World’s first Gaelic speaking teddy ready to hit shops

The Gaelic speaking teddy.
The Gaelic speaking teddy.

A soft and cuddly bear that teaches babies, toddlers and children 33 words in Gaelic, is set to be a great Christmas stocking filler in Scotland this year.

A must-have for all toddlers and a great aid to any parents wishing to give their children a start in the Gaelic language, this colourful new bear will be available from November.

At the press of buttons on ears, paws, feet and tummy this new toy speaks lots of colours, numbers and shapes in Gaelic.

Stornoway-based children’s publisher Acair Limited have received a grant from Bòrd na Gàidhlig to develop the first Gaelic-speaking toy. Suitable for children aged six months upwards, the 12 inches tall teddy is the first step for Acair into the toy market.

The teddy bear features the voice of 3 year old Iona MacLean from High Borve in Lewis.

Acair Chief Executive, Agnes Rennie: “This is a first for Acair and we are really looking forward to getting the Gaelic speaking teddy out into the shops in time for Christmas. The words are all common words for numbers, colours and shapes and will be as useful to parents as they will be fun for children. We are already in discussion with our partners in Ireland regarding the possibility of books and TV animation all featuring the talkative teddy! A great package for young families.”

Head of Education and Learning at Bord na Gàidhlig, Mary MacMillan, adds: “Studies have shown that encouraging children to learn a new language while young has helped them with their future learning potential. We believe that learning a new language while young should be fun, and we are delighted to assist Acair in creating this new interactive toy to help young children across Scotland in learning Gaelic.

The Gaelic speaking teddy bear will be available from November 2011, but will also be previewed at this year’s Royal National Mòd in Stornoway in October.