Dance Exploration uses Teddy Bears in a lot of our Curriculum! Mommy, Teddy Bear and Me, Teddy Bear and Me, and Teddy Bear Hip Hop! That’s because we’ve done extensive research on the social impact Teddy Bears have with kids (and adults!). Kids LOVE Teddy Bears! Anytime we have a child who may be afraid to separate from mom, we give them a teddy bear.

What is is about teddy bears that have such a calming affect on kids?

Did you know that Teddy Bears were invented around the time Theodore Roosevelt (also known as Teddy) was President? This happened after Teddy refused to shoot a bear on a hunting trip in 1902. Around this time a man named Morris Mitchom produced a stuffed bear which he called “Teddy’s Bear.” The rest was history, soon Teddy Bears were on every shelf and have been a favorite toy for both children and adults!

Dance Exploration | Denver Dance Program | Blog | The Social Impact of Teddy Bears

So why do children (and adults) love Teddy Bears?

Numerous studies and research show that stroking a teddy bear’s fur can be very therapeutic. Most adults find teddy bears are not only constant reminders of their childhood, but also the bear itself can often remind them of the person who gave them the bear. One psychologist, Corrine Sweet, says “it evokes a sense of peace, security and comfort. It’s human nature to crave these feelings from childhood to adult life” (Llorens, 2012). An additional study (Jarrett, 2011) shows that touching a teddy bear can lessen the adverse psychological effects of social exclusion and reduce stress – which is why teddy bears are often times given to trauma victims. Police, fire and rescue workers are given teddy bears to use as tools when helping scared, lost and traumatized children.

Studies in Adults

One study (Thai, Zheng and Narayanan, 2011) shows that Touching a Teddy Bear Mitigates Negative Effects of Social Exclusion to Increase Prosocial Behavior. In this study, they found that adults who were socially excluded and touched a teddy bear were more prosocial than those who just looked at the teddy bear from a distance.

Dance Games with your Teddy Bears

We want to encourage all of our Dance Exploration families to grab your teddy bears this week and play some fun dance games at home! Cuddle and dance with your bear to lift your spirits this week!

Song: Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear Turn Around

Dance Exploration | Denver Dance Program | Blog | The Social Impact of Teddy Bears

Hold your Teddy Bear’s Hands
Teddy Bear Teddy Bear Turn Around: Spin in a Circle holding your bear’s hands
Teddy Bear Teddy Bear Touch the Ground: Bend down and sit your Teddy Bear on the Ground
Teddy Bear Teddy Bear Show your Shoes: Practice your Piqués (toe taps)
Teddy Bear Teddy Bear Go Upstairs: Lift your arms up holding your Teddy Bear above your head and march –

big high knees
Teddy Bear Teddy Bear Say your Prayers: Big yawn and stretch
Teddy Bear Teddy Bear Turn off the Lights: Kneel Down
Teddy Bear Teddy Bear Say Good Night: Go night night and lay down cuddling your teddy bear

Song: Teddy Bear’s Picnic
Can you catch your Teddy Bears having a Picnic? Have mom or dad hide the Teddy Bears and go on an adventure finding them.
Practice your dance moves: tip toe walks, gallops, marches, skips etc.
When you find your Teddy Bears, sit down and join them on their picnic. Straddle your legs (split stretch). Pretend to eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, drink lemonade and eat strawberries!

Dance Exploration | Denver Dance Program | Blog | The Social Impact of Teddy Bears

Song: Teddy Bear Hug
Freeze Dance!
Play the song, hold your Teddy Bear and dance however you like. When mom or dad stops the music be sure to freeze!

Share your Dance at Home adventures with us on our Facebook Page!

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