Many children and adults form tight bonds with teddy bears, dolls, transitional objects and other keepsakes when growing up.
Childhood toys can still carry great meaning and power into adulthood.
This is because of the sense of security and comfort these objects evoke.
NGO director Dr. Shaheda Omar explains that the soft touch from teddy bears can release endorphins in the body - the happy hormone - in addition to serotonin and other chemicals.
Dr Omat says that toys can also reduce the cortisol levels in the body and reduce stress or create a sense of calmness.
Children also reenact their daily traumas through playing with these toys, she explains.
It helps them gain a sense of mastery and control but also assist in working through their feelings.
They learn to love and empathise.
They also express their emotions with an inanimate object without having to verbalise if they are not ready.
Toys, teddy bears and soft cuddly paly objects do not judge. There's no criticism that a child will receive.— Dr. Shaheda Omar, Clinical Director of The Teddy Bear Foundation
It feels pleasurable and soft to the touch. It's soothing and helps the child feel secure.— Dr. Shaheda Omar, Clinical Director of The Teddy Bear Foundation
Clinical psychologist Dr. Saths Cooper says there are benefits to keeping transitional objects as people grow older.
These objects help with learning and emotional growth, Dr Cooper advises.
The warmth and association that may come from some blanket or pillow is an intellectual and emotional connection.— Dr. Saths Cooper - President of Pan-African Psychology Union
Listen to the discussion on The Eusebius McKaiser Show:
This article first appeared on CapeTalk : The science behind how childhood teddys or toys help put kids and adults at ease