Reuniting Lost Toys with Children
Great Western Railway launched a campaign last year to reunite toys found on its trains with their rightful owners. The company took mugshots of over 40 toys found and asked owners to come forward to claim them.
Sadly, the company has recently announced that only two owners have come forward to retrieve their special furry friends and any not claimed after three months are washed and donated to charity.
Any parent will know just how important a favourite toy, particularly a soft toy, is to a child. And indeed most will have a story of a lost toy, of grandparents travelling the length and breadth of the country to return a bunny left behind at their house, or sleepless nights because bear has gone missing. Often we will dash out to buy another replica version of the toy in an attempt to calm our little one, only to find they know straight away that it’s not their toy.
Many of us have children’s rooms filled with beautiful teddy bears, bunnies, monkeys and more, but regardless of the array of untouched toys on offer, if the favourite teddy has been lost, all hell is likely to break loose and no other will do.
And so it’s no surprise that campaigns such as this, as well as websites, Facebook groups, GPS tags and more, have appeared to try and relocate the lost friends. As parents, we will do anything to find that bear.
But why do children form such a strong emotional bond with one particular toy?
Dr Amanda Gummer explains: “Soft toys especially can become a real comfort for young children. Their initial appeal is that they are soft, tactile and cuddly, so comforting straight away when children are tired, poorly, or relaxing.
Once a child has chosen their favourite toy, however, the amount of time they spend with them, holding them, sucking them, cuddling them etc, makes them look and smell a particular way.
Dr Gummer continues: “Scents are very powerful and emotive for the human brain and can help to soothe and comfort all of us, especially children. So another teddy from the shelf won’t feel the same, look the same or smell the same, and ultimately won’t comfort the child in the same way.”
Read more here – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-35706970Tags: teddy bears
This post was written by Dr Amanda Gummer