Cut out a pair of round ears from cardstock or construction paper. Choose a color that corresponds to the inside of the bear's ears. For the polar bear, I chose a pair of pink ears.
For my other bears, I cut out a pair of black circles for the panda bear and brown ones for both the black bear and brown bear.
Brown bear and Black bear - use paper towels instead of cotton. It absorbs paint better than cotton, thereby making it easy to create colored "fur".
First, tear paper towels into fairly large pieces, then glue them onto the entire paper plate except on the snout. Next, take smaller pieces and scrunch them up. Glue them around the edges of the ears.
To make a brown or black bear, paint the tissue with watered down brown or black tempera or poster paint.
After you have painted the entire head, let the paint dry. This bear won't be as fuzzy as the cotton-faced polar bear and panda, but it will have an interesting textured fur.
To wear the paper plate bear as a mask, simply cut out a pair of eye holes on the plate before Step 8. Make a handle by gluing a wooden dowel at the back of the paper plate. If you don't have a dowel, you can glue or tape two craft sticks end-to-end like I did so that it makes a long handle.