Anyone who’s grown up in a loving environment had at least one Teddy Bear in their lifetime. These amazing stuffed animals are almost like a universal icon of tenderness and childhood memories.
Not only Teddy Bears but all sorts of plush toys become kid’s best friends and share with them treasured memories that’ll stick with them well into their adult years.
In fact, a huge amount of adults admit to still having their favorite childhood stuffed animal laying around on their bed or still sleeping with them.
But what is the real meaning of this cute, fuzzy little creature? Do you know when and where were they invented? And how about the symbolic meaning of them and what they represent?
In this article we’ll discuss everything you need to know about Teddy Bears and all sorts of plush toys and which special occasions are perfect for giving them as gifts.
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What are stuffed animals
Stuffed animals (including Teddy Bears), are one of the most classic and beloved types of toys for babies and children alike.
Some plush toys talk, move, and have buttons to press and activate a function, but the main action to do with a stuffed animal is to cuddle, hug it and love it above all.
Stuffed animals are low-tech or no-tech at all. They’re ideal to comfort babies and children and they’re basically a kid’s very best friend.
Stuffed animals are soft creations that have an outside body made of soft and fuzzy fabric on the outside and are filled with cotton or soft and plush filling.
Plush toys are adorned with buttons, plastic eyes, a fluffy nose and several other details that make them look harmless and huggable.
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The history behind the classic Teddy Bear
Teddy Bears were first introduced into the world in the early 1900s. Story goes that American President Theodore Roosevelt -lovingly known as “Teddy”- was in Mississippi on a hunting trip with some friends.
They spotted a cub bear and encouraged Theodore to shoot it. He found the creature to be so adorable that he refused to shoot it and kill it.
This event and his feelings of compassion inspired a political cartoon for newspapers all over the country, which in 1902 inspired businessman Morris Michtom to create the very first stuffed bear called “Teddy’s Bear”.
This toy was an instant success and was soon created in all shapes, sizes, textures and colors; and around the same time German company called Steiff started designing Teddy Bears with movable joints.
A few years later, in the 1920s, the author A.A.Milne created a series of children's books based on his son’s stuffed bear and called him Winnie the Pooh. This made even more popular the figurine of the Teddy Bear and all sorts of plush toys alike.
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What’s the symbolic meaning of Teddy Bears
What’s the symbolic meaning of a Teddy Bear? These adorable and cuddly creations are ideal for babies, toddlers and children because they are the face of innocence and comfort. They are warm and the perfect way to protect children from scary situations or during sickness.
As we mentioned before, Teddy Bears are usually a kid’s very first friend; because -asides from the warm loving of their parents- they’re the first ones to offer them comfort and a much needed cuddle when it’s necessary.
When a baby is born, one of the very first gifts they receive are stuffed animals, because this way they can keep them around when they grow old and remind them of their good childhood.
In fact, several studies have shown that Teddy Bears and other plush toys usually accompany people to university, and even business people take their stuffed animals hiding in their luggage when they take long or short work trips.
Ways to use Teddy Bears or stuffed animals
Nowadays, Teddy Bears are as popular as they were when they were first created. This atemporal, classic creature will always wake up feelings of love and innocence in even the coldest of hearts. You can find anything from a “Get well soon” plush toy to the classic Valentine’s Teddy Bear.
Kids can benefit greatly from stuffed animals because they can learn basic values such as caring for others, sympathy, compassion, understanding and respect. Valentine’s Day stuffed animals, for example, are the universal symbol of love and gratitude towards your significant other.
There are people that even make a living taking Teddy Bears and other plush toys to hospitals and lend them to the sick and wounded as part of a therapy that’ll comfort them and help them feel better and loved for a while by a fuzzy little creature.
As you can see, Teddy Bears are much more than just simple plush toys that you see on store windows. These adorable creatures symbolize many positive feelings and they can be used in unimaginable ways.
Next time you want to buy a Teddy Bear, you’ll know everything that’s behind this adorable creature.