Not many 112-year-old toys enjoy the same popularity with children now as they did when they were first invented. But even today, kids and adults are comforted by their Teddy Bear friends.
And of course, picnics are classic American summer fun. What better way to celebrate this beloved toy than to spread out on a blanket in the sun?
Here are some fun ways to celebrate Teddy Bear Picnic Day:
Build excitement in advance. Begin by creating invitations with your child for friends and their Teddy Bears. Listen to Teddy Bears' Picnic, a melody by American composer John Walter Bratton, written in 1907 (as a side note, Irish songwriter Jimmy Kennedy added lyrics in 1932). This song led to the creation of Teddy Bear Picnic Day. Prepare food together as you discuss games and activities to play -- which can range from hide-and-seek with children and bears, to musical bear chairs, to outdoor story time with a classic book like The Bears' Picnic by Stan and Jan Berenstain.
Food. Food. Food! Kids love picnic foods, and Teddy Bear Picnic Day provides the opportunity to introduce them to packing the picnic basket. Juicy watermelon slices are a staple of any picnic, but for this special day, have fun with picnic classics! Make pasta salad with adorable bearshaped noodles. Jazz up your chocolate cookies by pressing a peanut butter cup into the center and five Smacks across the top to make a cute bear paw. Fill celery sticks with peanut butter and press raisins into the log and enjoy ants on a log like a real bear. Even sandwiches taste better when you roll them up and shape them into festive pinwheels.
Talk about the history. Did you know that President Theodore Teddy Roosevelt helped create one of Americas most beloved toys? On a Mississippi hunting trip in 1902, the President had been unsuccessful, so his guides tracked down an old bear. They tied it to a tree for him to shoot, but Teddy had a strong sense of right and wrong. He refused to shoot an animal under such unsportsmanlike conditions! Teddys actions inspired Morris Michtom, a New York candy shop owner, to name his wifes handmade toy bears "Teddy's bears." The rapid popularity of these stuffed animals led Michtom to make many more over the years.
These Teddy Bears and their descendants are celebrated on Teddy Bear Picnic Day -- so pull out the red and white checkered tablecloth and have a Bear-y good time on July 10th!