Tappy Bear and Test Week

By Heather Step, BA (Hons) Psychology, Dip Childhood Montessori Education

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I finally plucked up the courage to ask my principal if I could use EFT and Tappy Bear in class for test week. Her response was: “Don’t give it a name. Just be playful.” Well, Tappy is a very playful bear, isn’t he?


The first day dawned of “Operation Bear” and I snuck in Tappy in his nifty blue body bag to school. That morning, before we started our tests, I told the kids that I had brought a friend to school. However, he was very shy and scared to come out of his bag because he was scared of tests too.


After watching the penguins stretching out their arms for the levels of stress intensity (SUDS scales) on imagreatkid.com, I asked them to stretch out their arms as to “How scared are you for these tests?” The kids varied in the length of their arms. Some were big and some were medium length.


Well, I took Tappy out and they loved him. (Of course! What’s not to love about this bear?) I showed them how to rub the sore spot:

 “Even though I’m scared of these tests, I’m still a great kid.”

“Even though I’m scared of these tests, I’m choosing to relax.”


We then tapped on the reminder phrase “relax” on the various EFT points. I used both myself and Tappy to illustrate them.

I then started asking them more specific fears.

The kind of things we tapped on were:

“Even though I’m scared I won’t read fast enough, I’m choosing to go as fast as I can.” (I do a reading test with them to see how many words per minute they read in). “Fast as I can” was the reminder phrase.


The first test of the day was spelling, so it seemed appropriate to tap on that first.

“Even though I’m scared I won’t spell things correctly, I’m choosing to remember my spelling rules.


I then DID the spelling rules as we tapped on the spots:

Top of head “Use c after E, I and Y” e.g. circle

Top of eyebrow “Use g after E, I and Y” e.g. gent

Under eye “Don’t use the fairy E for first sound” e.g. tub

 Under nose “Use the Fairy E for second sound” e.g. tube

Chin: “Remember “bed” for b and d (Here you can also hold up your hands so that thumbs  touch and make a bed, showing the placement of “b” and “d”. (They often get this the wrong way round)

Collarbone “Use dge for first sound” (short sound e.g. fridge)

Under arm “Use ge for second sound” (long sound e.g. stage)


 Comprehension was also a big anxiety.

“Even though I’m afraid I’m not going to know the answers for comprehension, I’m choosing to read the passage carefully.”

Top of the head: “I’m choosing to carefully read the question”

Top of the eyebrow: “I’m choosing to correctly answer the question”

Side of eye “I’m writing in full sentences”

Under eye “I’m spelling my words correctly”

Under nose “My sentence makes sense”

Chin “I am reading to understand”

Collarbone “I answered the question”

Under arm “I know the answer”


We did a bit of tapping for each morning of the tests. I could tell there was a drop in their anxiety.


I was curious to see how the children would react to this whole process, and it was very interesting to watch their interaction with Tappy, apart from the reduction in fear for the tests.


I had one kid who is always out of his desk (the kind who is like a puppy dog, grinning and following me around) who went over to Tappy and “plugged himself in” with his finger, to the collarbone button and told me he needed to “recharge his energy.” (I had told them about the collarbone spot being a good spot to tap on for fear). It was almost like you would recharge a cellphone! I had to laugh.


I had another kid who every now and then would get up and give Tappy a hug. He would then come back to his desk and say “Tappy Bear helps.” He has now been bugging his mom for his own bear! His mom actually phoned me to ask me about it!


One kid told his older brother: “If you put your hand on Tappy Bear’s heart you will feel better.” (They liked to touch him)


I also had occasion to use Tappy. As any teacher would tell you, teaching is hard work and a lot about being able to keep control of the class. I used the bear when I was feeling at the end of my tether: “Even though I just want to yell at these kids, I’m still a good teacher!” The kids thought that was quite funny.

I also curled Tappy’s ears over and told them he said they were being too noisy.


On the last morning of the tests I was particularly concerned about children rushing through things and making mistakes so we tapped on: “Even though I’m in a rush and I want to finish these tests, I’m choosing to go slowly and carefully.” We then used the reminder phrase “slowly and carefully” on the spots.


Later on that day I had two kids struggling to finish. I put Tappy between them and told them he was there to help. They made it!


At the end of all the marking of the tests, this class achieved an average of 84%!


Thank you Till and thank you Tappy!


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Author's Bio:

Heather Step has a certain personality suited to counselling, being a Four on the Enneagram Personality system– drawn to suffering people and having the capacity for compassion for what they are going through.

Her specialties are in the following areas:

-mind/body connection with regard to pain and physical problems, (http://healwithheather.com/body.htm)

-stress and how to handle it (http://healwithheather.com/stresstest.htm)

-infertility (having personal experience of this) (http://healwithheather.com/getpregnant.htm)

-children (being a Grade One teacher at a Montessori school and doing play therapy) (http://healwithheather.com/children.htm)

Get your Tappy Bear here:


For more information you can also go to my website: www.healwithheather.com


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