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How to Properly Store Your Stuffed Animals for the Long-Term

How to Properly Store Your Stuffed Animals for the Long-Term

If you’ve ever had to put away your stuffed animals, for any reason, you know how difficult it can be, both for sentimental and practical reasons. However, there will come a time when you just don’t have the space to keep your childhood stuffed animals around in your room anymore. For this, you will need long-term solutions that will keep your stuffed animals safe and protected. Here’s how to get started:

Display them

Most adults don’t play with their childhood stuffed animals, but they still get joy from seeing their favorite teddy bear sitting nearby. Displaying your stuffed animal collection using glass-front shelves or freestanding cases can keep them protected while keeping them in sight.

Use air-tight storage bins

Perhaps you don’t mind not seeing the stuffed animals but still want them protected while in storage. Air-tight storage bins are your best bet, as these will ensure that bugs, dust, and dirt won’t collect onto your stuffed animals. You can keep these storage bins under your bed or down in your basement. If you place them in your basement, try to keep them off the floor in the case of any flooding.

Wrap them in acid-free tissue paper or boxes

By wrapping each stuffed animal in acid-free tissue paper or acid-free boxes, you can preserve the life of the stuffed animals when they are not on display or in use. To prevent matted fur, try using more than one box to put the stuffed animals in. They should spring back to life and be ready for play or decoration when the time is right again.

For more tips on how to care for your stuffed animals, read through our blog or contact The Zoo Factory today!

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4 Tips for Giving Your Kids an Allowance

4 Tips for Giving Your Kids an Allowance

Many parents struggle on whether or not they should be giving their kids an allowance. However, allowances can be good teaching moments, helping your child learn how to better manage their money at an early age. If you’re planning on giving your kids an allowance, here are some tips to get you started: 

Make them earn it 

You shouldn’t just be handing out money to your kids every week. This will teach them very little about the rewards of hard work. Instead, have their allowance depend on the chores that they get done around the house. If they don’t do their chores, they don’t get their allowance. You can also add bonuses if your child does extra work around the house, or if they did particularly well on a recent exam. 

Give them one dollar per year of age, each week 

Once you have the rules set in place, the next thing you need to think about is how much you’re giving your kids each week. It’s recommended that you give them $1 per year of age, each week. In other words, if you have a 5-year-old at home, they should be earning $5 each week. Once they turn 6, they’ll earn $6 each week, and so on and so forth. 

Encourage them to save 

Kids have poor impulse control, so they will likely want to spend their money right away. If this is truly what they want to do, then let them, but you should try encouraging them to save their money for something else down the road. Help create an end-goal (such as tickets to an amusement park or a new stuffed animal) that they can build towards to teach them the benefits of saving. 

But let them spend their money how they want 

At the end of the day, your child earned that money fair and square, so they should be able to spend it on what they want. Even if it’s something silly that they won’t want in a few hours, buyer’s remorse can be a good teaching moment for your kids. The more they experiment with their money, the more they will learn how to better manage it in the long run. 

Once your child has saved up some money of their own, one of the many things they can buy for themselves is a stuffable animal from The Zoo Factory. Check out our inventory to get started! 

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How to Encourage Your Child to Read

How to Encourage Your Child to Read

Reading is one of the best things a child can do for themselves. Not only will it help them academically, but it will also help them throughout their entire lives, giving them access to a vast collection of knowledge and skills. Vocabulary, critical thinking skills, attention span, and more are all tied to reading. However, not all kids are keen to pick up a book right away. Thankfully, there are ways to encourage a love of reading in your child from an early age. 

Read with them 

Reading with your child sets a good example while also associating reading with something enjoyable (i.e. spending quality time with you, their parent). The more often you read with your child at an early age, the more likely reading will become a habit.  

Let them pick the books that they want to read 

One of the reasons why kids dislike reading is because they dislike the subject that they’re reading. If they’re given books to read that they think are boring, they’re less likely to crack open those books in the first place. Instead, take your child to the library or your local bookstore and let them pick out the book that they want.  

Make sure the books aren’t too easy or too difficult 

Even if your kids are reading books that they find interesting, if the material is too difficult for them to read, they might get frustrated with it. Conversely, if it’s too easy, they’ll likely get bored with it. Make sure that whatever book your child picks out is roughly at, or just slightly above, their reading level. If you’re not sure what they’re reading level is, consult your child’s teachers. 

Reading buddies 

Another technique that parents use to encourage reading is reading buddies. This is where stuffed animals are used to help children learn how to read. Children can read books to their stuffed animals, or parents can use stuffed animals to hook their kids into a particular book. 

Looking for a new reading buddy for your child? The Zoo Factory has you covered. We have stuffable animals of all shapes and sizes, so look through our inventory or contact us for more information. 

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Helping Your Child Return to School After COVID-19

Helping Your Child Return to School After COVID-19

School districts around the country are taking steps to safely return kids back to school. Some schools are bringing kids back completely, others are doing a hybrid model, and there are a few that are opting for completely digital learning. While schools are doing everything that they can to keep your children safe, there are some things that you, as a parent, can do as well to better prepare your child for the new school year. 

Talk to them 

Older kids likely understand the risks that are involved and the precautions they need to take when going back to school. Younger kids, meanwhile, may struggle to understand why they need to wear a mask or why they’re not going to school five days a week. Before the school year starts, take some time to sit down and talk with your child about why this new year will be different and how important it is for them to practice good social distancing.  

Check their temperature each morning 

One of the first signs of COVID-19 is a high temperature. Catching it early will help ensure that your child doesn’t spread the disease to other children and families. Check their temperature every morning to determine whether or not they should go to school. If their temperature is ever higher than 100.4 degrees, then they should stay home. 

Get them a mask and hand sanitizer 

It is more than likely that your school district will require children to wear masks. Even if they are not required, it is still a good idea to wear them. Be sure you have at least two masks for your child, as chances are, they’ll lose their first one eventually. You should also equip them with some hand sanitizer to further limit disease spread.  

If you can, avoid the bus 

Buses can be a prime spot for the coronavirus to spread. If you can manage it, try and drive your kid to school yourself, or have them carpool with a trusted friend. If the bus is your only option, then make sure your kid wears their mask and stays six feet away from other kids at all times.  

These are stressful times for both parents and kids. That’s why we at The Zoo Factory want to do everything we can to make things easier on families. Our stuffable animals can be a great source of comfort to kids, and our blog is an excellent resource for parents. Have further questions? Then don’t hesitate to reach out today!