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How to Help Your Child Build Their Self-Esteem

How to Help Your Child Build Their Self-Esteem

We all want our kids to have high self-esteem. After all, high self-esteem can make our kids more capable and confident, both now and into the future. But self-esteem doesn’t just appear on its own. There are things that we, as parents and caregivers, can do to further promote our children’s confidence in their abilities.

Here are just a few but impactful ways that you can help build your child’s self-esteem:

Show your love

Our kids aren’t mind-readers. While we know how much we love them, they may be less sure if we are more stoic about our emotions. So, be sure to show them how much you love them each and every day. It doesn’t have to be something overt. Instead, it can be something as simple as a hug goodbye, a kiss on the forehead before bed, or listening to them talk about their day.

Give them responsibilities

Chores and other responsibilities will show your kids that they are capable of much more than they thought. If you always take care of everything, your kids will think that they can’t do anything on their own. So, don’t be afraid to give your kids some age-appropriate chores to do, as well as an allowance for each chore they complete.

Let them be independent

Allowing your kids to be more independent will, similar to added responsibilities, show them what they are capable of. Confidence and independence are directly linked, with one building off of the other and vice versa. While your kids may make mistakes, they will learn and grow from it more than they would if you take care of everything for them.

Play with them

Spending fun, quality time with your kids is another way to show them that you love them. Plus, the more our kids play, the more they learn; and the more they learn, the more confident they will become. Not to mention that regular playtime is a great stress reliever, especially during these difficult times.

Here at The Zoo Factory, we carry plenty of lovable, stuffable animals for your child to play with. Have questions? Then feel free to contact us today!



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Pandemic Pods: Everything You Need to Know

Pandemic Pods: Everything You Need to Know

The majority of schools around the country have some form of online learning. Unable to sit in a classroom with their peers, many kids and parents are turning to pandemic pods to fill the void. Here is everything you need to know:

What are pandemic pods?

A pandemic pod is like a bubble. A small group of families get together and only interact with the people within the pod. They will provide childcare, educational assistance, and playdates to everyone in the group. By interacting only with the people within a pandemic pod, families can allow their kids to socialize without putting them at risk of contracting the coronavirus.

How to set up a pod

With cases starting to rise once again, you want to keep your kids safe, but you don’t want them to become isolated. Pandemic pods act as a great compromise, allowing children to socialize safely with a low risk of infection. But how do you set one up? Here are a couple of steps to get you started:

Talk to parents of your children’s friends

When forming a pod, look for families you trust and who are good friends with your children. You can also stay within your family, asking cousins to join in. The key is to provide your kids with similar-aged peers to hang around with.

Set the rules

Once you have a few families who have agreed to the pod, it’s time to set some ground rules. These include the following:

  • Determine who, outside of the pod, families can interact with (ideally, only those within the pod should interact with each other, but you can add in close family members as well)
  • Make a plan for if anyone gets sick
  • Determine if you’ll wear masks and social distance (you should do this if you interact with people outside of the pod)
  • Figure out which days you will meet and who will supervise during these meetings

We at The Zoo Factory want our kids to have fun but also stay safe. For more tips on protecting your child during the coronavirus pandemic, read through our blog here!

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What Is Dramatic Play and Why Is It Important?

What Is Dramatic Play and Why Is It Important?

We all know how beneficial playtime can be for our kids. Not only is it lots of fun, but it can also lower stress levels and decrease symptoms of depression. But did you know that different types of play can have different effects on our kids? Dramatic play provides kids a chance to show off their creativity and live lives they otherwise wouldn’t have. Read on to learn more:

What is dramatic play?

Dramatic play refers to the make-believe games your kids create. They often include characters and stories of your kid’s creation, almost as if they were putting on their own play. Some kids may become especially dedicated to the game, putting on costumes and dressing up their dolls and toys to fit in with the scene.

Dramatic play vs. pretend play

Another term that is thrown around is pretend play. Dramatic play and pretend play are extremely similar, and many people use the terms interchangeably. However, some view dramatic play as a more complex form of pretend play, employing plots and three-dimensional characters.

Why is it important?

Dramatic play can bring a whole host of benefits to your kids. After all, dramatic play requires creativity and imagination, two things that can enhance critical thinking skills and symbolic thought. But that’s not all dramatic play can do:

  • Boosts intellectual development
  • Enhances verbal skills
  • Develops symbolic thought
  • Let’s kids practice higher-level thinking
  • Works on creativity and imagination

At The Zoo Factory, we carry plenty of lovable, stuffable animals for your child to play with. Look through our inventory today to get started!

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How to Improve Your Child’s Fine Motor Skills

How to Improve Your Child’s Fine Motor Skills

If you’re a parent, you’ve probably heard about your child’s fine motor skills. Known as the ability to move the small muscles in your hands, fingers, and wrists, our fine motor skills impact our everyday lives. It can affect how we write, how we play, and how we do our work. \

As children, developing our fine motor skills is crucial, but how do you do so? Follow these steps to find out:

Drawing, coloring, and writing

Fine motor skills are mainly used when we write our names or draw a picture. As such, the more our children practice drawing, color, or writing, the better they’ll become at all three. Their work doesn’t have to be perfect, for even small scribbles and doodles can make an impact. So, grab your kid a colored pencil set and let their imagination run wild!


If your child doesn’t enjoy drawing or writing, they can always try their hand at some crafts.  Origami, paper snowflakes, and scrapbooking are just some of the many crafts that can improve your child’s fine motor skills. Plus, these activities can be relatively cheap. All that your child needs is some paper, glue, and scissors to make something wonderful for you or themselves.

Toys and games

Many toys and games can help improve your child’s fine motor skills. Even video games are known to help, thanks to the various movements you have to make on their controllers. Just make sure that the toys and games you get for your child are age-appropriate and don’t pose any risks to their health.

The Zoo Factory’s stuffable animals can be great tools to help your child work on their fine motor skills. Look through our inventory to get started!