Sheila has worked as a parent educator for eight years. She has also been an elementary school teacher and a children's author.
Unpack Your Imagination
Take Your Teddy Bear on a Picnic!
Children everywhere love teddy bears, and who wouldn't enjoy having a picnic with a favorite bear? A teddy bear can take on its own personality, especially after having been loved and dragged around by a little person. When I was a child, my teddy bear's name was Fuzzy Wuzzy -- appropriate because his hair really was loved off in patches! Do you remember your Teddy Bear?
Do you still have one?
Come on, let's go on a picnic. Grab a few snacks (Teddy Grahams and gummy bears would be good for dessert), and a blanket, and let's go! Oh, and don't forget to bring Teddy along!
Henry Hall and His Orchestra Performs "The Teddy Bear's Picnic" - Sung by Val Rosing
The Teddy Bears' Picnic is a song that has been sung and loved by generations. The melody was composed by John Walter Bratton in 1907 and the lyrics were added by Jimmy Kennedy in 1932. That was the year Henry Hall and His Orchestra recorded the song (EMI SH 172), which was sung by Val Rosing. You can hear this recording in the version below.
This older version of the song is accompanied by images of teddy bears.
Everyone Needs a Teddy Bear
In case your teddy bear has gotten, uhm, lost in the woods, a vintage bear could become a new friend for you or for a child you know. A bear friend is an essential part of a teddy bear's picnic. But of course, you know that.
If You Go Down to the Woods Today, You're Sure of a Big Surprise! - If You Go Down to the Woods Today, You'd Better Go in Disguise!
I don't know about you, but when I was a child, some of the words in the song "The Teddy Bear's Picnic" were mysterious to me. Going into the woods in disguise seemed exotic and a little scary. If you wear a mask while walking in between the trees, for instance, would't you trip on the tree roots or on some stray rocks? Would you really be able to see where you were going, and would you get hopelessly lost? These were thoughts I had at the time. I think I'd still be worried about some of those things.
Taking a Bear for a Walk
For Every Bear That Ever There Was - Will Gather There for Certain Because
Will my teddy bear -- you know the one that sits on my bed while I am busy playing with other things -- escape and take off into the woods? Will he get lost before he finds his teddy friends? Will I ever see him again or will he come home safe and sound before dinner?
I will have to check his paws for signs of moss and soil. Or maybe he was clever enough to wash them in a puddle on the way home. Hmmm, are they still wet?
The Beach Is a Great Place for a Picnic
Today's the Day the Teddy Bears Have Their Picnic! - Hey, Roosevelt, Is That You?
Some people claim that Theodore Roosevelt still goes to meet picnicking teddy bears all across the United States in his free moments.
What Was the Origin of the Teddy Bear? - Teddy Bear Controversy
As an American, I learned that teddy bears first became popular after Theodore (Teddy), Roosevelt, the 26th president of the United States, attending a bear hunt in Mississippi in 1902, came upon a wounded bear and ordered a mercy killing of the creature. The Washington Post published an editorial cartoon about the event, a NY manufacturer started producing toy bears called "teddy bears" in honor of the president, and the rest is history.
While surfing the web, I came across the story of a German woman named Margarete Steiff (1847 - 1909). She supposedly created the first toy bear from mohair and the teddy bear was born.
Most likely, both stories are true, though the name "teddy" must come from the President.
What do you think?
Who do you credit with the creation of the teddy bear?
The Teddy Bears Are Having a Lovely Time Today! - Picnicking Teddies
All silliness aside, a picnic with your teddy bear or a group of teddy bears would be a fun activity for young children. Of course, it would be even more fun if the children made the snacks or lunch ahead of time and decided what to bring and where to have the picnic.
A picnic could take place in the backyard, at a local park, or even in the playroom. The fun is in preparing for it and in acting it all out. Even if the final destination is another room in your house, you can pretend to walk through the woods and over meadows and even across rivers on your way there. Singing the song as you go would heighten the fun.
When you get to where your picnic will take place, you can spread out your cloth, set up the teddy bears and divvy out the treats. You could sing the song altogether one more time and even let your bears nap after eating.
Lots of People Have Sung "The Teddy Bears' Picnic." - Which Is Your Favorite?
Anne Murray Sings
My kids grew up listening to Anne Murray's version of "The Teddy Bear's Picnic." This song comes from her children's album called "There's a Hippo in My Tub."
When I was a little girl, the version of the song I heard was sung by Rosemary Clooney. (Wasn't she George's aunt?)
My sisters and I listened to her album over and over again. We learned the song by heart and worried about the bears' underwear.
Lots of us thought the words, "Watch them, catch them unawares" went something like this: Watch them catch their underwears.
Oh, was I the only one who thought that?
At Six O'Clock Their Mommies and Daddies Will Take Them Home to Bed
Because They're Tired Little Teddy Bears!
There's nothing like having an outing in the fresh air and getting so tired out that Mommies and Daddies must scoop you up in their arms and carry you home to snuggle into a cozy bed!
Teddy Bears' Picnic - Sing along and Learn the Teddy Bears Picnic Song!
Here are a few more "Teddy Bears' Picnic" performances for you to enjoy. Karaoke, anyone?
Activities to Stretch the Experience
After having your own teddy bears' picnic, you may want to continue the theme with some additional fun.
Here's a pop-up book and a sticker book with the teddy bear picnic theme.
Teddy Bears Are Theraputic
Nothing Like a Bear Hug!
If you've ever visited a nursing home, you have probably seen teddy bears in many of the residents' rooms. That should come as no surprise. Many of us enjoy teddy bears our whole life long.
Teddy bears can often be found in emergency rooms and pediatric wards, in the offices of child counselors and in the homes of our friends. Children often confide their secrets and their heartbreaks to their teddy bears. If you told secrets to your teddy bear as a child, you more likely than not still have a teddy bear in your life, perhaps propped up on your pillow in your bedroom, or maybe just stuffed into a box in your basement collecting dust.
Now that you have learned the words (finally!) to "The Teddy Bears' Picnic," why not release that poor bear from his basement prison and treat him to a picnic on your front lawn? I'll bet all your neighbours will drag their stuffed bears out from under their beds or an attic trunk and join you in a chorus or two. Heck, maybe they'll even crack out some cheese and crackers and share them with your teddy and with you, of course, if you're nice.
Teddy Bears -- Are They Only for Children? - How Old Did You Say You Were?
Do You Think Adults Who Have Teddy Bears Are Strange?
Now It's Your Turn
What do you think about teddy bears? Have you ever given one as a present? Have you ever received one as a present? What was your teddy bear's name?
Or, if you prefer, just say "hi."
© 2010 Sheilamarie
Thanks for Visiting My Teddy Bears Picnic Lens! - Please Leave Me a Message
Sheilamarie (author) from British Columbia on July 11, 2012:
@Anna2of5: Teddy bears are often associated with strong memories. I'm glad you still have that Teddy Bear!
Anna2of5 on July 11, 2012:
Hi that teddy bear I wrote about earlier was my only Christmas present that year, aside from getting my family back that year. My little brother received a train set. One of my best Christmases ever.
Cynthia Sylvestermouse from United States on February 21, 2012:
Oh, I love teddy bears and a teddy bear picnic sounds like a lot of fun :)
tssfacts on April 08, 2011:
What a delightful article. I have several teddy bears. I lost the one I had when I was growing up. I made up for it as an adult. I am still a kid at heart.
ohcaroline on March 14, 2011:
I don't remember any bears from my childhood...though I would have loved to have one.
LouiseKirkpatrick from Lincolnshire, United Kingdom on September 15, 2010:
My bear is called Fred and he was given to me by my Dad when I was a baby - I suspect he was bigger than I was then!...I still have him *cough* years later! :)
JoyfulPamela2 from Pennsylvania, USA on September 15, 2010:
My sweet hubby gave me a cute bear one year for Valentine's Day - the kids named him Bandit. They play with him, but know that it is "Mom's Teddy Bear"! : )
Sheilamarie (author) from British Columbia on May 29, 2010:
Mine was called "Fuzzy Wuzzy." He was almost bald, true to his name, I guess from being loved a lot. He had a tiny music box inside that played "Rock-a-bye Baby."