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How Children Benefit from Playing with Teddy Bears

child playing with teddy bear on floor

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 is a stuffed teddy bear. And looking back on your own childhood, one of your fondest friends was probably a stuffed animal as well.

Why? It may have to do with the 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.

Practicing life skills

Playing with teddy bears and other stuffed animal friends allows our children to practice the 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.

Inspire learning

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 the habitat it resides in in the wild!

Searching for a new stuffed animal for your child? Why not make the introduction of their new friend even more exciting by letting them stuff their teddy bear all on their own? Here at The Zoo Factory we offer a wide variety of stuffable animals, along with clothing and party packages for birthdays and other special events!

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Tips on Hosting a Teddy Bear Tea Party

Outdoor photo of teddy bear sitting at yard and having english breakfast

There are few things in the world as beautiful as the imagination of a child. If your child is eager to imagine, embrace it!

A great way to encourage imaginative play, which can come with various benefits, is to help your child throw a teddy bear tea party. Here are a few ways to get started:

Think As a Child

In order to start preparing for a teddy bear tea party, it is important to get into the mind of your child. Allow your child to inspire you. Sit down with your child and help them brainstorm party ideas. Make sure you listen to them, consider which ideas you can truly make happen for them. For example, if they want to serve chicken fingers, embrace it!

Maybe they want a party complete with fancy dresses and top hats, or a more casual tea party with pajamas and a few favorite books. Don’t forget to invite a few favorite teddy bears to the brainstorming session; after all, the party is for them!

Do the Work Together

Consider letting your child “host” their teddy bear tea party which will give them an opportunity to prepare for something. Take a trip to your favorite store to choose some affordable decorations. Use markers and papers at home to create several invitations. Let your child help you prepare a simple cookie recipe and assign them the job of “head taste tester.”

Before the party begins, let your child go get ready for their party as you take care of the final touches.

Be Sure to Celebrate

Don’t be afraid to let yourself go and join in on the fun. Once you and your child have prepared the party, it’s time to sit down with their favorite teddy bear friends and take it all in. Watch them imagine and simply follow their lead. Most of all, don’t forget to capture a few photos of what will certainly be a priceless memory. Free yourself up to completely dive into your child’s world and enjoy, you’ll be glad you did.

Hoping to expand the guest list? Visit The Zoo Factory for all different kinds of animals eager to come to the next tea party!

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Why Do We Give Teddy Bears as Presents for Valentine’s Day?

teddy bear in gift bag for valentine's day

On Valentine’s Day, we want to show our partners just how much we love them. We plan a romantic dinner, get dressed up, and then pick out the perfect gifts. The standard Valentine’s Day gifts always include flowers, chocolates, and, of course, teddy bears. But why, exactly, do we give our partners teddy bears on Valentine’s Day? Read on to learn more:

They’re cute and cuddly

Ever since their invention in 1902, teddy bears have been beloved by Americans. They’re cute and cuddly and make the perfect gift for those we love. Because of these attributes, they immediately win the hearts of children and adults alike. Everyone smiles when they see a teddy bear, and while they’re often associated with children, their cuteness and cuddliness can easily translate into a romantic gesture for adults.

They’re long-lasting

Flowers last for a few weeks, and chocolate a few hours, but a teddy bear can last a lifetime. Your partner will always be reminded of your love for years to come. Plus, teddy bears can withstand quite a bit. Even if your partner decides to sleep with their new teddy, you can trust that the bear will last a long time.

They provide comfort

Much research has been done on the comforting and calming effects of stuffed animals. Even as adults, we find a sense of comfort from our teddy bears. Add in the fact that you will be giving the teddy bear and your partner will always find comfort and calm from this gift.

If you’re looking for the perfect teddy bear to give your loved one this Valentine’s Day, look no further than The Zoo Factory! Look through our website to get started!

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The Top 3 Most Popular Fictional Bears

little girl reading to her teddy bear

Each of us remembers when we were young and had a stuffed animal that was our best friend. We also remember the many fictional bears that we read about in books or saw on the TV. Many famous fictional bears were a crucial part of our childhood, establishing our love for teddy bears for years to come. Below are three of the most popular fictional bears from years’ passed.

Winnie the Pooh

Why do we continue to love Winnie the Pooh so much? Maybe it’s his boyish charm, or his innate ability to love his friends (Christopher Robin, Piglet, even Eeyore) no matter what. Or maybe it’s the chance that he’ll likely fall into a jar of honey at least once while you’re watching. Since he premiered in the 1920s, Winnie the Pooh has captivated young audiences. And for good reason. In fact, a movie titled “Christopher Robin” was just released in theaters highlighting Winne the Pooh and his friends in 2018.

Paddington Bear

We recently found out that one day, a man named Michael Bond took shelter from the snow, and laid his eyes on a teddy bear at a store nearby Paddington Station, in London. He purchased the bear for his wife and was then inspired to write his first book featuring the character, Paddington Bear, a duffel-coat-wearing teddy who migrates from Peru to London to start a new life. He also loves marmalade sandwiches. The books written about this beloved bear eventually sold over 30 million copies.

Yogi

Ayyyy, Boo-Boo! A Warner Bros. classic, we had to give a mention to Yogi the Bear, who, along with his sidekick Boo-Boo, are on the hunt for picnic baskets, and fun. Yogi first appeared in 1958 on a show titled “The Huckleberry Hound Show” and his success spiraled from there. He was known to be “smarter than the average bear.”

These are just some of the fictional bears that we’ll remember forever, many of which continue to create new audiences with feature films, cartoons, and books alike.

At The Zoo Factory, we’re proud to offer an extensive selection of make-your-own stuffed animals. With dozens of fun, soft animals to choose from, your child can pick out his or her new favorite friend and toy.

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How a Teddy Bear Might Help Your Child Sleep

Little boy sleeping with teddy bear

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.

Creating a bedtime routine

Research has shown that teddy bears can 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.

A source of comfort

Teddy bears can not only help create a bedtime routine, but they can also provide a source of comfort. After all, who wouldn’t feel at ease curling up in bed with their favorite teddy? This is especially helpful for kids that deal with nightmares, as a teddy bear can keep them calm and hopefully keep the nightmares away.

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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How Teddy Bears Help with Alzheimer’s and Childhood Trauma

How Teddy Bears Help with Alzheimer's and Childhood Trauma

Teddy bears are used in children’s hospitals, senior living homes, and by psychologists as therapeutic tools which help our minds cope with life events and circumstances. These soft and cuddly animals make for great collector’s items and even cute decorations, but they can also impact people’s lives for the better. Research has shown that teddy bears can help individuals cope with Alzheimer’s and childhood trauma. Learn more below:

Healing Childhood Trauma

If a person struggles with their worth or feels unlovable, it’s because something created these core beliefs very early. Childhood trauma is usually the culprit and when left ignored, it festers into a broken adulthood.

So how do you deal with childhood trauma in adulthood? You must first deal with the inner child, which a teddy bear is representative of. Adults can use their new companion to represent how they wanted to be treated as a child.

This behavior of treating the teddy bear as an actual child should be on-going for changes to take effect. This may feel strange at first, but it helps the adult learn how to nurture others, feel less alone, and realize that self-care is important.

Therapy for Alzheimer’s

Sometimes the simplest things can bring pleasure to someone. Teddy bears give Alzheimer’s patients something to love and cherish and even take care of. It’s a great tool to help the patient connect with their world and feel a part of it.

If the patient has trouble relating with other people, dramatic play is a great way to foster that connection and relate in a meaningful way. For some, the teddy bear alone is helpful and gives them something to “talk” to.

Others like to care for the bear as they would a baby and give it a lot of affection. For some seniors, this fulfills their day and gives them a sense of responsibility.

We hope the next time you look at a teddy bear, you’ll see that it can be used as more than just a child’s toy. At the Zoo Factory, we have a wide variety of 8 and 16 inch bears and other stuffed animals for bulk sale. We also have a selection of outfits that can enhance the therapy experience for you.

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The Story Behind ‘The Teddy Bears’ Picnic’ Song

“If you go down in the woods today, you’re sure of a big surprise
If you go down in the woods today, you’d better go in disguise
For every bear that ever there was will gather there for certain
Because today’s the day the teddy bears have their picnic…”

If you find yourself singing along to these lyrics, then you’re certainly not the only one. “The Teddy Bears’ Picnic” has been a hit with all ages for over 100 years. First written in 1907, this song represents the love each generation has for our stuffed teddy bears.

“The Teddy Bear Two-step”

The very first teddy bear was made in 1902, and they soon took the nation by storm. They were so popular, in fact, that they became inspiration for books and, eventually, songs. In 1907, John W. Bratton, an American composer, wrote “The Teddy Bear Two-step.” This version had no lyrics, but it nevertheless gained traction among the American public. In fact, one of the first recordings of the song occurred in 1907 by the Black Diamond Band.

The Lyrics

It took nearly thirty years until lyrics were added to “The Teddy Bear Two-Step.” Written by Irish songwriter Jimmy Kennedy in 1932, this is the version that we know and love today. It was renamed “The Teddy Bears’ Picnic,” and it was first recorded by Henry Hall and His Orchestra, with the vocals done by Val Rosing. The song went on to be covered by several other famous singers including Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, and Anne Murray.

So, if you plan on going down to the woods today, make sure you bring along your friend teddy bear. Here at The Zoo Factory, we have plenty of teddy bears that are sure to enjoy their teddy bear picnic. Look through our inventory or contact us today for more information.

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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.

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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.

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How Children Benefit from Playing with Teddy Bears

Girl Hugging white Teddy Bear

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!