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4 Reasons Why Your Kid Isn’t Getting Enough Sleep

4 Reasons Why Your Kid Isn't Getting Enough Sleep

Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night and noticed that your kid still hasn’t fallen asleep? While this will likely happen every now and then, it is cause for concern when it starts becoming a pattern. Children need about 9-11 hours of sleep, much more than an adult’s typical 7-9, so finding ways to sleep better is crucial to their health. 

This can only be done, however, once you find out the root cause of your child’s insomnia. If your child isn’t getting enough sleep, then see if it’s any of these usual suspects: 

Too many screens 

From our TVs to our cellphones, we are surrounded by digital screens. While many of these devices are necessary for our everyday lives, too much exposure can disrupt our sleep. Blue light (the light that all digital devices emit) has been found to disrupt our levels of melatonin—a hormone that regulates our body’s circadian rhythm. In other words, having your child stare at screens just before bedtime can cause them to feel more alert, making it harder for them to fall asleep.  

No bedtime routine 

A bedtime routine gives our mind a chance to wind down and acts as a signal to our bodies that it’s time to go to sleep. Without these cues, it could take your child a long time to finally settle down and get to bed. A few ways to solve this is to give them a consistent bedtime and to make sure they do the same things each night before bed (brushing their teeth, reading a book, etc.). 

A bedroom that’s inconducive to sleep 

If your child’s bedroom is messy or too bright, it will make it harder for them to fall asleep. Additionally, an uncomfortable bed and electronic devices (see above) can also keep them up. Make your child’s bedroom a relaxing place where they can unwind after a long day. You can do this by providing a comfy bed, black-out curtains, and even a stuffed animal to help them sleep. 

At The Zoo Factory, we believe every person could benefit from sleeping with a beloved stuffed animal. Check out all of our cuddly stuffable animals that are sure to help your child get a better night’s rest today! 

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How Playtime Can Ease Anxiety in Our Children

How Playtime Can Ease Anxiety in Our Children

We are living in stressful times, and our children are well aware of this. As parents, we want to make sure that our children understand what is happening in the world, but aren’t so consumed by it that they become overly anxious or depressed. Recent research, however, has proven that playtime can be extremely effective in relieving anxiety in children.  

So, if your child is overly anxious, here’s how you can use playtime to calm them down: 

Make ‘em laugh 

As the great Donald O’Connor used to say: “Make ‘em laugh!” Laughter truly is the best medicine as it can release stress hormones and boost your mood. Whether it’s a funny movie or a game that the two of you play, do something during the day that will get your child laughing. 

Let them win every now and then 

There is a lot of debate on whether or not we should let our children win. While understanding the value of defeat is important for kids, letting them win a few times can help boost their self-confidence and their mood. Just don’t make this become a regular thing, as it could lead to ego problems later on. 

Special time 

“Special time” is a part of the day, usually lasting 10-15 minutes, where you let your child do whatever they want (within reason of course). This could include watching TV, eating a snack, or doing pretend play. Performed regularly, special time can offer a safe space for your kids where they can freely express themselves. 

Here at The Zoo Factory, we have plenty of adorable, stuffable animals that can help get your child through these tough times. Look through our website to get started! 

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Korean Baseball Is Replacing Their Fans With Stuffed Animals

Korean Baseball Is Replacing Their Fans With Stuffed Animals

The coronavirus is limiting how many people can gather in one place at one time, and no industry is more impacted by social distancing than professional sports. The MLB, NBA, NHL, and NFL are all planning for fan-less games this season, but what exactly will that look like? Other leagues across the world are providing a clue. 

In a recent game between the Hanwha Eagles and the NC Dinos, the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO) replaced their human fans with stuffed animals, filling the stands with Pikachus, Spongebobs, teddy bears, and more. 

This isn’t the first possible solution to fan-less games that the KBO has come up with. In the beginning of the season, they used everything from freestanding 2D cutouts to dressed up mannequins. They even created crowd noises to react to plays out on the field. None of these solutions, however, really stuck with the players or the fans watching at home on their television screens.  

The KBO quickly found a better alternative. On June 3, the game between the Hanwha Eagles and the NC Dinos was supervised by an adorable and cuddly crowd of stuffed animals. All of the stuffed animals were sent in by Hanwha Eagles fans, and, once human fans are allowed back into the stadiums, they will be donated to the Green Umbrella Children’s Foundation.  

So, if the MLB is still wondering what they should do with their empty stadiums, why not look to Korea for some ideas? 

Here at The Zoo Factory, we know our stuffable animals would love to spend a day at the ballpark. If you’re looking for a stuffed animal for your child, then look through our website to get started! 

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How to Make the Most Out of Hand-Me-Downs

How to Make the Most Out of Hand-Me-Downs

As a parent now yourself, you understand the value of hand-me-downs and how much they can save your wallet. However, they can also be controversial with your children, as older children might not want to give away their old toys and younger children might feel like they’re getting the short end of the stick.  

Here’s how you can make the most out of hand-me-downs while keeping all of your children happy: 

Let your oldest child decide what they’re willing to give away 

Don’t just walk into your eldest’s closet and decide what to pass down to their younger sibling. Instead, involve them in the process by letting them choose what items they’re willing to give to their baby brother or sister. As you’re doing so, inspect each piece to make sure that they’re in good shape. If they’re not, you can either throw them away or donate them. 

Then let your youngest pick out what they want 

Once your eldest has picked out a collection of old toys or clothes that they’re willing to give away, let your youngest come in and decide what they want from the pile. If they start groaning at the idea of wearing old clothing or playing with old toys, try to personalize the older items. For instance, you can get new pins to put onto an old backpack, or a new outfit to put onto an old doll. If there is anything that your child doesn’t want, don’t force it on them. It will simply stay tucked away in their closet, never to be used. Instead, donate the unwanted items to families in need. 

Still get new items once in a while 

Most children won’t complain too much about receiving hand-me-downs, but they will start complaining if that’s all that they receive. A child still needs toys and clothing that are their own, and no matter what you do, a hand-me-down will always be seen as their older sibling’s property. So, be sure to give your youngest some new toys or clothing that is just their own every now and then to remind them that they’re just as special to you as their older siblings. 

One new thing that you can give your youngest child (or your eldest!) is a stuffable animal from The Zoo Factory. Look through our inventory to get started!