A preschool in Gauteng has found a new way to make the transition into the ‘new normal’ bearable for the little ones. 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.
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. 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.
The school said this was 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,” said HeronBridge’s Pre-Prepatory Head, Wendy Beyneveldt. She hopes to encourage other preschools to give Teddy Bear Time initiative a chance.