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IMA Hero Bears! Review by Charlsie Swadley

IMA Hero Bear
StarRise Creations
4555 Benhurst Avenue
San Diego, California 92122

IMA Hero bears are cute teddy bears that help children learn about historical heroes. They come in all different colors, and each bear has an embroidered symbol that is unique to that particular historical hero. Each of them also has a hangtag with information about the person that particular bear represents. There are twelve different IMA Hero bears. Benjamin Franklin is embroidered with a kite and key, Abraham Lincoln with a log cabin, Christopher Columbus with a ship, Sacagawea with a canoe and paddle, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart with a treble cleft to name a few. These bears won a Dr. Toy award for the 100 Best Children's Products.

These bears can be used in the classroom or homeschool or given as a gift. While the bears themselves do not come with much educational information, you can go to the company website and find such things as historical information, timelines, suggested books, photos, and Web links for each of the heroes. The historical information was quite interesting. Some of it I had never heard before--for example, the fact that Sacagawea took her two-month-old son on the Lewis and Clark expedition! Homeschool families will find the suggested books useful as well. We are planning to use them when we study certain people this year.

I have to say, though, that as much as we enjoyed reading about the people these bears represent, we did not really use the bears for educational purposes. We would talk about the historical figure and then discuss why the bear had a certain emblem, but beyond that my children simply played with the bears.

I would not recommend these IMA Hero bears to homeschool families. It is hard to connect the educational material found on the website with the Hero bears.

Product review by Charlsie Swadley, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, August 2008