October 6, 2021 | Kristen Jordan
You may have heard at home about your child having a bear at school. The bears appeared in the classroom a couple of weeks ago and the children began to wonder about them.
It was exciting to notice that there were more and more bears around the room!
Soon enough, one child picked one up and decided to cuddle with it.
When wondering about what bears might be useful for, one child suggested, “When someone is sad or misses their mom, they could hold a bear.” After that, it was decided that everyone would like to have a bear of their own. So each child chose the bear that seemed best for them.
Everyone carefully chose a ribbon for their bear for easy identification. And children began to learn about and discuss taking care of their bears. The bears can be a great way to begin helping young children think about caring for something else (aka the beginnings of developing empathy). Most children have named their bears and it has been fun to hear the names they have chosen–From the very practical Bear, to the very imaginative Sparkle Cupcake.
Children have been playing with their bears in the drama area and elsewhere; wrapping, cuddling, and rocking their bears. They have prepared and served meals for their bears. A bear apartment has appeared (city kids and city bears!)
Sometimes young children are not yet ready to partake in things like standing up while the class sings their name, or jumping over the candlestick for the “Jack Be Nimble” rhyme, but the bears can stand in to help the children take part anyway. And sometimes it’s just plain fun to have your bear do the clapping, hand raising, or jumping!
The bears can help comfort children when they need it, and help them to understand and deal with feelings. The bears may also help children with transitions from home to school, as well as transitions during the school day.
Some children like to have them with them at all times and others are happy to only have their bear on occasion. You might ask your child about his or her bear and some of the activities that he or she does with the bear at school!