National Teddy Bear Day September 9

Get your paws on a teddy and help Be My Bear raise money for Rays of Sunshine, a wonderful charity bringing smiles to the faces of children who are seriously ill in hospital.

The charity are delivering 3,000 of Be My Bear’s make-a-bear kits to youngsters in hospitals on September 9 so they can literally make a new best friend and celebrate National Teddy Bear Day.

You can help the charity fund the event by buying one of our Sunshine Princess or Sunshine Prince teddy bear kits complete with a bespoke Rays of Sunshine T-shirt. Be My Bear will donate £1 to the charity for every bear sold from August 3 until the big day on September 9.

You may want to make your bear before the event or actually put it together on the day but whatever you choose to do, why not continue the fun with a teddy bear’s picnic complete with bear related games and activities.

We have lots of top tips to help you do just this, so here goes ….

You can hold your picnic at home - in the garden if you have one, on a balcony or in a room in the house especially decorated for the occasion. If you are able to get out so much the better - go to the park, beach, woods - ideal to be sure of a big surprise­ – or any easily accessible spot local to you.

Get ready to pull off the perfect hassle free teddy bears’ picnic without too much expense - just read our tips and begin your countdown.

  1. A teddy bears’ picnic would not be a teddy bears’ picnic without teddy bears – take your child (children’s) newly made friend along with as many other bears as the children can comfortably carry. Don’t forget the adults will usually have the task of carrying all the picnic baskets!
  2. Make sure you have plenty of rugs or collapsible chairs if you have older family members joining you.
  3. Use recyclable paper plates and cups – better for the environment and no washing up for you when you get home. Otherwise take your plastic cups or bottles to avoid breakages. Use cold boxes and ice packs to keep your food fresh and put any extras into separate containers. Take plenty of kitchen roll, serviettes and flannels for sticky faces and fingers.
  4. Get into the kitchen with the children the day before and use our easy recipes for cakes and biscuits - see recipes below.
  5. Make sandwiches on the day of the picnic – if you want to add that extra special something use teddy bear or other shaped cutters – they look pretty but there is a lot of wastage. Otherwise just cut off the crusts as the children are more likely to eat the whole sandwich if it is presented in this way. Other finger foods which travel happily in a cool bag are chicken drumsticks and mini sausages, which you can buy pre-cooked, and mini scotch eggs and pork pies which go down a treat.
  6. Don’t forget your crisps – vegetable crisps are a healthier alternative – and plenty of fruit such as strawberries, blueberries, apples and easy peel satsumas – bananas don’t tend to travel well.
  7. Once the picnic tea is over and the children and bears have been fed, the games can begin and the kids and their teds can burn up some energy.

GAMES

Hide The Teddy always gets the party going and if you are out in the countryside or park there are plenty of secret hidey holes for ted. Choose one of the bears to hide and then get your child or children to cover their eyes and count to 20 and then begin the search. Advise them if they are hot or cold as they get closer or further away from the bear.

Put all the bears in the middle of the picnic rug with the children and adults holding the edges like a parachute – toss them up into the air and see whose bear goes the highest.

Play Walk Like a Bear and Growl Like a Bear. Daddy Bear takes big steps – so call out Daddy steps – Mummy Bear takes medium steps so call out Mummy steps – Baby Bear takes baby steps, brother bear hops on one foot, sister bear hops on both feet, polar bear walks on all fours etc The children must all hold their bears while they are playing the parts. Do the same for bear sounds – with soft growls, loud growls etc

Toss the Bear – line the children up and get them to throw their bear into the picnic basket or cool box – see how many bears they can get pot.

Try a variation of pin the tail on the donkey – try sticking the nose on the teddy. Just cut out a teddy shape from cardboard or a roll of wallpaper and draw the eyes with a marker pen and a circle where teddy’s nose should be. Cut a round shape from brown paper and push a drawing pin through it (safety rules apply!). Blindfold each child and adult and see who gets the closest to the spot.

Try a variation of pass the parcel using ted instead of a parcel – you may have to recruit all household members for this. If you have music, pause the music while the bear is passed around and then suggest a forfeit – recite a rhyme, sing a song or dance, whatever is age appropriate.

Find a small box – a match box would be ideal and find as many small items as you possibly can to fill it. If you are indoors, hunt for paper clips, buttons, rice, pasta, elastic bands etc. If you are able to go outside, look for little leaves, blades of grass, small snail shells, tiny twigs, feathers and pebbles. Turn it into a competition with your family – who can fit the most items inside their box?

Create a sensory box using a larger box such as a shoe box to fill with tactile items, anything from jelly cubes and grapes to cotton wool and combs. Use a blindfold and an egg timer with a prize for the family member who gets the right answers in the shortest possible time.

Finally you could choose to award a best bear in each category which is why you should take as many bears with you as you can – funniest name of bear, happiest looking bear, saddest looking bear, softest bear, best dressed bear, smallest bear, biggest bear, most colourful bear etc You get the idea.

And there you have it – your guide to the best teddy bears’ picnic ever and with any luck following a day of fun and ideally fresh air both teddy bears and their owners will opt for an early night leaving the grown-ups to enjoy their own little party !

RECIPES

Veggie Kebabs

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10-12 minutes

Ingredients

  • 120g halloumi cheese
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 1 courgette
  • 140g cherry tomatoes
  • ½ a bunch of fresh mint
  • 1 lemon
  • olive oil

Instructions

  1. Soak 6 wooden skewers in a bowl of water to soak to stop them burning during the barbecuing process.
  2. Cut the halloumi into 2cm cubes and add to a large mixing bowl.
  3. Cut the pepper and trim away the stalk, seeds and any white pith, slice into 2cm pieces and add to the bowl.
  4. Cut the courgette in half, lengthways, then into ½cm thick half-moon slices, then add to the bowl with the tomatoes.
  5. Remove the stalks from the mint leaves and chop finely.
  6. Grate the lemon zest and add to the bowl along with the mint leaves and 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix well to coat the ingredients.
  7. Thread and divide the halloumi cubes, cherry tomatoes, pepper and courgette pieces between the skewers. Place on an oiled baking tray.
  8. Preheat the barbecue or grill to high. If using the grill, place on a lightly oiled baking tray. Cook for 10-12 minutes or until the cheese is golden and the veg are turning soft – don’t forget to turn halfway through the cooking process.
  9. Serve with a big salad and some flatbreads or pittas or on their own as part of a big barbecue spread.

Pizza Kebabs (Alternative)

Try a meat alternative using Focaccia bread cut into cubes, bacon, pepperoni, mozzarella and cherry tomatoes. Use the same method but fold the bacon into quarters first. Serve with a drizzle of pizza sauce.

Rainbow Fruit Kebabs (Alternative)

Fruit kebabs are a great way of introducing children to new fruits alongside old favourites and a healthy dessert alternative. Let the children help prepare the fruit depending on ages – older children can help peel and chop the fruit in advance. Younger kids can use kid friendly knives or just enjoy selecting the prepared fruit and threading them onto the skewers. Larger fruits such as melon and pineapple can be cut into thicker slabs so that kids can use shaped cutters to add kebab appeal.

The idea is to create a colourful kebab using fruits of as many colours in the rainbow as you can find. Try all the different varieties of melon, red, green and black grapes sliced lengthways and berries – the more the merrier ! - strawberries, blackberries, loganberries, blueberries, the list is endless.

Add some more exotic fruits to tempt younger children into first time tastings of pineapple, dragon fruit, passion fruit and star fruit to name but a few. If you are using traditional fruits such as apples, bananas or pears you will need to add lemon juice and not prepare them too far in advance or the fruit will oxidise and turn brown – and that’s certainly not one of the colours of the rainbow !!

 Rice Krispie Cake Recipe

Everyone loves a classic and Chocolate Rice Krispie Cakes really take the biscuit ! Ideal to make with the children for a party, picnic or just school holiday fun, they are quick and easy and best of all you can get your teeth into them in no time at all! You can always vary the recipe by using cornflakes or, for extra choco delight, Coco Pops or a mixture of all three ! For the ultimate choco fix, add melted chocolate on the top and top them off with sprinkles of your choice.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Cool Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 100g milk or dark chocolate broken into chunks
  • 3 tbsp golden syrup
  • 100g rice pops

Ingredients (To Decorate)

  • 50g melted chocolate
  • Sprinkles, mini marshmallows, nuts, Smarties, dried fruit or white chocolate buttons

Instructions

  1. Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl with the butter and golden syrup and gently melt in 10-second bursts in the microwave, or melt it over a pan of simmering water, making sure the bowl doesn't touch the water.
  2. Stir until smooth and then take off the heat, stirring in the rice pops, coating them gently with the chocolate until they are all completely covered.
  3. Spoon the mixture into 12 cupcake cases arranged on a muffin tray (or baking sheet, if you don’t have one).
  4. Put in the fridge to set for an hour.
  5. While they are setting, melt 50g of chocolate, pour over the cakes, add sprinkles/decorations of your choice and then enjoy!!