About Dancing Bear

6 Benefits of Using Sign Language with Your Baby

Before babies begin to speak it can be somewhat frustrating for parents to understand what their baby wants or needs. If only we could read our babies’ minds or somehow understand what they mean when they point and say, “Eeh.” Instead of trying to telepathically communicate with your little one, however, there is a simpler way to help you and your baby understand each other through American Sign Language.

American Sign Language, or ASL, is a wonderful first language for your baby, especially because it’s mainly an iconic language – meaning the signs look like the object or action they represent. There are numerous practical, cognitive, and emotional benefits to signing with your baby, so we’ve rounded up a few of them here. Continue reading

New Faces at the Bear

During the past couple of weeks you may have noticed a few new faces at Dancing Bear — Emily and Olivia!  Since they were brave enough to jump right in during the craziness of the holiday season, we thought they’ve at least earned a proper introduction…and a cool name tag. So, take a few minutes to get to know the newest members of the Bear family!


Emily loves Squishables - especially this cupcake!

Emily is a fantastic addition to the Bear with her background in merchandising and working with children. She started out helping us at the Holiday Market and has now embraced the role of Master Window Decorator. You can see her handiwork in the store windows.

Tell us a little about your background and what led you to the Bear family.

“After graduating from West Virginia University with a bachelor’s in Fashion Merchandising I moved to Orlando, Florida, to intern at Walt Disney World. I spent two and a half years in Florida, and it was there that I decided my true passion lies in working with children. I decided to move back home to Frederick, and I have just been accepted to Mount Saint Mary’s graduate program for education. The Dancing Bear is a combination of everything I love about retail and children’s learning.” 

If you could be a Disney princess, which one would you be?

“Ariel! I would love to be a mermaid, and Prince Eric is a total dreamboat.”

What do you love about downtown Frederick?

“I grew up going to school in Downtown Frederick, so it has always been a special place for me. I love the small town feel and the vast opportunities to explore different cultures, cuisines, and shopping.”

What’s your favorite toy at the Bear? (It’s hard to pick just one, so if you have multiple that’s okay.)  

“I absolutely love Tenzi and Spot It! The Squishables are pretty cute too.”

What are your top three life dreams or goals?

“Become an Elementary school teacher. Have my own children and family. To keep a childlike, magical view on life.”

Any hidden talents? 

“I can quote most of the lines from Matilda. I used to watch it on repeat in my VCR player growing up.” 

What do you like most about being part of the Bear?

Continue reading

How to Encourage Children to Play with Their New Toys All Year Long

At Dancing Bear we love to celebrate all things new, like the New Year and your new toys (hopefully some are from the Bear!). But now that the holidays are over and the kiddos are back in school, the glamour of those new toys might be fading — although Tom, our semi-retired owner, is still pretty excited about his new coffee maker in the office.

So what happens when that “new toy glamour” fades? How can parents be reassured that children will want to play with their toys all throughout the year?

When it comes to play, the Bear likes to keep things classic. In fact, we call it classic play. Continue reading