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How do Comfort Objects and Transitional Objects Help your Child’s Development?


Stuffed animals, soft toys, teddy bears, dolls, pacifiers and security blankets are all comfort objects that offer emotional support and can do more than just help young children fall asleep.

Here we’ll explore how these soft and cuddly friends are so essential for a child’s development.

What is a Transitional Object?

A comfort object, also called a transitional object can be a stuffed animal, soft toy, teddy bear, doll or security blanket. It’s an item that is used to provide psychological comfort, during new or uncomfortable situations or at bedtime for children. These huggable, snuggly toys are often given nicknames and are used to soothe the child during a transitional phase and can often become a child’s best friend.

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The Role in Child Development

In childhood development these transitional objects take the place of the mother-child bond. Comforting items can give the child a sense of security and peace of mind when the mother is not around. These comforting objects essentially become an emotional support system, offering reassurance to a child facing separation anxiety or an uncertain situation. Meeting a new babysitter, going to daycare or preschool, sleeping in a new bed and other new experiences are all common situations whereby a transitional object can help comfort and soothe the child.

Dr. Donald Woods Winnicott was a pediatrician and psychoanalyst that coined the term ‘transitional object’ in 1953. Dr. Winnicott wanted parents and caregivers to understand how truly meaningful comfort objects were to a child and their development. The doctor drew attention to the importance of a child choosing their own transitional object, and explained that a comfort object represents a connection between the mother or primary caregiver and the external world.

The use of a transitional object may seem insignificant in a child’s play, but is a really an important tool in child development.

Practical Tips for Using a Comfort Object

A comfort or transitional object can be used with children as early as 4-6 months of age or as late as 2-3 years of age.

You can encourage a healthy relationship with your child’s chosen comfort object by placing it near your child whenever they are feeling upset or anxious.

When your child begins to turn to the comfort object for a sense of security and comfort, remember that it’s a healthy move towards independence. Your child is learning that they can feel safe in the world even when the parent or caregiver isn’t around. Some see the child clinging to a comfort object as a sign of weakness or insecurity, but in reality it’s a healthy sign of independence and emotional development.

If it’s possible, own two of your child’s comfort object. If the item needs washing, you have another clean one available to comfort your little one. Similarly, if it gets lost or misplaced, you have a spare on hand to ease the pain.

Never take away a child’s comfort object as a form of punishment if they misbehave. This will only cause the child more anxiety.

Don’t be concerned if your child keeps their comfort object longer than you expect necessary. Adults all over the world hold onto their childhood toys, dolls, stuffed animals and security blankets. A Build-A-Bear Workshop study in 2017 revealed that four in ten Americans still sleep with a teddy bear at night.

Comfort Objects in Pop Culture

The security blanket became popular with the character, Linus van Pelt, who carried around his ‘security and happiness blanket’ in the Peanuts comic strip featuring Charlie Brown and Lucy, created by Charles M. Schultz.

Comfort objects have appeared regularly in children’s entertainment over the years. Igglepiggle is a blue teddy bear like creature from the preschool children’s television In the Night Garden that carries around a red blanket wherever he goes. Peppa Pig‘s little brother, George, often seeks comfort from his dinosaur toy in his possession, called ‘Mr. Dinosaur’.

Sesame Street’s autistic character, Julia, loves her stuffed toy named Fluffster and is often comforted by the bunny rabbit doll, especially when she’s feeling anxious or upset. In the Sesame Street film, The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland, Elmo loves his fuzzy blue blanket more than anything, and when it’s stolen he sets out on an epic adventure to retrieve his cherished blanket.

In the movie, The Producers, Leo Bloom keeps himself calm from panic attacks, carrying his childhood blue blanket everywhere he goes.

As you can see comfort objects are widely used in society and serve an important purpose in the development of children.

Teddy Bears

Teddy Bears in Pop Culture: Teddy Ruxpin, Super Ted, Rupert Bear, Gummi Bears & More


Since its creation by toymakers Morris Michtom and Richard Steiff in the early years of the 20th century, the teddy bear has inspired the creation of many books, television series and movies in popular culture over the years.

Many you’ll remember from your childhood that have been revisited generation after generation and are still enjoyed by children today. Beginning with the revolutionary storytelling bear Teddy Ruxpin in the 1980’s, and bouncing on to the Gummi Bears, Super Ted, Rupert Bear, Care Bears and many more movies, television series and literature featuring teddy bears.

Teddy Ruxpin

Teddy Ruxpin is an animated storytelling bear that was a popular children’s toy from the 1980’s. Teddy Ruzpin’s mouth and eyes move while he reenacts stories played on an audio tape cassette deck built into its back. At the peak of its popularity, Teddy Ruxpin became the best-selling toy of 1985 and 1986, and the 2006 version was awarded the 2006 Animated Interactive Plush Toy of the Year award by Creative Child Magazine. The popular children’s toy character was developed into an animated television series, The Adventures of Teddy Ruxpin in 1986, whereby the curious teddy bear leaves his homeland with his friend Grubby in search of adventure.

Super Ted

This is a story about an ordinary teddy bear. When he was made, they found something wrong with him and threw him away like a piece of rubbish into an old dark storeroom. Then from outer space, a Spotty man brought him to life with his cosmic dust. He took him to a magic cloud, where mother nature gave him special powers. That bear became, Super Ted!

The animated television series was released in 1983 and the teddy bear with superpowers, adorned with a red suit, cape and rocket boots. As SuperTed and Spotty travel across the world to help others in need, they find themselves up against the nefarious and greedy cowboy, Texas Pete, and his henchmen; the overweight and bumbling Bulk and the cowardly and effeminate Skeleton, as he seeks to either rule the world or increase his own wealth.

Care Bears

Care Bears are multi-colored bears that were originally painted by artist Elena Kucharik in 1981 and featured on greeting cards and were subsequently turned into plush teddy bears. Since then, the Care Bears were created into a children’s television series, numerous revival television series and multiple feature films, Care Bears Movie in 1985, Care Bears Movie II: A New Generation in 1986, The Care Bears Adventure in Wonderland in 1987, Care Bears: Journey to Joke-a-lot in 2004, The Care Bears’ Big Wish Movie in 2005, and Care Bears: Oopsy Does It! in 2007. The original Care Bears consisted of Tenderheart Bear, Love-a-Lot Bear, Funshine Bear, Bedtime Bear, Birthday Bear, Cheer Bear, Friend Bear, Good Luck Bear, Grumpy Bear, and Wish Bear

Gummi Bears

Gummy Bears bouncing here and there and everywhere! The Adventures of the Gummi Bears is a fun cartoon from the 1980’s, loosely inspired by the gummy bear candies. The television series is well remembered for its catchy theme song and for the gummiberry juice, a magic potion that allows the bears to bounce away from their enemies.

The Teddy Bears Picnic

‘The Teddy Bears’ Picnic’ is a song by composer John Walter Bratton, written in 1907, and the lyrics were subsequently added by songwriter Jimmy Kennedy in 1932. The song has featured in pop culture over the years, appearing in Goldilocks and the Three Bears, the Open Season film, an animated television special titled The Teddy Bears’ Picnic and more.

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!

For ev’ry bear that ever there was
Will gather there for certain,
Because today’s the day the
Teddy Bears have their picnic.


Sooty, the adorable yellow bear puppet with black ears and nose appeared on television in 1955 and is a kind-hearted and cheeky little bear that performs magic tricks and practical jokes, squirting others with his water pistol. Joined by friends, Sweep the dog and Soo the panda bear, who are also puppets, the trio have entertained children with their various television series and the animated series, Sooty’s Amazing Adventures.

Paddington Bear

Paddington Bear first appeared in he children’s book, A Bear Called Paddington, written by Michael Bond in 1958. Paddington Bear is a friendly spectacled bear all the way from ‘darkest Peru’, and wears a red hat and blue duffel coat, carries a battered suitcase and loves to eat marmalade. The charming bear has become a classic character from British children’s literature, appearing to children’s television series and feature films.

Winnie the Pooh

The Winnie the Pooh character was created by A. A. Milne and featured in the children’s story book Winnie-the-Pooh in 1926, followed by The House at Pooh Corner in 1928. In 1961, the rights were licensed to Walt Disney Productions and numerous animated productions of the loveable bear and his friends from the Hundred Acre Wood were created, entertaining children for decades.

Pudsey Bear

Pudsey Bear has been BBC Children in Need’s mascot since 1985. The design of Pudsey has changed slightly over the years, but is a yellow-orange teddy bear with a white bandana with multicoloured spots tied over one eye and remains the charity’s mascot.


Corduroy is a children’s book written and illustrated by Don Freeman in 1968 and remains an iconic story in children’s literature. The story takes place in the toy department of a luxury store, whereby Corduroy the teddy bear dressed in green overalls, roams the store after the doors are closed. The story looks at the differences between the life in a luxury department store and cherishing the simple life of home and friendship.

Forever Friends

The Forever Friends teddy bears were created by Deborah Jones in 1987 and remain a much love brand of Hallmark Cards. The adorable bears appeal to adults as well as children and feature on greeting card designs and giftware, which over the years has included cuddly toys.

Rupert Bear

Rupert Bear is a children’s comic strip character created by artist Mary Tourtel in 1920. Rupert is a white bear, and wears a red jumper and bright yellow checked trousers, with a matching yellow scarf. Every year since 1936, a Rupert Bear annual has been released featuring adventures of Rupert, along with children’s books from the Rupert Little Bear Library, written and illustrated by Mary Tourtel. Rupert first appeared on television in The Adventures of Rupert Bear, with numerous television series, featuring Rupert and his magical adventures.

BooksTeddy Bears

The Best Children’s Story Books about Teddy Bears


Teddy bears are not just a cute and cuddly toy for children to play with, but can engage and entertain kids too. Role playing teddy bears to tell stories can help to make children’s books like ‘I’m Going to Give You a Bear Hug’, ‘Where’s My Teddy?’ or ‘Corduroy’ come to life.

Sharing a story with a cuddly teddy bear, doll or favourite stuffed animal can help to encourage your child’s reading and develop communication and vocabulary skills. A much loved teddy bear or soft toy could be the perfect learning companion for children to practice their reading and storytelling skills. And if your child has an interest in bears, then children’s books that feature a teddy bear theme are the perfect book to entertain them.

We’ve compiled a selection of some our favorite story books for children featuring the classic cuddly teddy bear. Children can experience story time together with their favourite teddy bear and take them along on their imaginative adventures as they turn the pages of these teddy bear theme children’s books.

Kiss Good Night

Written by Amy Hest and illustrated by Anita Jeram

It was a dark and stormy night on Plum Street. In the little white house, Mrs. Bear was putting Sam to bed. Outside, the wind blows and the rain comes down. Inside, it is Sam’s bedtime. Mrs. Bear reads him a story, tucks him in, and brings him warm milk. “Are you ready now, Sam?” she asks. “I’m waiting,” he says. What else does Sam need before he’ll go to sleep? Could Mrs. Bear have forgotten a kiss? This New York Times best-selling story by two of the most beloved picture book creators is available in a board book edition suitable for the youngest listeners.

Where’s my Teddy?

Written and illustrated by Jez Alborough

Eddy’s lost his teddy, Freddy, so he goes off into the woods in search of the missing bear. The dark, horrible woods hold a gigantic surprise for Eddy, who discovers his teddy bear has grown much too big to cuddle. Could it be a case of mistaken identity? Fast-paced and fun, this comedy of errors from beloved children’s illustrator Jez Alborough has spent two and a half decades delighting young readers — and earning its place among the picture book classics.

The Teddy Bears’ Picnic

Written by Jimmy Kennedy and illustrated by Alexandra Day

Read (or sing!) your way through this favorite teddy-bear tale.

If you go down in the woods today You’d better go in disguise. For every bear that ever there was Will gather there for certain, because Today’s the day the Teddy Bears have their picnic.


Written by Don Freeman

Don Freeman’s classic character, Corduroy, is even more popular today then he was when he first came on the scene in 1968. This story of a small teddy bear waiting on a department store shelf for a child’s friendship has appealed to young readers generation after generation.

The Teddy Bear

Written by David McPhail

The little boy and his teddy bear were always together. Every night, when the little boy went to sleep, his teddy bear was right there next to him. When the little boy went on a trip, his teddy bear went too―until one terrible day when the teddy bear was left behind…

Teddy: The Remarkable Tale of a President, a Cartoonist, a Toymaker and a Bear

Written by James Sage and illustrated by Lisk Feng

The story goes that on a hunting trip in 1902, President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt refused to shoot a bear. “Me? Shoot that little fella?” he said. “Why, if I so much as ruffled his fur, I’d never be able to look my children in the eyes again!” When a political cartoonist shared the story in the newspaper, New York shopkeepers Rosie and Morris Michtom were impressed by the president’s big, warm heart. So they decided to create a “Teddy” bear in his honor to sell in their store. The bear was so popular, they made another one. And another. Before they knew it, they had to build a factory to accommodate the demand: it seemed every child wanted a teddy bear of their own!

I’m Going to Give You a Bear Hug!

Written by Caroline B. Cooney and illustrated by Tim Warnes

I’m Going to Give You a Bear Hug! has sweet, whimsical rhymes that encourage playful interaction between a caretaker and child and helps little ones wind down and drift off to sleep. This adorable storybook features all the ways kids love to snuggle with the ones they love with humor and whimsy and celebrates the special bond parents, grandparents, and loved ones have with the children in their lives. I’m Going to Give You a Bear Hug is perfect for bedtime and lap reading, as well as a gift for birthdays, Valentine’s Day, Easter, and Christmas Whether it’s a big bear, gasp for air, knock over a chair hug or a wet and drippy, slimy, slippy fish hug, children will giggle their way through all the imaginative examples of hugs we can give and receive.

Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear: and Other Favorite Nursery Rhymes

Written by Tiger Tales and illustrated by Steven Lenton

Introduce children to this lively collection of classic nursery rhymes, including “She Sells Seashells,” “The Hokey-Pokey,” “London Bridge,” and more. Whimsical, warm illustrations make this a collection to be treasured. The soft padded covers, rounded corners and sturdy board pages make this title a perfect fit for preschoolers!

Teddy & Co.

Written by Cynthia Voigt and illustrated by Paola Zakimi

Teddy is a thinking kind of bear. Of all his friends, he does the most wondering. He lives with a ragtag group of lost toys—a very hungry snake, an elephant who likes to bake, two charmingly silly pigs, and a reclusive penguin—and they all bump along happily together. But their peaceful world gets shaken up when new toys arrive—first a rabbit, who is not as soft and floppy as he looks, and then a beautiful doll with royal ambitions. Will the newcomers learn to fit into the community? Or will the community be forever changed by them? As Teddy the philosopher would answer: Yes.

Peace at Last

Written by Jill Murphy

The hour was late and Mr Bear was tired. But he could not sleep – however he tried and wherever he tried. Snore, snore went Mrs Bear. Tick-tock, tick-tock went the clock. Would he never get to sleep? The familiar noises, repetition and beautiful illustrations make Jill Murphy’s the delightful Peace at Last an all-time favourite bedtime story with children and adults everywhere. This is a beautiful refreshed edition of a much-loved picture book classic.


Written by Tom Lichtenheld and illustrated by Julie Rowan-Zoch

A beloved teddy can bear it no longer and plots his escape from his owner’s suffocating affections in this laugh-out-loud picture book from New York Times best-selling creator of Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site and Steam Train Dream Train fame, Tom Lichtenheld.

Louis the bear has had enough. From day one, life has been one indignity after another. If he’s not being used as a hankie, he’s being hung out to dry—literally. (No one likes clothespins used on their ears!) This teddy is sneaking away just as soon as he can. Then again, no use running off in the rain . . .or during a show-and-tell routine. Maybe Louis has something to lose, after all.

This fresh and funny take on a teddy bear come to life is a salty and sweet, grumpy and tender, sly tribute to the ties that bind.

Loved to Bits

Written by Teresa Heapy and illustrated by Katie Cleminson

A wonderfully exuberant teddy bear and his little boy go on all sorts of grand adventures collecting stories (and a few scrapes and bruises) along the way in Loved to Bits, a picture book about friendship from Teresa Heapy and Katie Cleminson.

Teddy Bears

Celebrate your Child’s Birthday with a Teddy Bears Picnic Party


Celebrate your little ones birthday with a Teddy Bears Picnic themed birthday party, complete with a teddy bear birthday cake, adorable party invitations, fun teddy bear balloons and party decorations, beary creative party food, party games and teddy bear toys for party favours and prizes.

A Teddy Bears Picnic themed birthday party for little ones that love soft and cuddly teddy bears is a unique party theme to celebrate their special day.

Party Decorations

Invite your guests to the birthday party celebration with some gorgeous teddy bear picnic party invitations available from Party Delights, setting the teddy bear theme for your party.

Party decorations will help you to create the scene for your Teddy Bear Picnic theme birthday party. Decorate the room with birthday banners, balloons, bunting, and streamers. Embellish the table with a colour coordinated or teddy bear themed printed tablecloth, along with paper party dinnerware that includes plates, bowls, cups, and napkins. Party hats and loot bags are also a great addition to your teddy bear party. Teddy bears toys and plushies make great prizes for party games like ‘Pass the Parcel’, ‘Musical Chairs’, ‘Treasure Hunt’, ‘Pin the Bowtie on Teddy’ or inside a Teddy Bear piñata and you can even include small plush toys or figurines in loot bags or for party favours as an alternative or to accompany sweets and candy.

Birthday Cake

A teddy bear picnic birthday party must have a teddy bear birthday cake. These beautifully decorated teddy bear birthday cakes are so sweet and adorable, and they are sure to delight little bears.

Party Food

A teddy bear picnic is a great opportunity to be beary creative with the party food too. Get inspired searching on Pinterest or Google for teddy bear themed party food or party food with a bear birthday party theme. Some party food ideas are teddy bear themed cupcakes, bear paw cookies, a teddy bear trail mix, gummy bears and more.

As you can see, you’re only limited by your imagination. A teddy bear party theme is perfect for children that adore teddy bears and will be a memorable birthday for your little one.


No party is complete without a little entertainment. You might like to have an adult dress up as a giant teddy bear and have fun with the children dancing and read a teddy bear themed storybook or two together.

Play a game of ‘We’re going on a Bear Hunt’. Inspired by the traditional song and the book ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ by Michael Rosen, the game is much like hide and seek. The person that is the Bear finds a hiding place, while the other players ‘go on a bear hunt’.

We’re goin’ on a bear hunt,

We’re going to catch a big one,

I’m not scared

What a beautiful day!

Oh look! It’s some long, wavy grass!

Can’t go over it,

Can’t go under it,

Can’t go around it,

Got to go through it!

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Watch Big Ted’s Big Adventure with the Animals from Play School


Big Ted is the loveable yellow teddy bear we all know and love that’s been a part of Play School from the beginning. Big Ted has a big heart and loves giving extra special big bear cuddles.

Big’s Ted’s Big Adventure ventures into the Animal Kingdom to get up close with some preschoolers’ most treasured animals. Big Ted is visiting the zoo with Zindzi and Michelle and looking forward to meeting some special animals. The furry yellow bear will learn about the animals and add their photo to his photo album.

Join Big Ted on his big adventure and watch our favourites from the fun series starring the popular Play School toy.


Big Ted and his friend Michelle go on another big adventure to the Zoo. This animal has long flat feet, some furry ears and a grey tail – it’s a kangaroo! Big Ted and Michelle are spending time with the Kangaroos; a mother kangaroo is carrying a baby joey in her pouch.


Big Ted and his friend Michelle go on another big adventure to the Zoo. This animal can stand up on two legs, has a long stripey body and a pointy noise – it’s a meerkat! This time they meet a mob of very friendly and curious Meerkats!

Polar Bears

Big Ted and his friend Zindzi go on another big adventure to the Zoo. This animal has a furry white coat, big paws for swimming and a black nose – it’s a polar bear. Big Ted and Zindzi are hiding food for the polar bears, including a little cub called Henry who is only one year old!


Big Ted and his friend Zindzi go on a big adventure to the Zoo. This animal has knobbly knees, a long curved neck and a big hairy hump – it’s a camel! Big Ted and Zindzi meet a herd of friendly camels and go on an exciting camel ride.

Red Pandas

Big Ted and his friend Michelle go on another big adventure to the Zoo. This animal has a stripy bushy tail, light pointy ears, and very furry paws – it’s a red panda! Big Ted and Michelle are meeting Red Pandas, who are great climbers and love to spend time in the tree tops.

Giant Tortoise

Big Ted and his friend Zindzi venture to the zoo to meet giant tortoises. This animal has thick scaley legs, a long stretchy neck and a giant brown shell – it’s a giant tortoise! Giant tortoises are some of the oldest animals on earth!