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Scientific Reasons Why Kids Love Stuffed Animals

Scientific Reasons Why Kids Love Stuffed Animals

Studies have shown that more than 50 percent of Americans are still hanging on to the teddy bears they had when they were growing up. The idea of keeping a stuffed animal for years on end might seem silly. However, there are actually scientific reasons why so many kids—and adults—love their stuffed animals so much.

Stuffed animals make kids feel safe

It’s human nature for kids to yearn for feelings of peacefulness and safety. Often times, they’re able to find those feelings in the arms of a teddy bear. Studies have shown that kids who spend a lot of time holding a stuffed animal tend to feel calmer and more secure than those who don’t.

Stuffed animals can help fill a void

The average stuffed animal can’t walk or talk. Nevertheless, they can help kids overcome psychological trauma and fill a void in their lives. They can also make kids feel like they have some control over the things happening in their lives since they’re able to use their imaginations with their stuffed animals.

Stuffed animals prompt affection and nurturing behavior

Stuffed animals, and teddy bears specifically, are built to have many of the same facial features and proportions as humans. So, when kids hug a teddy bear, it makes them feel like they are caring for their teddy as much as they believe their teddy cares for them. Even though this stuffed animal is an inanimate object, a bond is formed.

Would you like to give a teddy bear or another stuffed animal to a special child in your life? The Zoo Factory has countless options for you to choose from, including farm animals, wild animals, and more. Order yours today!

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How to Help Your Shy Child

How to Help Your Shy Child

Shyness is often seen as a negative trait by many parents, but in reality, it can be a strength. Shy children are polite, attentive, and great listeners. Their shyness isn’t something that needs to be fixed, but your children may need help learning to cope with it as they’re introduced to new environments and new people.

Why is my child shy?

The first step in helping your shy child is learning more about shyness. Shyness is considered a complex trait, meaning that their shyness was caused by a combination of genetics and life experiences. Put simply, if your child is shy, they will likely be shy for the rest of their life, no matter what you do to “get them out of their shell.”

Don’t see it as a problem to be “fixed”

Many people see shyness as a problem, and that they have to “fix” it in order for their child to live a happy and carefree life. However, this isn’t the case, and telling your child that their shyness is a problem will only hurt their self-esteem. Just because your child doesn’t jump to introduce themselves to every stranger doesn’t mean they can’t be happy in their own way.

Instead, help them cope with their shyness

Shy children will likely be shy for their entire lives. Instead of trying to fix their shyness, teach them how to accept, cope, and live with it. You can do this in a few ways:

  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy: CBT teaches children how to face their fears and manage their anxiety in tough situations.
  • Social Scripts: Teach your child what to say and how to behave in certain situations. You can teach them by using toys or stuffed animals to practice social interactions.
  • One-on-one interactions: Introducing your child to a large group of people will just frighten them. One-on-one interactions are much easier for them, and you’ll have more success getting your child to open up.
  • Be patient: If your child shrinks away from a social situation, don’t lose your patients with them. Understand that it will take time until they’re completely comfortable around certain people.

Stuffed animals can help children cope with anxiety and learn social skills. At The Zoo Factory, we have many lovable stuffed animals that can help your shy child throughout their lives. Look through our inventory to get started!

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How to Divide Chores Between Your Kids

How to Divide Chores Between Your Kids

Chores can teach our kids valuable life lessons, making them more independent and more successful later on in life. But when you have multiple kids, dividing chores amongst them can be a chore on its own. After all, you don’t want things to feel unfair, but you also don’t want to give your kids more than they can handle.

Here we discuss how best to divide chores between your kids to keep everyone (mostly) happy in your household:


Make it age-appropriate

The types of chores you assign to your children will depend largely on their age. For instance, a 12-year-old could handle vacuuming their own room, but you can’t expect the same of your 6-year-old. Keep the chores age-appropriate so that everyone can handle their fair share. If you’re not sure what’s appropriate for your child, look through this list here.

Use a buddy system

A buddy system can ease the burden and even make chores a bit more fun for everyone involved. A younger sibling can help an older sibling with their tasks, allowing both to get through their chores quickly. You can also pair similar-aged siblings together to complete the same chores.

Rotate chores

If your kids are close in age, then the fairest way to divide chores is to rotate them. In other words, if Stacey cleaned the toy room last week, then it’s Tom’s turn to clean it this week. This keeps things fair, but it also changes it up and prevents chores from becoming too monotonous.

Have a reward system in place

Frankly put, your kids won’t do their chores just because you tell them to (though we certainly wish that were the case). A reward system will motivate kids to keep up with their tasks and do what is asked of them. This reward system can be a simple allowance, or it can involve presents such as a trip to the ice cream shop or a new toy.

If your kids have been keeping up with their chores, then consider rewarding them with a stuffable animal from The Zoo Factory. Look through our inventory today to get started!

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How to Teach Your Kids About Vaccines

How to Teach Your Kids About Vaccines

Vaccines can protect our kids from deadly diseases such as measles, mumps, and, of course, COVID-19. Currently, more and more people are receiving their first shot of the COVID-19 vaccine, and before we know it, our kids will be receiving their shots as well.

While we understand the importance of taking the COVID-19 vaccine, our kids may not be. That leaves it up to us, their caregivers, to explain the importance of not only the COVID-19 vaccine, but all other vaccines as well.

Keep it simple

Explaining how vaccines work is a good way to convince your kids of their importance. Nevertheless, you need to keep it simple. If you start talking about mRNA, white cells, and antigens, your kids won’t understand what you’re saying (most adults won’t understand either). Instead, explain how vaccines are like a practice run for your body—they teach the body how to fight against a virus so that they won’t get sick in the future.

Emphasize that the vaccine will help them protect others

Vaccines are never enjoyable to receive, and this can make your child reluctant to receive one. Emphasize that while vaccines may hurt, the little bit of pain is worth it to protect other people (specifically people like their grandparents or other elderly family members). Once again, keep the explanation simple by pointing out that if you don’t get sick, other people won’t get sick.

Use characters and toys

Sometimes kids respond better to vaccines when they see characters, role models, or even their favorite toys take part. For example, you could show them this video of Elmo and the Surgeon General explaining the significance of vaccines. You could also use your child’s toys or stuffed animals to demonstrate how vaccines work (this is the method behind many teddy bear clinics).

Be a role model

Just like characters and toys can be a role model for your kids, so can you. If your kid is nervous about getting the vaccine, take them with you when you go for your own shot. Seeing you get the vaccine will ease their anxieties and help them realize there’s nothing to be afraid of. As you’re receiving your shot, be careful not to flinch or appear scared (even if you are nervous yourself), as it’s important to put on a brave face and show that vaccines are no big deal.

For further parenting tricks and tips, read through our blog today!