It is so simple, so fun, and so... custom that kids naturally gravitate towards the idea. Here's the one that my son and I put together as a sample for the class:
He calls him "NoodleDork" or at least that's what it sounds like to me. The best part about this project is that YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE PERFECT! In fact, the more "mistakes" the more character. Look at NoodleDork here, he leans to the side, his arms are different lengths, and who knows what is happening with those legs. But, my kid loves this creature like no other. Another thing about it is that the kids have complete control. There is no pattern. They just start with a sheet of kraft paper where they draw an outlying of their design. Then they cut it out and place it on their fabric. The key is to add an 1/2 inch for seam allowance and another 1/2 inch for "puffiness" if you can. This can be eyeballed really.
Once you have a front and back cut out, you can use sheets of felt for the mouth, belly patch, paw pads, and what-have-you. I use those 8x11 inch sheets you get in the craft aisle. Then, you zig-zag stitch around the edges of the felt being sure that one side of the zig zag goes into the felt and the other goes into the body. Basically, cover your edges with zig zag. You can either sew on buttons now, or wait until it's done being stuffed, but then you would sew right sides together (leaving a spot open to flip it) and stuff it up! Note: always stuff furthest from the opening first and work backwards. Just like when you mop the kitchen.
We are using fleece as a body fabric, and I'll tell you why. When you get to the point where you are about to turn it right side out, with fleece you do not have to clip corners, notch curves, or any of that. When it's flipped back out, you just wiggle and the inside seam allowance stretches to accommodate. Neat!
Just whipstitch the opening closed, and enjoy! This is so going to be a regular for my summer camps, also.