When asked about your own favorite toy as a child, you might say a doll, a car, or maybe a construction set that kept you busy for hours. Curiously, most children choose a stuffed animal if asked that same question. Through the stuffed toy, children can express emotions and feelings they cannot otherwise do with words. The stuffed animal becomes the child’s alter-ego and confidant.
Children learn by playing and toys are the tools that allow them to process their constantly changing world. But stuffed animals have certain advantages over other types of toys. Allan Gansher, a play theorist and founder of Kids Inc., points out that children, knowing that stuffed animals represent something real, yet imaginary, help them explore their more complex emotions, such as jealousy.
When children play with teddy bears, children can practice the social skills they have learned. You, as parents, can actually ask a question of the stuffed bear, and the child will answer for their beloved toy. For example, if you ask the bear what made Jamie cry, the child, still sniffling, may answer in the bear’s imaginary voice. How valuable for parents!
Two- and three-year-olds get easily frustrated and end up having temper tantrums because they still haven’t figured out why their emotions can become so intense. Just like doctor Phil Donahue suggests, children through role-playing, learn to manage their emotions and it allows them to communicate their own feelings.
So, the purpose of Chef Cappy’s sous chef bears and student chef puppets is to give young children an avenue for expressing their emotions both in and outside of the kitchen environment. When your child is getting impatient waiting for his turn to participate in the recipe, you might say, “James, would you ask Sous Chef Marvin to sit quietly for just one more minute?” Voila! The child immediately transfers his impatience from himself to the stuffed bear and you may even observe a conversation taking place between your child and the bear until it is his turn to stir or empty ingredients into the bowl.
Chef Cappy’s Kitchen – STEM facts and healthy recipes for family fun – Holiday Favorites edition features a friendly bear throughout the book, stirring, sifting, and simply watching. It is an integral part of the Chef Cappy’s Kitchen process. Join the fun and order your bear/book combo today to enjoy during the summer months and beyond!
According to poet Pam Brown, “In a world gone bad, a bear – even a bear standing on its head – is a comforting, uncomplicated, dependable hunk of sanity.” Maybe we need some adult versions of the immortal Teddy bear!