On a sunny Thursday afternoon, Mary Kate Green’s kindergartners from St. Mary’s School in Waterford sat in a green field on blankets with their parents — all at least six feet apart — forming one big circle. In the middle of the circle danced two giant teddy bears, singing and hopping around to answer any questions thrown their way. One child shyly asked if the two were married, resulting in an elated reaction from “Miss Bear.” “Mr. Bear” calmly said they would be soon, for they were unofficially engaged.

“We’ll sing a song, eat some lunch and have some fun. The best thing is for (the kids) to see each other,” Green said.

The Teddy Bear Picnic is part of a nearly 30-year tradition known as “The ABC Days” at the school. For the last 26 days of school, each day is themed based on a letter in the alphabet. For example, the letter “T” was Teddy Bear Picnic Day; “B” was designated Bubblegum day, where students tried to blow bubbles over a Google Zoom class. This was the first letter day the children could participate that was not done remotely.

After the children finished eating their sandwiches, Green announced it was time for Mr. Bear to sing a traditional picnic song, a ballad he enjoyed as a child. Typically, the song, “Teddy Bear’s Picnic,” would be played in the classroom on Green’s 78 record player, with Mr. Bear, who would soon be revealed as Green’s brother, Jim Collins, singing along through a telephone.

As Mr. Bear sang out the lyrics, Mrs. Green chanted the percussion of the song and encouraged everyone to have their teddy bears dance along, all of which donned their very own mask.

“It makes the year special. It’s something to highlight for them,” Green said.