Dr. Tameka Maiden, a Houston pharmacist and former teacher, was trying to teach her daughter about colors when she developed an idea for a new way to learn. “My vision was to create a lovable, huggable teacher for kids that could also be a lifelong friend,” Maiden says. Enter her invention: Cubby Love Bear, a bilingual teddy bear that teaches children colors, numbers, and primary skills in English and Spanish. Too cute—or should we say linda?
Cubby Love Bears, which retail at $24.99, come in an assortment of colors and are designed for kids ages 2 and up. The cuddly companions are meant to bridge the gap in early childhood language development by teaching children primary educational skills while building their vocabulary in both languages. “By the time my daughter was a year old, she knew all of her colors in both English and Spanish,” Maiden says.
And on March 1, a new furry friend will join the Cubby Love Bears inventory. Maiden has teamed up with local rapper Trae Tha Truth to create a bear for children with special needs. U’Neek the Gifted Bear helps children living with disabilities better communicate their needs and feelings using the bear’s commands.
Trae Tha Truth created a foundation called U’Neek & Gifted with his 16-year-old son, D'Neeko, who has special needs. He developed the new bear with Maiden in hopes of helping families with children on the autism nonverbal spectrum better connect with their kids.
To learn more or buy your own bear, visit Cubby Love Bears online.