Teddies’ power to create a sense of safety changes children’s brains and bodies. That’s why we celebrated teddies across Dundee throughout Summer 2018 with the Talking ‘Bout Teddies Exhibition, the launch date was 16 May to premiere the films and work is under way to screen the films across Scotland.
It’s easy to think that teddies are just a cute mass of brown fur, big eyes and silent stuffing. But it turns out they are so much more. The way they feel – the way they smell – the way they squash! All of these are sensory sensations that calm a child’s biological stress systems. That’s why there can be a major panic in a family when a teddy goes missing.
Of course, it isn’t just teddies that have this power to make a child feel reassured. It might be a blankey, a bunny or an old scarf of Mum’s. The form doesn’t matter. The feeling of safety does!
Dr Suzanne Zeedyk is a research scientist who has been working hard to help Scotland take Teddy Bears more seriously. Dundee Libraries is proud to be able to work with her on this unique project, and we’re grateful to Engaging Libraries for the funding that has made it possible. We’re now ready to start Talking ‘Bout Teddies!
We’ve been working with local people, of all ages – from 2 to 89 years old! – to make lots of short films to share. We have stories that will help us to think more deeply about the power of teddies, the lasting impact of children’s stress and the importance of relationships in human lives.
The project is a collaboration between connected baby, Dundee Libraries, Wellcome and Carnegie UK Trust. All the films were shot in situ, mostly in the libriaries themselves, including the commentary series that accompanies the exhibition.
Click here to link to one of those stories, it features Gordon. We will be releasing more of these later.