Feel Good Teddies help make Covid-19 safety measures bearable for preschoolers

Teddies help make Covid-19 safety measures bearable for preschoolers

Teddy Bear Time is helping preschoolers cope with the stress of lockdown and virus safety measures

A Gauteng preschool has adopted a cute way to make adjusting to the ‘new normal’ of schooling bearable for their young charges.

HeronBridge Pre-Preparatory has launched Teddy Bear Time, a simple solution to help children adjust to the regulations of limited physical interaction between the little ones. 

Through the Teddy Bear Time initiative, parents were asked to send their little ones’ favourite teddybear to school each day.  At set times during the day, the class is asked to take out their teddy bears, hug them tightly, then release.

The hugging is repeated a few times, Parent24 reports.  According to the school, the act of squeezing and releasing is a form of cognitive behavioural therapy. When repeated throughout the day, this activity relieves stress in both mind and body. 

It’s an easy way for children to activate then relax muscle groups, resulting in relaxed breathing, lowered cortisol levels (the hormone responsible for panic) and reduced anxiety.

“Our children have really enjoyed Teddy Bear Time… It has been so lovely to see the children finding comfort,” says HeronBridge’s pre-prep head Wendy Beyneveldt, who hopes to encourage other preschools to give Teddy Bear Time a try.