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Playing with toy bears

Bears are special 

The brown bear is one of the most famous animals, and it can be found on all continents in the northern hemisphere. It has been with us for such a long time that it has populated the folklore, literature and art of many nations. Besides, natural history has so much to teach us about the brown bear. All these discoveries and creations can be used to enrich children’s play and help build skills and knowledge that will be essential for future academic success. 

It is easy to learn about them

Bears are creatures that fascinate both children and adults, so parents and teachers will not be bored by the time they spend to learn about bears so that they can introduce children to these animals. There are many books about the lives, habitats and behavior of bears, but if you want to save time doing research about them, you can simply go through the well organized Wikipedia page about brown bears and read the most important parts. We believe that the ones of most interest and value to children are “Behavior and life history” and “Relationship with humans”. Of course, we do not recommend reading to children directly from the page but just jotting down the main points and then relating them to children. You can even engage your children in creating little books about the life of brown bears. 

Well, are bear lives really that fascinating and why should we learn about them?

Studying the lives of bears introduces children to so many different topics that go beyond the subject of bears – they learn about animal lives and nature in general. Bear lives are an excellent way to focus on seasons and how nature changes with them, how living creatures are affected. Bears are animals that are engaged in different activities during  different seasons, and they have different food available, etc. 

They face challenges in both their natural habitats and outside them as they venture close to where people live, and human activity affects them in both environments. 

Besides, bears are very intelligent creatures and they do not just follow instincts but have the capacity to learn and teach. Studying their lives will prompt children to think about their own learning and relationships with family. 

Art, folklore and literature matter too

Morning in the Pine Forest by Ivan Shishkin

Engaging with toy bears could help open doors to art, folklore, and literature, and these, in turn, help children enrich their play and come up with even more scenarios to enact. 

Many people in western countries will immediately think of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears”, while we, having grown up in the east will think of “Masha and the Bear” – a traditional Russian tale. Some of you might have watched the popular animated series featuring these characters and going far beyond the original story. Here is a link to the English version of the animated series if you are interested in the adventures of the mischievous girl named Masha, who lives in the forest with a bear father figure. It is so worth checking out the very old animated version of the tale and get a feel of the beautiful slow style of old Russian animation. Here is a link to a video with English subtitles

More of our literature bear favourites are featured in the tale “Snow-White and Rose-Red” by the brothers Grimm, “Winnie the Pooh”, the classical novel of A. A. Milne featuring the little sanguine philosopher bear and its friends.

We would like to introduce you to a not-so-famous, especially in the English speaking world, novel “Bears’ Famous Invasion of Sicily” by Italian author Dino Buzzati. It is worth reading this wonderful review to get a better idea of it. We strongly recommend it as a read to children above 5, especially to parents who appreciate beautiful and not-so-simple vocabulary and style. 

Bears in myth and folklore

Bears are part of the folklore tradition of many peoples in the northern hemisphere – Baltic and other Finnic people’s mythologies, Slavic, Norse, etc. Here are some Native American legends. Adults interested in the subject might wish to check this informative article

Our wooden toy bears

Our adult bear is a popular toy, and today she has just had a baby, which we are proud to show in our shop as an addition to our baby animal collection

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