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Toy Review: Touring Teddies

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In today’s culture of distraction, kids and even adults get detached from what could very well be beloved items. Birthday and holiday presents are opened with great excitement but quickly forgotten. Touring Teddies intends to change all that with a gift that opens up the whole world to a child.

Touring TeddiesCreator Leah Chamish wanted to get kids away from looking at screens and reawaken a sense of magic in the real world. She combined two great experiences for kids: getting mail specially marked with one’s own name, and toys (in this case teddy bears) with entire life stories. Rather than simply coming off a shelf, the Touring Teddies arrive in a special package touting an international journey worthy of Paddington Bear. There are currently two bears offered, Bernardo from Italy and Hugo from France. Touring Teddies hopes to bring more bears from all over the world as the company grows.

While a single delivery is a fun option, more fun is to be had with the “Four Packages” delivery where each week the child receives something new in the mail, building anticipation over the course of a month. First comes a letter of introduction in clever rhyme, then “photos” of the bear’s adventures in his homeland and a souvenir, and at last the bear comes to stay. The step-by-step nature of the fun builds a sense of special endearment rather than simply opening one present among many.

TouringTeddies_ITALYIn addition to the fun aspect of having a guest come to visit, Touring Teddies has a great deal of educational value. The bears introduce their countries to the child through informative letters and postcards featuring famous landmarks. Parents and loved ones can review the details of the country with their child to teach history, culture, and geography, going above and beyond what a classroom usually offers. For kids nervous about travel, it can be a great chance to show what fun it can be and turn that nervousness into excitement.

Like the famous Elf on the Shelf®, Touring Teddies are a chance to bring a touch of imaginary magic to a child’s life. They could be used for building anticipation while birthdays and holidays approach or as special surprises in hospital visits where a little mail makes a great deal of difference. A Kickstarter campaign running now gives people the opportunity to get their bears as well as bonuses like magnets, blankets, bags, or a classic viewfinder for a touch of play from a bygone era. Touring Teddies look to get kids off their screens and out into the world around them.

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About Jeff Provine

Jeff Provine is a Composition professor, novelist, cartoonist, and traveler of three continents. His latest book is a collection of local ghost legends, Campus Ghosts of Norman, Oklahoma.