Stuffed Animal Fun
How to plan a Teddy Bear Picnic (all types of stuffed animals invited!)
One of my fondest memories of childhood is of a Teddy Bear Picnic organized by the people who ran our local library. I brought my teddy bear and a couple of other stuffed animals too, my parents, and my enthusiasm. There was a picnic, a teddy bear parade, contests, stories, and prizes (mostly stuffed animals surprisingly enough).
If you are a parent, teacher, community organizer of any kind who interacts with kids, I would highly recommend setting up a Teddy Bear Picnic. Whether it's a small affair for a child's birthday party or a town-wide party, all the kids will be excited to have the opportunity to show off and interact with their favorite teddy bears and their friends' favorite stuffed animals. Here are the basics:
If the season allows, a local park, town center, or front lawn is an ideal place for a Teddy Bear picnic. Otherwise, a living room, school cafeteria, town library, or even a local children's book store or mall (if you ask the owner to do it as a charitable or promotional event- a group of kids with stuffed animals is sure to attract a crowd!).
Unless you are doing the Teddy Bear picnic as a small group at your house, you will need to get the word out. Contact the newspapers about the Teddy Bear picnic and see if they have a local events section (which should be free). You may also want to surf the internet to check for town or community websites where you could post your stuffed animal event. Beyond that, don't hesitate to invite people to your Teddy Bear picnic the old fashioned way, with strategically placed flyers (at the library, the school, the town hall, etc.).
What kind of activities should you have at the Teddy Bear Picnic? The possibilities are endless, but most stuffed animal gatherings of this nature include a Teddy Bear and stuffed animal parade where kids show off their plush pals. Then there's the actual picnic part of the Teddy Bear Picnic. You could either ask parents to bring food for themselves, or get local businesses to donate money or food and provide a cookout. And don't forget that those teddy bears just love dessert!
Teddy Bear Picnics could also include fun contests for the funniest, silliest, oldest, biggest, smallest, scariest, most unusual stuffed animals. If it's a small picnic you could create titles for each stuffed animal so that everybody wins! Other popular Teddy Bear Picnic events include teddy bear stories being read, stuffed animal art projects, and stuffed animal races (which are your basic races- three-legged, relay- but with kids carrying their teddy bears).
At the end of the Teddy Bear Picnic, if you had contests or races, I would recommend giving away the obvious prizes: teddy bears or stuffed animals! Who could think of a better prize?