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3 Essential Tips for Traveling with a Stuffed Animal

If you and the family are heading out on your next trip, then don’t be surprised if your little ones start wanting to bring their favorite stuffed animal along. A stuffed animal traveling companion is always a great thing to have, but you’ll want to take care of it so that your child’s stuffed animal returns home safe and sound.

Make sure they’re in good condition

Traveling can really take its toll, both on humans and on stuffed animals. Before you head off on your trip, you’ll want to check the condition of your child’s stuffed animal. If it’s seen better days, then you should plan on fixing it up a few days before you leave.

Have a separate bag for your stuffed animal

We’ve all heard the story of a child losing their favorite stuffed animal at the airport. Don’t let your child or their stuffed animal be one of them. While your child may want to hold onto their stuffed animal at all times, it’s often better if you keep them in a bag while you’re moving about. This will prevent your child from dropping it or accidentally leaving it in an airport bathroom. If you’re flying, you can keep the stuffed animal in a carry-on bag or check bag, but it may be better to keep it in a carry on in case your child wants to play with it while they’re on the plane.

Bring along some clothes for your stuffed animal

A fun part of your child bringing their stuffed animal along for the trip is having that stuffed animal participate in the activities. To do this, bring along some clothes fitted for your stuffed animal so that they can look the part. For example, if you’re heading to a beach resort, grab a swimsuit for the stuffed animal to wear by the water.

Looking for a traveling companion for your next family vacation? Then take a look at the stuffable animals and outfits we at The Zoo Factory have today!

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Babysitting Tips for Beginners

Did you just land your first job as a babysitter? Congratulations! While the idea of getting a job (and a paycheck) can be exciting, there are some things that you should be aware of before you walk through the door.

Ask plenty of questions

When it comes to babysitting, the old adage rings true: there’s no such thing as a stupid question. Kids can be a little quirky and understanding their habits will leave you better prepared once you’re home alone with them. Even if you don’t think of everything you want to ask on the spot, you should have the parents’ phone numbers on hand so that you can text them when the need arises.

Reinforce the house rules

It’s tempting to be the “cool” babysitter who lets the kids stay up past their bedtime, but this is also a surefire way for something to go wrong. There are house rules for a reason, so be sure to stick to them as much as possible. The parents will be grateful, and the kids will soon respect you.

Have an open line of communication with the parents

If something bad happens, don’t try to hide it from the parents. It’s best to speak with them frequently and honestly about any issues that pop up. After all, parents know their children better than you do, so they’ll know the right ways to tackle a certain situation.

Stay organized with a planner

Whether it’s for one night or several days, you should keep track of everything you have to do and when. Kids perform better under structured environments, and as the babysitter, it’s your job to take care of everything as planned. To do this, keep a planner with you containing such things as nap times, school schedules, food preferences, and more.

Bring along some entertainment

While kids will have their own games to play with, it’s not a bad idea to bring some of your own to add to the fun. Board games, video games, movies, and even your own stuffed animals are all great things to spend the time with. Plus, it’ll be fun for you too!

Looking for some stuffed animals to bring to your next babysitting job? Then look through our inventory here at The Zoo Factory to get started!

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Are Attachments to Stuffed Animals Healthy?

Do you have a child that, wherever they go, always seems to be carrying around their favorite stuffed animal? While the image is certainly cute, it may leave you wondering if this level of attachment is healthy for your child. The short answer is, yes, it’s perfectly healthy, but if you want to learn more, then read on to see how stuffed animals truly affect our children.

Children are less shy

Stuffed animals are seen as comfort objects, and studies have proven that comfort objects and “imaginary companions” can actually make children feel less shy and more focused. There are two reasons for this. Stuffed animals, acting as comfort objects, can make children feel braver in potentially stressful environments. It’s why firefighters and police officers often give children stuffed animals after a traumatic incident. Children can also practice their social skills on stuffed animals, reading them stories and playing with them just as they would with other children.

They can even help adults

Maybe your child is all grown up, and while they don’t carry their stuffed animal wherever they go, they still keep it by their bed at night. Some people believe this is abnormal, and that adults who still have stuffed animals should “grow up.” However, having a stuffed animal by your side can be helpful, easing anxiety, stress, and loneliness. Not to mention that about 40% of American adults still sleep with their stuffed animal, so you’re not alone.

Emotional attachments to our stuffed animals are perfectly healthy, no matter your age. So, whether you’re looking for a stuffed animal for yourself or for someone special in your life, take a look through our inventory here at The Zoo Factory to get started!

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Kids’ Birthday Party Ideas

Whether it’s their first birthday or they’re turning the big 1-0, your kid’s birthday party will be something they always look forward to. You don’t want to disappoint, but you’re also not sure where to start. It can be a lot of pressure, that’s why we’ve gathered some of our favorite birthday party ideas to get you on the right track.

Obstacle Course Party

If it’s warm out and you’ve got a big backyard, then why not take advantage of it? An obstacle course party involves you filling your backyard with (you guessed it) obstacle courses for your child and their friends to challenge. Put the kids into teams or have them compete one-on-one to see who can complete it the fastest.

Dance Party

If it’s too cold for an obstacle course party (or too much work) then you can go for something simple like a dance party. Clear out one of your larger rooms and then get a playlist together. To add to the excitement, play some games where kids freeze when the music stops, or they have to keep balloons in the air while the music plays.

Scavenger Hunt

If you’d like the feel of an obstacle course party but don’t want your party outside, then opt for a scavenger hunt! Hide items around your house, or even around a public place like a mall (just make sure the kids behave themselves). You can have the kids keep what they find, or you can have a special challenge for the birthday boy or girl where they have to find one of their gifts on their own.

Carnival Party

Everyone loves the carnival, so why not have one in your own backyard? With balloons, games, and plenty of food, it’ll feel just like the real thing. You can have typical carnival games like balloon pop or gone fishing, or you can get original by incorporating some of the ideas found above.

Once you have the theme of your party settled, it’s time to get the presents. As you’re deciding on the right present for your child, consider getting them a stuffable animal from The Zoo Factory. Look through our inventory or contact us today to get started!