So we had the honour this weekend of hosting the nursery teddy bear mascot ‘Mungo’. This can strike horror into the hearts of many parents. Foreseeing the need to exaggerate their weekend plans to make Mungos experience one to remember. Along with the teddy bear is a diary to chronicle his time with you and it gives you the chance to read back and see some of the amazing times he has had with other families. It feels like a homework project…but then I’ve always liked a challenge!
Our nursery is pretty low key to be fair so I wasn’t feeling major pressure. But a quick google search shows a million different parents’ experience. There’s the mum who get so stressed having seen that their teddy had been to the rugby the previous weekend that she cancelled the familys usual trip to the supermarket and went to a local farm park then boating …suddenly realsing on the sunday night that the family had no food in the fridge for the packed lunches and no clean clothes for the week! Then there’s the dad who left the bear at the swimming pool and ended up sleeping on the couch after a fight with his wife! So does it encourage competitive parenting?
Our bear was in for a treat. For a start my husband was going away for the whole weekend…with my car! Leaving me at the mercy of public transport -don’t think so with two toddlers in tow! So we were restricted to our small village. I also had lots of housework to catch up on. Oh and it was raining. And the baby was teething and I had a bug!
My son soon realised that the bear was the key to a much more fun weekend than planned.
‘Mungo likes going for ice cream’
‘Mungo likes building dens’
So yes I did up my weekend game! We built a fort in the livingroom. We picked apple from the tree in the garden and baked pies. Would I have done this without the bear? Maybe, but I probably wouldn’t have put so much effort in. This did make me think about how much time I spend with the kids. Yes you can be present in regards to being there. But it actually does take a bit more effort to engage!
I know that the bears are used by the nursery as a way to get the kids to start story telling and also a way for the nursery to find out a bit about their home lives no doubt!
Do I think they are a good idea? Yes…and no. As a learning tool they are good for encouraging the kis to speak up in front of others and remember what they’ve done over the weekend . But I think they can highlight the difference in home lives of the children. Which in itself must be a good learning tool for childcare providers to perhaps see what children maybe need a bit more support. And our kids are only young so they maybe don’t notice it but if it’s used in classrooms with older children this could lead to kids feeling low self esteem about everyone seeing their homes.
Otherwise they are just an added stress for the already busy parents to deal with! We actually had a laugh thinking of things for the teddy to get up to and it definitely did make me up my game in regards to the kids this weekend. Making usual tasks more fun and making me engage that little bit more than I might have done. Having a read at other people diary entries was hilarious too!
We couldn’t help but do a spoof diary for our poor bear! Keeping it real he had a rough friday night followed by a hangover Saturday morning! I’m sure he nursery will appreciate it!
So long Mungo bear, and god speed to your next family!
Have you had the delight of the classroom bear yet? Or do you work in childcare? What are your thoughts on it?