Teddy Bears

  • 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.

  • Recent Teddy Bear Toss Breaks Records

    Ice hockey boasts a long, colorful history in America, debuting for the first time around 1893 and followed by the first American hockey team joining the National Hockey League (NHL) in 1924. Since then, hockey fans gather each season to watch their favorite teams battle it out on the ice as they race to get the puck in the other team’s goal.

    Hockey would be nothing without its fun, competitive spirit, and of course, the beloved fans.

    One dedicated hockey fan base showed up this year with a spirited fire that helped them set a record in the coveted annual “Teddy Bear Toss.”

    AHL’s Hershey Bears were pitted against the Binghamton Devils for the annual holiday tradition. Seconds after Bears’ player Riley Barber scored the first goal, fans took the plush toys they brought along to the game and hurled them from the stands out onto the ice.

    Channeling the giving nature of the holidays, fans tossed 34,798 toys on the ice, shattering the previous world record of the largest number of toys donated during a hockey Teddy Bear Toss. Hershey collected all the stuffed toys to donate to over 30 local schools, food banks, and churches.

    Nothing brings smiles during the holiday season quite like a teddy bear, and the Teddy Bear Toss continues to impress with displays of generosity each year. Will you be attending a teddy bear toss this season? Stock up now to beat the new world record with stuffable animals from The Zoo Factory!

  • Big Brands Still Use Old-Fashioned Teddy Bears

    In an age where remarkable digital toys and daring technologies surprise and delight kids of all ages, you may stop and wonder if good, old-fashioned toys still make an impact on children. The short answer is yes.

     Classic toys like the loveable teddy bear are still around and make popular choices for holiday gifts.

    The proof is found in the marketing tactics of well-known brands this holiday season. An established retail chain took advertising with a teddy bear to the next level with their Canadian ad featuring a teddy bear that comes to life when the store closes.

    The ad opens with the bear sitting on a shelf next to a wide variety of other, modern toys. Shoppers choose toys to place into their cart, but everyone seems to be avoiding the teddy bear. When the store closes and the lights turn out, the teddy bear magically springs to life, climbing down from the shelf to explore. We see the bear dress up in a rainbow wig and read a book, ride a fire truck, use a tablet, and eat about an abundance of ice cream.

    When the store reopens, the teddy bear hops back onto his shelf to endure another day of shopping in the hopes of getting picked among the other toys. Luckily, on this day, a customer picks the bear off the shelf, and in the next scene we see a little girl unwrap the bear on Christmas morning. As she hugs the bear, her joy radiates from the screen and the words, “holiday magic starts with believing” appear.

    By bringing a teddy bear to life, stores help recreate the appeal and warmth of teddy bears, making them inviting to children who already consider their stuffed animals as “alive.” The holidays are a time of magic and wonder, and using the classic teddy bear as an advertising tactic is a great way to show how old-fashioned toys still have their place in today’s digital world.

    To gift your own teddy bear magic this season, shop at The Zoo Factory. Let your children make their own stuffed animal with our stuffable animal kits. Each child will experience an instant connection with their new stuffed friend with a birth certificate, unstuffed animal, wishing star and stuffing instructions so they can bring their pal to life.

  • Surgeon Operates on Brave Teddy Bear

    Even young children can encounter life challenges, facing ups and downs as they go. From small disappointments to large growing pains, children too face many battles. However, going through difficult times feels easier when you have someone to go through it with.

    For many children, a favorite stuffed animal can help them get through tough situations, giving them confidence and bravery.

    For 8-year-old Jackson McKie that stuffed animal is “Little Baby,” a stuffed teddy bear bringing Jackson comfort in his battle with hydrocephalus. Hydrocephalus has resulted in a build-up of fluid in Jackson’s brain cavities, meaning he needs small tubes or shunts in his brain to drain the fluid and release pressure.

    As Jackson recently headed into surgery to get one of his shunts repaired, Little Baby was by his side ready to offer comfort after the procedure. However, Jackson noticed a small tear on Little Baby and asked his neurosurgeon, Dr. Daniel McNeely of IWK Health Centre, to fix up the stuffed animal during his own surgery. Dr. McNeely agreed and the little teddy bear was prepped for his operation.

    Little Baby remained brave, and on a small side table, Dr. McNeely, dressed in full scrubs, used leftover stitches to patch up Jackson’s friend. Both Little Baby and Jackson made full recoveries, healing side-by-side.

    Find your child their own brave companion at The Zoo Factory, where they can stuff, dress, and love a new lifelong friend.

  • The Healthy Aspects of Attachments to Stuffed Animals

    As a parent, it can become overwhelming to feel the judgements of other parents.  People will likely lecture you, specifically as your children grow, on what types of items your children should be growing out of.

    The Zoo Factory has highlighted how a child’s attachment to a stuffed animal is not as alarming as many parents believe.

    Children are Less Shy with Attachments to Objects

    When a child has an attachment to an object such as a teddy bear or blanket, they generally feel more brave and comfortable in uncomfortable situations.

    As children develop attachments to comforting objects, they will learn to interact in a comfortable manner. A child doesn’t receive any judgments from a teddy bear which is why children often view them as “friends” and gain a sense of security from them, regardless of their age.

    Increased Empathy in Social Situations

    As children establish bonds with comforting objects such as teddy bears, they learn how to handle transitions along with unfamiliar environments. When a child has the comfort of a stuffed animal, it usually increases their overall empathy and helps them to understand other people’s desire to feel comfort. Children care deeply about their stuffed animals which helps them develop a sense of empathy for people as well.

    As children grow into adolescence and adulthood, they will eventually let go of their beloved friend, but every child has their own schedule.

    Do you recall a stuffed animal or blanket that you were really attached to? You might still even have it somewhere! The Zoo Factory has a variety of stuffed animals that might just be your child’s new best friend for life.

  • Playing Dress-Up Offers Many Developmental Benefits

    Children often learn through play which has a direct effect on their development. The Zoo Factory encourages growth through play and as such, we love to explore it.

    We have highlighted a few ways that children can benefit from dressing up and letting their imagination run wild.

    See the World Through Other Viewpoints

    When children play dress-up, they learn valuable ways in which others contribute to our lives. Perhaps a child is playing the role of a mother and has a crying baby to nurture, or maybe they’re pretending to be a policeman and stopping “the bad guys.” This sense of imagination allows children to learn empathy through having to see alternative viewpoints and respond to them accordingly.

    Building Blocks for a Diverse Vocabulary

    When children play through dress-up, they begin to explore terms, phrases and words that are often inclusive to the role they are playing. These strengths can develop through hearing certain words in books and transferring them into the role they’re playing where children will eventually use them in daily conversations.

    Confidence Building

    For children, dressing up and having theatrical elements to their play can greatly impact their overall confidence. Self-expression is incredibly helpful when building self-confidence and this is just another way we can allow children to develop that skill. What child doesn’t feel on top of the world while dressed up as their favorite super hero?

    If your child loves playing dress up, consider purchasing some outfits for one of their Zoo Factory stuffed animals so that the two can play dress up together! Visit our website for a wide selection of outfits.

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