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How to Repair Your Child’s Stuffed Animal

How to Repair Your Child's Stuffed Animal

Our children’s stuffed animals go through a lot. They’ve been squished inside of a suitcase, dropped in a pile of mud, slept on during the night, and much, much more. While stuffed animals are hardy creatures, there will come a time when their stitches and seams begin to weaken or break all together. While some injuries are beyond repair, there are ways for you to get your child’s stuffed animal back to normal again.

Inspect the damaged part

Begin by inspecting the damaged part of the animal. Consider whether this is a simple fix you can do at home, or one that will require help. Often times, it’s easy enough to fix yourself, but for those who don’t know how to sew, there are repair shops, or “stuffed animal hospitals,” where a “sick or injured” stuffed animal can be “healed.”

Match the thread colors, content, and size

If you can do the repair work yourself, be sure to match appropriate thread colors, content and size. By using the right tools, you can replicate the original work, which will help maintain the integrity of the stuffed animal. Of course, to your child, just being able to hold their friend again might be all that matters, so to each their own when it comes to making repairs.

Replace the stuffing

If the animal has lost any stuffing while torn, be sure to replace it with a like fill. It will help the animal regain its original shape and keep the fabric in place. Even if no stuffing has been lost, if the well-loved stuffed animal is showing signs of stuffing shift, try to reposition it before you begin stitching or mending.

Fixing your child’s stuffed animal is often quick and easy, but there will come a time when that stuffed animal is beyond repair. When this happens, The Zoo Factory is here with plenty of stuffable animals that your child will adore. Look through our website to get started!

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How to Plan a Post-Coronavirus Playdate

How to Plan a Post-Coronavirus Playdate

We know how hard it’s been to keep your child at home these past several months. By now, they’re likely itching to get back to playing with their friends. However, with the coronavirus still spreading across the country, it is important to still follow social distancing rules when spending time with our friends.  

Planning a playdate in a post-coronavirus world can be difficult, so be sure to follow these steps to keep your child and their friends completely safe: 

Make plans with those who are practicing social distancing 

You can take as many precautions as you’d like, but if the person you’re spending time with doesn’t also take those precautions, they could be putting you and your child at risk. Only make a playdate with people you completely trust and who you know are practicing safe social distancing measures.  

Keep it outside 

In general, staying outside is safer than staying inside. Germs are less likely to spread, and you’ll be better able to stay six feet apart in someone’s backyard rather than in their living room. You can also spend your time in many outdoor public spaces such as parks, pools, and bike paths. 

Don’t forget the essentials 

Even if you’re staying outside, you should still bring a supply of masks, hand sanitizers, and wipes for you and your children. Additionally, while sharing is always a great quality to have, you should bring your own toys and snacks to keep germ spread at a minimum. When you come home, be sure to clean and disinfect the toys that you brought, too, just in case. 

Here at The Zoo Factory, we want to make sure our kids are still having fun even during the coronavirus outbreak. To learn more about how to keep your kids safe, read through our blog or contact us for more information! 

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How to Use “Breathing Buddies” to Encourage Mindfulness

How to Use Breathing Buddies to Encourage Mindfulness

Practicing mindfulness can be a real lifesaver. After all, our lives are hectic, so just taking a few minutes to slow down and pay attention to our surroundings can make a world of difference. This is true for adults, but it’s also true for kids. Encouraging our kids to be mindful will help them deal with stress today and later on. We can do this through one simple technique: breathing buddies. 

How to practice “breathing buddies” 

Breathing buddies, also known as Teddy Bear Belly Breathing, is rather simple. It’s about focusing on your breath by placing a teddy bear on your belly. Here are the steps you and your child should follow: 

  1. Lie down on your back and place a stuffed animal on your belly. 
  2. Inhale through your nose for three seconds, focusing on how the stuffed animal rises as you breathe in. 
  3. Exhale for four seconds, this time focusing on how the stuffed animal falls as you breathe out. 
  4. Repeat for at least another few minutes. You can increase how long you practice over time. 

What are the benefits? 

Having your kids practice mindfulness, even just for a few minutes a day, can have a variety of health benefits. Some may see the improvements right away, leaving the breathing buddies practice with an added sense of calm. Others may see a difference over time. Regular mindfulness practice has been proven to decrease anxiety, stress, and depression, while enhancing self-esteem. It can also improve cognitive skills such as memory, organization, and attention span. And these benefits aren’t just reserved for kids. By joining the breathing buddies’ practice, you’ll experience these improvements yourself. 

If you’re searching for a breathing buddy to join you during your next mindfulness practice, then look no further than The Zoo Factory. We have a variety of stuffable animals for you and your child to choose from, so take a look through our inventory or contact us with any questions today! 

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How to Stop Your Kids from Roughhousing

How to Stop Your Kids from Roughhousing

Young children aren’t the gentlest of creatures. They are often loud, energetic, and rambunctious, creating a lot more chaos than there is calm. Roughhousing can be a particularly difficult problem to handle, as you want your children to have fun. Still, you don’t want them to hurt themselves or others.  

It’s important to teach your kids how to play gently and stop roughhousing before someone gets hurt. Here’s how: 

Demonstrate gentleness with a doll or stuffed animal 

Dolls, stuffed animals, and other toys can be excellent tools for teaching your children how to be gentle. For example, you can use dolls or stuffed animals to show your children how to hold a new pet or baby sibling properly. This hands-on approach is more effective than simply telling your children to be careful. It actually demonstrates how they can be careful.  

Model good behavior yourself 

Children learn behavior by watching their parents. If their parents are calm and kind, their kids will copy their mild behavior. Conversely, if parents are loud and irritable, their kids will replicate it and start showing signs of aggressive behavior. If you want children to be gentler, then you need to model that behavior yourself.  

Praise good behavior 

When it comes to our children, positive reinforcement is more effective than harsh punishments. If your child starts roughhousing, don’t scream at them to stop. Instead, you can offer other ways to play with their toys, siblings, or pets. Then, when they do start modeling gentle behavior, praise them for their efforts to further encourage them.  

Here at The Zoo Factory, we have plenty of stuffable animals that can help teach your children to stop roughhousing. Look through our website to get started!