When you think of gifts for children, the teddy bear seems to be the first thing that comes to mind. It works for all ages, from newborns to toddlers, to even older kids who just love their stuffed animals. It’s even a cute gift often given on Valentine’s Day between adults. The teddy bear never goes out of style and always seems to stick around, generation after generation. And while there are thousands of different kinds of bears, they all stem from the same history.
The history of the name of the teddy bear is as popular as the plush itself. The original bears were named after Theodore Roosevelt, whose nickname was “Teddy.” A hunting incident became the focus of a political cartoon featuring the president and a cute little bear, which inspired a man named Morris Michtom to create a plush toy in its likeness. He put it in the window of his shop with a sign that said “Teddy bear,” but not until after he sent one to Roosevelt to get permission to use his nickname. This was way back in 1902 and the bear has thrived as one of the most popular gifts for children ever since.
Early teddy bears were made to look more like real bears, with an extended snout and beady eyes. But eventually this was changed to a more baby face appearance to sell more and it’s worked. Now the teddy bears we know and love are cute and snugly (though the old versions are sought after as collector’s pieces).
Today, there are teddy bears created by all kinds of children’s toys brands but some of the most popular and widely known are Gund and Steiff. These companies focus solely on the making of plush teddy bears and other animals, and are synonymous with quality workmanship. If a child gets a Gund or Steiff, that’s a pretty big deal and a toy to definitely hold onto through the years.Teddy bears work well as a gift for newborns as something they can hold onto as they grow older. Lots of people I know have bears from the day they were born, still kept on display or at least somewhere in their homes as a keepsake. They also work well for not just holidays and birthdays, but to commemorate special events like graduations, Communions, and other major moments in a child’s life.There is a reason why the teddy bear remains one of the best gifts for children. It’s classic look and many possibilities means it’ll never disappear off store shelves.