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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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Scientific Reasons Why Kids Love Stuffed Animals

Scientific Reasons Why Kids Love Stuffed Animals

Studies have shown that more than 50 percent of Americans are still hanging on to the teddy bears they had when they were growing up. The idea of keeping a stuffed animal for years on end might seem silly. However, there are actually scientific reasons why so many kids—and adults—love their stuffed animals so much.

Stuffed animals make kids feel safe

It’s human nature for kids to yearn for feelings of peacefulness and safety. Often times, they’re able to find those feelings in the arms of a teddy bear. Studies have shown that kids who spend a lot of time holding a stuffed animal tend to feel calmer and more secure than those who don’t.

Stuffed animals can help fill a void

The average stuffed animal can’t walk or talk. Nevertheless, they can help kids overcome psychological trauma and fill a void in their lives. They can also make kids feel like they have some control over the things happening in their lives since they’re able to use their imaginations with their stuffed animals.

Stuffed animals prompt affection and nurturing behavior

Stuffed animals, and teddy bears specifically, are built to have many of the same facial features and proportions as humans. So, when kids hug a teddy bear, it makes them feel like they are caring for their teddy as much as they believe their teddy cares for them. Even though this stuffed animal is an inanimate object, a bond is formed.

Would you like to give a teddy bear or another stuffed animal to a special child in your life? The Zoo Factory has countless options for you to choose from, including farm animals, wild animals, and more. Order yours today!

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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!

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How Teddy Bear Clinics Are Changing Doctors’ Appointments

Playing Doctor with Stuffed Animal

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!

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How the Teddy Bear Got Its Name

Teddy Bear with Ribbon

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!

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What the Color of Your Teddy Bear Means

A teddy bear can symbolize a variety of things such as love, loWhat the Color of Your Teddy Bear Means yalty, faith, growth, and happiness. A teddy bear can serve as a “get well card” or a heartfelt romantic gesture. Teddy bears come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors, and believe it not, the color of a teddy bear typically has a specific meaning associated with it.

Although we’d encourage you to simply pick the teddy bear simply you like the most, it’s fun to know what the color might mean:

Green

Shades of green often symbolize things such as growth, harmony, freshness, and fertility. Green represents a very strong emotional connection and is perfect for an expectant mother or someone that you have built a strong relationship with that you are hoping to develop into something more.

Red

A red teddy bear is a bold declaration of love, and if you want to make a statement about how much you love someone, a red bear is a sweet way to do so! The color red is representative of passion, desire, and never-ending love: a red teddy bear does a great job of showcasing that.

Brown

We absolutely adore a brown teddy bear. A brown teddy bear is the “go-to” classic teddy bear color which represents stability, support, and protection. If you just want to simply show someone that you care about them or provide a sweet source of comfort to a little one, a brown teddy bear is guaranteed to make someone smile.

Orange

An orange teddy bear is extremely unique and vibrant, and it stands out against most other bears. The color orange typically indicates happiness and enthusiasm. If your goal is to make someone smile, an orange teddy bear will give them instant energy and joy.

White

The color white is typically symbolic of peace, purity, innocence and good spirits. For someone that is seeking a new beginning, a white teddy bear is ideal. However, a white teddy bear is rumored to indicate that a relationship is just a friendship and nothing more, and usually does not indicate a romantic gesture.

Hoping to get someone special the perfect teddy bear? Visit The Zoo Factory for a variety of animals, outfits, and extras.

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The Importance of Teddy Bears to Police Officers

When most adults think of police officers, we think of strong, brave men and women who spend their days and nights protecting us and maintaining the law.The Importance of Teddy Bears to Police Officers

And in the eyes of our children police officers are the individuals that can provide you with help in any situation.

Whether a child gets separated from their mother at the park or is in the back seat of their parent’s minivan during a fender bender, it is almost always a police officer who is there to console them and make sure they are ok.

In situations like these, the tools that brave officer uses are rather different than the ones they carry on a day-to-day basis, with one of the most important ones being a teddy bear.

According to Brunswick Police Captain Angela Smith, “When a child is caught up in a tragic situation, a teddy bear can distract and calm them,” which is why the Brunswick Police Department and so many others across the country keep teddy bears and other stuffed animal on hand to help comfort children in the midst of frightening situations.

This January, the Brunswick Police Department was lucky enough to receive the generous gift of 250 teddy bears; each packed neatly in its own gift bag.

Donated by local resident Doris Carter and the insurance firm she represents, this gift will go far in helping both local children and officers.

We at The Zoo Factory are incredibly touched by this sweet story, and thankful for all the brave men and women driving through their town with a teddy bear tucked in the trunk of their police car, ready for a child in need!