Wednesday, July 8, 2015


(Actually, it’s July 10th, but I’ll be traveling then and I thought it was such a delightful holiday I wanted to tell you about it.) 
Everybody loves teddy bears, and everybody should have a teddy bear. So where did this love affair with teddy bears begin? President Theodore Roosevelt was a hunter. While hunting in Mississippi in 1902, he refused to shoot a small bear. The Washington Post published a story about it and illustrated the event with this cartoon.

Brooklyn candy shop owner, Morris Michtom, saw the cartoon and asked his wife to make two stuffed toy bears to go in his shop window. After asking permission from President Roosevelt, he called them “Teddy’s bears.” Eventually Michtom started the Ideal Novelty and Toy Company.

About the same time a German named Margaret Steiff was making her living by sewing stuffed animals. An American saw a stuffed bear she had made and ordered many of them. These bears also came to be known as Teddy Bears…and that’s how the whole thing started.

I know most of you aren’t teaching at the moment, but wouldn’t it be fun to have a Teddy Bear Picnic and Parade when school starts? Every child could bring their favorite teddy bear and introduce him/her to their classmates. (Encourage them to name their bear and explain why they love their bear.)

*Let children draw pictures and write stories about their bears.

*Use a Venn diagram to compare and contrast real bears and stuffed bears.

*Play “build a bear” which is similar to hang man. Think of a word and then make blanks for the letters in the word. As children call out letters, write them on the lines. If they call out a letter not in the word begin drawing a bear (body, head, ears, etc.).

*Make a teddy bear sandwich. You’ll need a cookie cutter shaped like a teddy bear. Cut out the bread and then decorate with cream cheese, peanut butter, or your favorite topping.  Use raisins, chocolate chips, etc. to decorate.

*Let children make teddy bears from play dough. 

Peanut butter play dough makes cute bears you can eat.  (Mix 2 TB smooth peanut butter, 1 tsp. honey, and 2 TB instant dry milk in a bowl.  Stir until smooth.)

This is a delightful youtube video of Anne Murray singing about the Teddy Bears’ Picnic:

If you have a child, this would be a great day to make a picnic, grab your teddy bear, and find a shady tree. Actually, any day would be a good day for a picnic with a teddy bear!