Teddy Bears

  • The Teddy Bear That Travels the World

    We all dream of leaving our normal routines and traveling the world someday. Well, as it turns out, one adventurous teddy bear is doing just that. As the travel companion of travel writer Elaine Warner, Fuzzy has traveled from Spain to Norway to the Americas and back again. Read on to learn more:

    Society of American Travel Writers

    The Society of American Travel Writers is a networking organization for travel writers, journalists, photographers, and other content producers. It sponsors journalists like Warner to travel the world and write about interesting places and people. About 15 years ago, the SATW started a traveling teddy program where their travel journalists would bring teddy bears along with them. These teddy bears would be assigned to classrooms where they would write to students about where they’ve been.

    Teddy’s Travels

    Unfortunately, the program quickly dwindled. Travel journalists have to carry a lot of equipment with them, and it became difficult to constantly keep a teddy bear with them at all times. However, one teddy bear continued with his travels. Fuzzy, the teddy bear companion of Warner, continued to travel with her on her many trips. In the past 15 years, Fuzzy has been to the Grand Canyon, Madrid, Cornwall, and more. In 2008, Warner began a blog for Fuzzy called Teddy’s Travels where she documents what Fuzzy did at their most recent destination, even sharing some pictures of Fuzzy at famous places around the world.

    A Learning Tool

    Teddy’s Travels isn’t just a cute blog for people to follow, it has also become a learning tool for many classrooms around the country. “It’s very hand if you have five minutes between subjects or when it’s almost time for lunch or recess and you don’t want to start something new,” said Warner. “Teachers can take it as far as they want, or just use it for that. I once had a teacher who kept track of where the bear was going on a map in her classroom, and if the children were taking a trip themselves, she asked them to journal their stories.”

    Looking for a travel companion of your own? Then check out some of the stuffable animals we have here at The Zoo Factory.

  • That Time Luis Tiant Was Traded for 500 Teddy Bears

    In baseball, a player is typically traded for one of two things: another player, or a prospect. It’s not usually teddy bears. Usually. But in 1989, the three-time All-Star pitcher Luis Tiant was traded for a whopping 500 teddy bears (as well as outfielder Ralph Garr). Here’s how the trade went down:

    Luis Tiant and the Senior Professional Baseball Association

    Luis Tiant was a starting pitcher in the MLB for 19 years, pitching primarily for the Cleveland Indians and Boston Red Sox. During those 19 years, he was a three-time All-Star, a 20-game winner for four seasons, and he ended his MLB career with a 229-172 record. He retired in 1982, and 7 years later he joined the Senior Professional Baseball Association, a short-lived winter league for some of the MLB’s former stars.

    The Trade

    Tiant entered the SFBA as a player for the Winter Haven Super Sox, but just before the season began, he was traded away to the Miami-based Gold Coast Suns for, you guessed it, 500 teddy bears and outfielder Ralph Garr. However, these weren’t just any ordinary teddy bears—they were Ruxpin bears, mechanical teddy bears that 80s kids will likely remember. If you put a cassette tape inside the bear, he would read to you, his eyes moving in a slightly disturbing fashion.

    Why 500 Teddy Bears?

    There were two reasons why a legendary pitcher was traded away for 500 Ruxpin bears. The first reason was because the Gold Coast Suns’ owner, Russell Berrie, was in the novelty-toy business. The second reason, and likely the main reason, was because the Suns wanted to use some of the bears as part of a giveaway to entice fans. However, it wasn’t particularly successful. The game drew fewer than 300 fans.

    But what did Tiant think of the trade?

    “It’s okay. I don’t mind. I just wanted to go closer to Miami.”

    In that, it was 500 teddy bears well-spent.

    We may not be able to offer you 500 teddy bears for your star pitcher, but we at The Zoo Factory have plenty of teddy bears for you to choose from, no baseball players required. Take a look through our inventory to find your new best friend today.

  • How Children Benefit from Playing with Teddy Bears

    Whether your child is just learning to walk or is conquering their first year of elementary school, they are sure to have a favorite toy. It may be a doll or an action figure, but more likely than not it’s a stuffed teddy bear.

    Why? It may have to do with the many benefits that a stuffed teddy bear friend can provide. From word recognition to emotional discovery, these benefits begin when your child is a baby and continue on throughout their school years.

    Practice life skills

    Playing with teddy bears and other stuffed animal friends allows our children to practice life skills. They are constantly learning, role playing with their stuffed animals and teaching them how to perform tasks like brushing their teeth and getting dressed for school.

    Socialization

    Teddy bears also provide an early form of socialization. Whether your child is having a tea party with all their favorite stuffed animals or is the teacher in a school filled with fluffy rabbit, dog and teddy bear students, there are endless opportunities to learn good behavior. And if your child is particularly shy, a teddy bear can help them make new friends.

    Teaches them about other animals

    Even as our children get older, introducing them to wild and exotic stuffed animal friends - like crocodiles, hippos and gorillas – is a way to inspire learning. When they have a new and unique animal hanging out with them every day, they are sure to want to learn more about the creatures and its habitats!

    If we’ve convinced you of the real benefits a stuffed teddy can bring to your child, then be sure to check out all of the stuffable teddy bears that we at The Zoo Factory have to offer. If you’re not, convinced, however, feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns!

  • How Teddy Bear Clinics Are Changing Doctors’ Appointments

    Many children hate going to the doctors. Adults don’t like it much either, but for children the doctors’ office is filled with a lot unknown, scary things. Unfamiliar faces, strange equipment, and painful shots are just a few of the things they have to deal with at their annual checkup. No wonder, then, that our children often scream and cry throughout their appointment. However, a recent trend is aiming to change that.

    What are teddy bear clinics?

    Across the country, hospitals, doctors’ offices, and children’s programs have started hosting annual “teddy bear clinics”—a place to take your favorite teddy to get their annual check-up, just like you or your child would.  They go through the usual routines, talking with nurses, getting their shots, and checking their heart all with the child standing beside them, even helping. Some clinics even have the children perform the procedures themselves, and once it’s over, the teddy bear gets its diagnosis and heads home with any recommendations on how to improve their health.

    How do they help?

    So what’s the point of these clinics? Part of it is to have fun, another part is about the general health and safety of your child.

    They ease the fear of doctors’ appointments

    Teddy bear clinics offer a chance for children to get familiar with what happens at a doctor’s office.  All of those scary people and shots don’t seem so scary anymore when children see them up close in a friendly environment with their favorite teddy bear at their side.

    They teach healthy habits

    As their teddy gets their check-up, the children will also learn more about exercise, proper nutrition, and other healthy habits that they can practice in their daily lives. The more they learn, the better off they’ll be in terms of their health.

    Here at The Zoo Factory, we care deeply about the health of our children and our teddies. And if your child is looking for a new best friend, then take a look at all of the teddy bears—and other stuffable animals—that we provide. Just be sure they get their annual check-up!

  • The Story Behind the Real Winnie the Pooh

    We all grew up on the tales of Christopher Robin and his beloved Winnie the Pooh, but did you know that Winnie the Pooh was based off of a real-life bear? Meet Winnie, the bear cub that joined a Canadian brigade and met Christopher Robin at the London Zoo.

    Winnipeg Bear

    Harry Colebourn was a veterinarian tending horses in the First World War. He was on his way to Quebec to join his fellow soldiers heading overseas when, while waiting for his train, he came across a young bear cub for sale. Buying the cub for a grand total of $20, Colebourn named it “Winnipeg Bear” after the town he grew up in—although most just called the cub “Winnie” for short. Winnie went with Colebourn to Quebec, and later to England where Colebourn was stationed.

    The Brigade’s Mascot

    Upon arrival in England, Winnie soon fell-in with the rest of Colebourn’s troop, the 2nd Canadian Infantry Brigade. She became the mascot for the brigade, and soldiers often played with her whenever they had downtime. However, when word came that the brigade was heading to France, Colebourn was ordered not to bring Winnie with them. As such, Colebourn loaned Winnie to the London Zoo.

    Winnie Meets Christopher Robin

    Winnie became a popular animal at the London Zoo. She was so tame that children would ride on her back and feed her sweets. This was where the young Christopher Robin and his father, A. A. Milne, first met Winnie. They soon became frequent visitors, and Robin named his own teddy bear after Winnie, combining it with the name of a friend’s pet swan, Pooh, to come up with the name Winnie the Pooh. Inspired, A. A. Milne would publish Winnie-the-Pooh in 1926, basing the character off of his son’s teddy bear.

    Teddy bears, and other stuffed animals, are wonderful sources of inspiration, both for you and your child. Get yours today at The Zoo Factory. We have plenty of stuffable animals for you to choose from!

  • How the Teddy Bear Got Its Name

    We all love our favorite teddy bear, but why exactly do we call them ‘teddy bears’? And why did people start making them in the first place? Turns out, it’s all thanks to a certain U.S. President and a hunting trip gone wrong.

    Theodore Roosevelt’s Hunting Trip

    On November 14, 1902, President Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th President of the United States, went on a bear hunting trip near Onward, Mississippi. The trip didn’t go well. The group of hunters had spent three days in the wilderness tracking bears, only to come up empty. Finally, on the fourth day, Roosevelt’s hunting guide, Holt Collier, managed to track down an old, tired bear. Tying it to a tree, he went back to the President and encouraged him to shoot it. Finding this very unsportsmanlike, Roosevelt refused, and went home empty handed.

    A Political Cartoon and a Candy Shop

    News spread about the incident, prompting Clifford Berryman, a political cartoonist, to draw a cartoon satirizing Roosevelt in the Washington Post. Two candy shop owners, Morris and Rose Michtom, saw the cartoon and had an idea. Rose had been making and selling stuffed toys in their shop for years, but she had never made a stuffed bear. The cartoon inspired her, so Rose made two stuffed bears and put them in the store window. Morris even asked for Roosevelt’s permission to call them “teddy bears,” since the President was often called “Teddy” by friends. Roosevelt loved the idea, as did the public, and they became an instant hit.

    Over a hundred years later, teddy bears have become a staple of American culture, and no child should be without one. Here at The Zoo Factory, we have plenty of stuffable teddy bears to choose from, so take a look!

  • Check Out The Den of Marbletown Teddy Bear Museum

    Along the Hudson Valley sits an old, Victorian farmhouse filled with thousands of teddy bears. Turns out, it’s a museum dedicated to teddy bears and other childhood toys.

    From Victorian Farmhouse to Teddy Bear Museum

    The Den of Marbletown has transformed a Victorian farmhouse from the 1860’s into a unique tourist attraction. It houses over 5,000 Steiff teddy bears along with other staple childhood toys.  A historical house filled with old toys might sound a bit creepy, but luckily, owners Steve and Nan Ferri have done these fluffy friends justice.  Their museum is interactive, welcoming, and fun. Birthday parties, school field trips, and young families all enjoy the space to play, explore, and learn.

    Meals Fit for Papa Bear

    Papa Bear’s Kitchen and Mama Bear’s Lounge offer healthy and affordable meals that can be enjoyed in communal spaces.  Board games and a magical closet containing classic toys will accompany your meal, and in the summer time, blankets and picnic baskets are available to enjoy around the farm grounds or a soothing stream.

    A Place for Artists and Historians

    The museum itself is always refreshed with rotating collections and classics revived from the famous FAO Schwarz toy store. Local artists present gallery shows within the space, and other museums collaborate with this unique attraction to share their own rare bears.  Recently on load was the “the Holy Grail” of Steiff Collectors: the 1904 Rod Bear which features the first attempt at movable joints on a toy.

    Need a friend to accompany you on your trip to The Den of Marbletown? Look no further than The Zoo Factory. We have plenty of stuffable animals and dolls who will just love a trip to a teddy bear museum!

  • Toys that Enhance a Child’s Imagination

    Children have amazing imaginations and their ability to play pretend and think up stories is inspiring. For many children, role-playing and creativity is often sparked through play.

    Playing with different types of toys can help to fuel a child’s imagination, helping them to become more innovative and imaginative.

    Playing with Costumes

    When children play dress-up, their imaginations run wild! When playing dress-up, children can take ordinary clothes and turn them into fantastical stories. Playing with costumes allow children to dress up as superheroes, historical figures, doctors, movie stars, animals, and more. Playing with costumes allow children to “become someone else” in a matter of minutes, resulting in endless hours of fun. Save some of your old clothing, such as shoes, purses, and ties, that could work perfectly for a costume!

    Playing with Art Supplies

    Give a child (washable) colorful markers and watch them create new worlds and amazing ideas. Playing with art supplies trigger a child’s imagination allowing them to put their thoughts and dreams into something real and tangible. Art is the perfect platform for allowing children to explore their personal creativity. Children just love to get messy with glitter, glue, stickers, and paints! Here are some tips on an easy clean up!

    Playing with Toy Cars

    The concept of traveling to new and unseen places can heat up a child’s imagination. Children relate vehicles with trips to school, to the park, to grandma’s house, to the beach, and more. Children love going places and experiencing new things and they often associate cars with that concept. Playing with toy cars, buses, and trains give children the opportunity to take trips in their minds.

    Playing with Stuffed Animals

    Playing pretend often starts with your child’s first stuffed animal, which they will love and adore like a true friend. Stuffed animals, such as teddy bears, can kick-start your child’s imagination because they will often treat their furry friend as a real person. Stuffed animals can benefit children of all ages.

    Encourage your child’s imagination with a stuffable animal from The Zoo Factory. Children will love the idea of building their very own stuffed animal and making it on their own.

  • Teddy Bear Events Across the United States

    Across the United States, teddy bear events are popping up, fueling children’s educations and allowing them to use their imagination!

    From healthcare events to educational events, teddy bears are playing a role in many learning opportunities for children.

    Below is a highlight of some of our favorite teddy bear events from across the United States that we’ve spotted so far.

    Teddy Bear Clinics

    We’ve talked about these types of teddy bear events before, but there is no better place to learn how to care for your best bear friend. After all, zookeepers are experts when it comes to animals! One popular event that many zoo’s offer are Teddy Bear Clinics which encourage children to bring their teddy bear along to explore how to care for their bear and introduce them to the world of medicine.

    Teddy Bear Fest at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo

    At the Beardsley Zoo in Connecticut, children and parents enjoyed a “Teddy Bear Fest” that centered on raising awareness of bears and wildlife.  The day was packed full of crafts, storytelling, and educational facts on bear awareness. Plus, children under 12 that brought any plush toy (not just teddys!) and was accompanied by a paying adult got in free!

    Wild Nights at Fort Wayne’s Children Zoo

    If you’ve ever wondered what the zoo is like once the lights go out, those that attended Family Wild Nights at Fort Wayne’s Children Zoo got to find out. This event allows children to take part in educational activities and delicious food while sleeping over at the zoo!  2019 registration is now open.  Pitch your own tent under the stars and learn about nocturnal critters or sleep under the sharks. Most importantly, don’t forget to bring your teddy bear!

    Teddy Bear Day at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

    Save $10 on “Teddy Bear Day” at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo when you bring a plush friend! Meet some of the zoo’s hands-on outreach animals, get your teddy bear a check-up, enjoy a giraffe feeding and more! This event will next occur on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019. Save the date!

    In need of a teddy bear or plush friend to adventure with this summer? Make your own stuffed animal with Stuffable Animal Kits from The Zoo Factory, LLC. We have dozens of fun and soft animals to choose from, teddy bears included.

  • How a Teddy Bear Might Help your Child Sleep

    Dreaded are the nights your child doesn’t sleep, whether they are flat-out refusing to go to bed or waking you up often because they simply can’t sleep at all. Establishing a bedtime routine often becomes a nightly battle with little ones.

    Unfortunately, the effects of poor sleep can extend from the night well into the morning, following your child to school which can contribute to trouble retaining information, a lack of concentration, and even behavioral problems.

    However, recent research shows that there are a variety of ways to remedy these problems, some of which might surprise you!  A healthy sleep routine should be encouraged by both parents and educators.

    The Zoo Factory was excited to learn that teddy bears have been found to be effective when demonstrating a sleep routine to a child.

    Parents and educators alike have been using the teddy bear to teach children how to develop a bed time routine. By having a child instruct a teddy bear on how to get ready for bed, much like a parent would instruct a child, a child can learn to model and mock the behavior.

    Along with the beloved teddy bear fix, it was found that children that read before bed as opposed to watching television or playing on the iPad, sleep better as well. These practices can help your child to relax and wind down before heading to bed.

    Interested in incorporating a beloved teddy bear into your child’s bedtime routine? Visit The Zoo Factory today and choose from dozens of fun and soft teddy bears and animals.

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