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How to Teach Critical Thinking Skills to Your Children

young boy thinking while working on homework

Talk to any doctor, teacher, or parent, and they’ll all agree about the importance of critical thinking skills. And indeed, critical thinking skills can help kids better understand themselves, people, and the world around them. But how, exactly, do you teach critical thinking skills to your children? Read on to learn more:

Be a role model

Our kids copy what we do. We are their prime role models, so we have to act like it. If we want our kids to become better critical thinkers, modeling critical thinking in our own behavior is a great way to start. You can do so by verbalizing your thinking skills, or in other words, actually thinking through something out loud, in front of your child, can help them learn critical thinking skills.

Teach them how to solve problems

Problem-solving requires critical thinking skills. After all, when you’re faced with an unexpected problem, you need to think creatively and critically to find a solution. When children face problems in their own lives, resist the temptation to solve it for them. Instead, encourage them to find ways to solve their problem themselves, providing support when and if they need it.

Get them to ask questions

Critical thinking is all about questioning the world around us. A person with strong critical thinking skills will question how things are done and wonder if there are better ways to accomplish their goals. Encouraging our children to ask questions will help them to think more critically and independently throughout their lives.

Play with them

Did you know that games can help children learn critical thinking skills? Board games and video games help with strategic and critical thinking, but so too can pretend play. Playing with our kids can teach them valuable lessons and help them find new ways of solving their problems.

Playing with their favorite stuffed animals can help our kids learn critical thinking skills. Look through our shop here at The Zoo Factory to find a new stuffed animal companion for your child!

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Why Seniors Love Stuffed Animals

stuffed animals

The very idea of a stuffed animal connotes something that is soft, cuddly and comforting. For the very young, these animals provide a level of security that can only be matched by a loving human counterpart. But what about senior citizens? Can stuffed animals provide the same comfort as they do for kids? Turns out, they can. Read on to learn more:

Stuffed animals provide companionship

More and more senior citizens are entering senior living facilities and nursing homes throughout the country. Many of them have lost spouses or loved ones. Some of them have no family to speak of, while others do not have routine family and friend visitors. Life can be lonely and challenging.

However, stuffed animals can provide a sense of companionship that many senior citizens lack. For those who live in skilled nursing facilities or require personal assistance, often times a stuffed animal becomes a source of entertainment or serve as something familiar within the room or at bedside. A stuffed animal or doll with a cuddly face and body can truly give people a feeling of comfort. Just one squeeze of a stuffy and all your troubles seem to melt away.

Stuffed animals remind seniors of their youth

These plush creatures are fully capable of putting smiles back on seniors’ faces, providing comfort, and allowing for endless hugging and nurturing. Stuffed animals remind the elderly of their own youth, or their children and grandchildren. Both elderly men and women can remember a time when they were younger and had a few stuffed animals or dolls that provided hours of entertainment. They remember buying or making them for their own children and watching them learn and grow with their own stuffies and dolls.

For those who may have a hoard of gently used stuffed animals that they would like to unload, consider donating them to a senior living facility or nursing home. There are surely plenty of senior residents who would love to snuggle with them, talk to them, comfort and be comforted by them. Giving a second life to a stuffed animal while brightening the day of an elderly person is truly a remarkable gift.

For more information, read through our blog or contact The Zoo Factory today!

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How to Celebrate Valentine’s Day with Your Kids

mother and daughter holding up valentines day hearts

Valentine’s Day isn’t just for couples. You can also plan some special activities for your kids. So, before you head out on your romantic dinner with your partner, check out some of these Valentine’s Day activities you can enjoy with your kids.

Craft valentines together

Who doesn’t love getting a valentines on Valentine’s Day? Hand-crafted one from your children are especially thoughtful, both for other kids and adults in your life. Plan out a short list of who your children want to give their valentines to, collect some crafting supplies, and let them at it.

Bake some chocolate goodies

The hallmark of Valentine’s Day is, of course, chocolate. While you can always get chocolate from the store, it’ll mean that much more to people if it’s homemade. Plus, you can make some extras and enjoy them yourself! Just make sure your kids are staying safe in the kitchen as you bake.

Decorate the house

If you’re making valentines, you can save some extra supplies for Valentine’s Day decorations around the house. Hand-made paper hearts are always a classic. You can hang them over entryways, or you can tape them to the walls throughout your house.

Plan a special treat for when you’re out

You and your partner will likely want some time away from the kids on Valentine’s Day. For many parents, this means going out for a romantic dinner. But don’t just leave your kids home alone with the babysitter. Instead, plan something special for them while you’re gone for the night. For example, you could rent their favorite movie so they can watch it while you’re away, or you can get them a stuffable animal kit from The Zoo Factory.

Get them something special

Everyone loves getting gifts on Valentine’s Day. It’s the perfect way to express your love. When it comes to your kids, consider getting them some of their favorite candies or an adorable teddy bear.

Here at The Zoo Factory, we have many teddy bears and other stuffable animals that your children will adore this Valentine’s Day. Look through our website today to get started!