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4 Tips for Spring Cleaning with Kids

4 Tips for Spring Cleaning with Kids

Spring isn’t just the time to trade out your sweaters for your t-shirts; it’s also a chance to clean out your home. Spring cleaning can seem overwhelming when you’re doing it just for yourself, but even more so when you have your kids involved. They may not want to get rid of that toy truck (even though they haven’t touched it in a year), or they may not want to help out at all. That’s why we’ve put together these spring cleaning tips for parents: 

Start small 

Don’t think that you can clean out your house all in one day. Instead, start small. Tackle one room each day and make your child’s task simple (such as separating the toys that they do want from the toys that they don’t want by placing them into buckets).  

Give your child’s toys a good home 

Your kids may resist giving up any of their toys, even if they haven’t touched a majority of those toys in months. To avoid this, find organizations where you could donate the toys to. This will emphasize that the toys are going to a good home to children in need instead of the garbage bin. 

Find some storage space 

There may be some items that you and your child will want to keep but may not have room for. Things such as artwork, their first blankie, or other types of sentimental items can be stored away in bins so that you can still hang onto them, but they’re not taking up as much space.  

Make it fun 

Spring cleaning doesn’t have to be a tiring chore, it can be fun if you set your mind to it. Put on some music, or make it a competition to see how many toys you and your child can find and donate in a day. You can also encourage them by giving them a prize at the end of it, such as ice cream, a trip to the zoo, or even a new toy. Tell them that if they get rid of their old toys, they’ll have more room for new ones.  

If you’ve cleaned out your house and find that you have a little bit more room, then a stuffable animal from The Zoo Factory can be a great reward. Look through our website to get started! 

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How to Work From Home With Kids

How to Work From Home With Kids

As much as we love our kids, they’re not great for productivity. Working from home can be hard on its own, but working from home while also caring for your kids is a whole other ballgame. Many parents are struggling to meet the expectations put upon them, and while this time in our lives will not be easy, there are ways to ease the burden. 

Create a schedule 

With so much going on in our lives, it really is important to structure our day so that we can at least try to get everything done that we planned for. Set “office” hours for when you can work (mostly) undisturbed. It doesn’t have to be one big block of time, instead you can break it up throughout the day (for instance, if your child has just gone down for a nap, you can run off to do some work before they wake up). If there are two parents in the household, alternate your work hours so that one parent is keeping an eye on the kids while the other is working. 

Talk with your boss 

Even if you create the most efficient schedule in the world, there will be times when you just can’t stick to it. Maybe your child is sick, or maybe they’re having a temper tantrum. These things need to be dealt with first, and your work dealt with second. This can cause you to work fewer hours or be less productive during work hours. Instead of scrambling, hoping that your boss doesn’t notice, be upfront with them about your current situation. Most will likely be understanding, and they’ll find ways to help you cope. 

Find activities that don’t require supervision 

If you want to get any work done, you will have to let your kids fend for themselves for a few hours in the day. The best way to do this is to find activities that don’t require adult supervision. Here are a few ideas you can try: 

  • Reading 
  • Playing video games 
  • Watching TV shows, movies, or YouTube videos (keeping it educational if you can) 
  • Playing with their dolls or stuffed animals 
  • Naptime 
  • Arts and crafts 

Of course, one way to keep your children occupied throughout the day is letting them play around with their stuffable animals. Here at The Zoo Factory, we have plenty of stuffable animals that we’re sure your child will love. Look through our website or contact us today with any questions or concerns! 

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How to Throw a “Make Your Own Stuffed Animal” Party Over Zoom

How to Throw a "Make Your Own Stuffed Animal" Party Over Zoom

Social distancing is here to stay, and for the spring and summer birthday kids out there, this can be a real bummer. While we can’t host in-person parties anymore, we can host virtual parties over Zoom. Throwing a virtual birthday party can be just as fun as a normal birthday party as long as you get enough activities to keep your guests occupied.  

One activity that many parents are turning to for their children’s zoom parties is making your own stuffed animals. Here’s how you can get started: 

Keep the guest list smaller

Technically, you can have hundreds of people join a Zoom conversation, but if you want everyone to stay involved, it’s best to cap your guest list at 10 people. This is because on a video chat, you can’t turn to the person next to you and have a side conversation. By keeping the guest list smaller, however, you can ensure that everyone can take part in the conversation and that things don’t get too rowdy. 

Have the guests pick out their favorite animals 

Once you have a guest list, send out a quick email or text message asking everyone to pick out their favorite animal from our website. If you’re wanting to order one of our party packs, then have your guests vote on which packs they’d prefer. 

Send the stuffable animal kits out a few weeks in advance 

Be sure to order and ship the kits at least a few weeks ahead of time so that there’s plenty of time for the kits to reach their final destination. It typically takes about a week for our stuffable animal kits to be delivered, but there have been shipping delays due to the coronavirus. 

Send instructions and a calendar invite 

Don’t assume that every parent is tech-savvy. Instead, have a detailed set of instructions for what your guests need to do in order to access the Zoom party (Zoom has a help center that you can go to as well). At the same time, send them an invite through Outlook, Google Calendars, or other platforms so that they’re reminded of the party ahead of time. 

We may have to stay socially distant, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still have fun. If you’re planning on throwing a “make your own stuffed animal” party, then take a look at some of our party kits or contact us here at The Zoo Factory with any questions you may have! 

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Thanking Those on the Front Lines: Stuffed Animals for Health Care Workers

The coronavirus has put a tremendous strain on families, forcing children to stay away from friends and making parents do double-duty by working from home and babysitting at the same time. However, no matter our own struggles, they are nothing compared to what health care workers are dealing with on a daily basis. 

Many health care workers are working long hours under dangerous conditions in order to keep this pandemic under control, and it’s important that we show our support in any way that we can. 

For some the means donating supplies, volunteering at hospitals, or simply practicing social distancing. You can also show your appreciation through stuffed animals. Stuffed animals have always been used as a way to say thank you to those we care for, but they can be especially helpful during times of crisis. Why? Because they’re not only a thoughtful gift, but they can also provide someone with a great source of emotional comfort. It has been proven time and time again that stuffed animals can help people cope with trauma and companionship, and this can be especially helpful for those working on the front lines of this crisis. 

While not all of us are able to volunteer or donate supplies, but we can show our appreciation through stuffed animals. They can be sent to one particular nurse who helped someone you love recover from COVID-19, or it could be to an entire hospital staff. Either way, it is a simple, but thoughtful way of saying thank you to those risking everything to get us through this crisis. 

At The Zoo Factory, we offer both individual stuffed animals and party packs that are already pre-stuffed and ready to ship out to any local hospital or medical office. To learn more, look through our website or contact us with any questions or concerns.