Let's be honest, hands up who still has a beloved teddy bear that we have kept and cherished over the years? A teddy that has grown with us and becomes a reminder of love stories, childhood adventures and fond memories...
Bet you put your hand up with the rest of us!
Teddy Bears have been in modern production since 1902, and these soft, comfortingly squishy companions are perfect for all ages. From celebrating a newborn, a child's favourite toy to a nostalgic sentiment from a loved one, bears have been around to help commemorate the simplest to most significant of moments!
Our love affair with teddies doesn't begin and end in the early years of our lives. Studies have shown that a favourite teddy often accompanies students to university, businessmen will quietly hide one away in their suitcase when travelling away from home with work, and teddies provide comfort and memories to those in retirement. But what makes them so enduringly popular and what are the benefits of teddy bears to children and adults?
Keep reading and discover them with us…
1. A Satisfying Night’s Sleep
Did you know that 44% of adults have held onto their childhood teddies, and as many as 34% of adults still sleep with a soft toy every night? Teddy bears provide emotional comfort, a sense of security and can reduce negative feelings, such as loneliness and anxiety. As a child or adult, having a cuddly toy to snuggle with is a natural part of many night-time routines and there is a proven link between this emotional comfort and feeling calm and well-rested in the morning. As shown in the research, sleep and stress do not mix well, so maybe it’s time to bring out a bear once in a while when you are struggling to snooze!
2. Confidence & Self-Esteem
A teddy bear is a traditional and timeless toy and is often given as a keepsake to a young child. People see them as an important part of growing up because they provide comfort and companionship, a friend to talk to, and it’s not just children who benefit from the positive effects of a comforting teddy bear squeeze.
According to a study in Amsterdam, findings show that even touching an inanimate object — such as a teddy bear — can soothe existential fears or ease low-self esteem. Regardless of age, comfort objects can remind us of home, heart-warming memories, or just provide a familiarity that makes us feel safe.
3. Stimulating Imagination and Helping Us Dream
Isn’t it nice to forget about adult worries for a while and to bring out childlike playfulness again!
As children we enjoyed giving our teddies a name and, in our minds, we created a whole persona for them. Teddy bears have a depth of character and in playing with one a child brings that to life. The bear helps to stimulate and develop imagination.
Today millions of teddies are sold every year and given as gifts or made to commemorate special events or occasions. Children often get bored easily with trendy themed or electronic toys, because they have limitations, but there are no limits to how you can play with a teddy bear. It’s a blank canvas for a child and the special relationship that develops with that bear can endure for a lifetime.
4. A Friend To Do Life With
When children play with teddy bears and other stuffed animal friends, they are learning and practising a huge range of skills very valuable in life. Children engaging in roleplay with teddies is a great example of this. Soon a little one can learn about daily routines such as brushing their teeth, getting ready for school and more with the help of a teddy bear by their side!
Teddy bears also aid socialisation for children. With a range of ways to play with a teddy bear come awesome opportunities to learn good behaviour. Whether your child is having a tea party with their favourite stuffed animals or is sitting quietly in class next to a fluffy bear – the potential is endless. Bears can help children understand taking turns, sharing and empathising with others. Most importantly, a teddy bear can help with making new friends! Bringing a teddy to play-dates can give your child a conversation or game starter, a confidence boost and reassurance as their best friend is with them.
5. Promoting Emotional Wellbeing
We face a lot of new and scary situations in life that can bring the feeling of fear or nerves in all of us – the dentist being a great example for children AND adults! The waiting rooms can feel tense and ominous, and it is important that your child does not grow up holding onto these fears.
As previously mentioned, having a cuddly friend with you can build a feeling of security and comfort – which is great practice for learning coping mechanisms. These anxieties can be felt on the first day of school or when moving house, meeting new people and so on. A teddy is a great support in all these situations! Finally, and very importantly, we feel that owning a teddy bear is a form of self-care. It’s like having a giant stress ball, someone who understands us and is always with us.
Go ahead, dig your bear out from the back of the cupboard or from under your bed and give that ted a big squeeze! If you’re in need of a bear we can help you out with that too . Have a great week ahead!