toys. On view in Ireland for the first time, Teddy Bear Story is a touring exhibition from London’s V&A Museum of Childhood, home to one of the world’s finest collections of children’s toys, dolls’ houses, games and costumes. Each school group will participate in a guided tour of the exhibition followed by one of three different workshop options.
On arrival in The Ark, your class will take a guided tour of the exhibition where they will be introduced to the origins of the teddy bear, from the very first bears right up to modern day versions. The children will be encouraged to consider how childhood and its associated toys have changed over the past 100 years. There will be an opportunity to discuss how the bears in the exhibition were carefully made of quality material to last a long time, and how they were valued and passed from generation to generation by their owners. The children will then be introduced to some famous teddy bear characters from literature and poetry before commencing their workshop.
Workshop Option 1: Teddy Bear Craft
Artist Jo May will lead students in this crafts-based workshop, closely aligned to the construction, fabric and fibre strands of the primary school visual arts curriculum. Each child will be encouraged to think about the type of bear or other stuffed character they would like to make. After sketching their ideas, your class will select materials to suit their bear’s character. The children will then learn basic pattern cutting, sewing and joining techniques to cut, sew and stuff their very own bear to take back to the classroom.
Please note: Students will use scissors and needles in these workshops (there will be child safe needles for the junior classes. Children can bring in their own material that means something special to them if they wish).
Image: Paddington Bear, Gabrielle Designs, 1960 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London