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How to Support Your Child’s Mental Health

father playing with children

As caregivers, we want the best for our kids. We support their academic careers, their ambitions, and their physical health. However, we also need to support their mental health. We live in stressful times, and supporting our children’s mental health is of the utmost importance. Here’s how to get started:

Praise their character

While our children’s accomplishments are important, they’re not the only thing that is important. Their character—how they behave and present themselves—truly shows what kind of person they are. Praising your child’s character will help them build self-confidence and instill good habits.

Don’t hold back your love

We love our kids, but sometimes we struggle to show it during our busy lives. However, showing unconditional love regularly will remind kids that they are cared for and loved. Even if your child makes mistakes, they’ll know they have a family there to love and support them.

Spend quality time together

While our daily lives are busy, it’s important to spend some quality time with our children. Not only does this show them we care, but it can also decrease isolation and loneliness. And it doesn’t haven’t to be a fancy affair. Watch TV with them, take a walk, or help them with their homework.

Have open communication

Your children should feel comfortable to talk to you about anything. Show your child that you’re open to anything by asking them open-ended questions. They may not always answer them, but simply asking the questions will teach them that they can come to you with anything once they feel comfortable.

For more parenting tips and tricks, read through our blog here at The Zoo Factory!

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How to Choose Which Stuffed Animals to Keep

teddy bears and toys

Chances are if you child has one stuffed animal, they have plenty more. Lots of times, this collection of animals can grow out of control, hanging on to every stuffed animal they’ve acquired over the years. You’ll need to cut back, but which ones do you keep and which ones do you donate? Read on to learn more:

More isn’t necessarily better

The only thing unique about having a stuffed animal collection of over 100 is the size. What do you do with all of them? How many are the same stuffed animal, or at least the same animal? Having a variety of stuffed animals will make your collection stand out more. Try and get rid of animals you have duplicates of or ones that are the same animal.

Movie and TV characters

In every collection, it’s always a good idea to have a stuffed animal of your child’s favorite Disney movie character or TV character. Adding a Simba or Sponge Bob Square Pants to the collection will show a pop culture side to your child and even how they become a fan of a movie or character at an early age. Plus, some of these stuffed animals can turn into collectables or even valuables as time goes on.

Sentimental value

A stuffed animal may not look special, but it can be special to your child. You never want to throw away any stuffed animal that has sentimental value. That’s why, when you’re sorting through stuffed animals, make sure you get your child’s input. They’ll know best which animals are special to them.

For more child caring and stuffed animal tips, read through our blog at The Zoo Factory today!

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How to Safely Use a Baby Swing

baby in a baby swing

A baby swing is a great item to have for your little one. It can keep them comfortable and even lull them to sleep. However, misusing a baby swing can become hazardous. To keep your baby safe, follow the tips below:

Read the instruction manual and ensure it has not been recalled

The first step is to make sure that you set up your baby swing correctly. Read through the instruction manual carefully and check that all the parts are included. If you bought the baby swing second-hand, do some research to make sure it hasn’t been recalled.

Don’t let your baby sleep in the swing

A baby swing can lull your baby to sleep. However, once they’re asleep, be sure to take them out and place them in their crib. Babies should always sleep on a flat surface to reduce the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).

Check the straps and harnesses

If your baby swing reclines at an angle greater than 50 degrees should have shoulder straps to keep your baby safe and in place. Before placing your baby in the swing, double-check the straps and harnesses and ensure the belts are fastened.

Keep babies under four months in the most reclined position

If your child is under four months old, make sure that the swing is set in the most reclined position. This will decrease the chance of SIDs or your baby slumping forward.

Check the weight limit

Your baby’s weight should never exceed the limit of the baby swing. If it does, find a swing that falls inside their weight range.

As your baby sits comfortably in their swing, give them some company with a stuffable animal! Look through our website today to get started!

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The Benefits of Traveling with a Stuffed Animal

stuffed animals sitting in car seat

Traveling to new places can be an exhilarating experience for you and your kids. But from time to time, our kids can get a little homesick. That’s why many of them bring their trusted stuffed animal friend with them for the trip. Acting as a source of comfort, there are many benefits to your child bringing their stuffed animal along for the ride.

It reminds them of home

Many travelers pack a beloved stuffed animal when they go on trips because it reminds them of home when they have to be away. After all, going to a new place can be scary as much as it is exciting. Having their stuffed animal at their side can help your child transition to a new place more easily.

It will help them sleep

The first few nights in a hotel can be difficult for your child. They’re in a new place with different sounds. As such, they could get nervous when going to sleep at night. Their stuffed animal can help protect them and make them feel safe in strange, dark surroundings.

Stuffed animals are part of the family

To some, the stuffed animal is part of the family. When you go on a family vacation or a trip, you don’t leave some of your family behind; you take them all with you. So, why would you leave a beloved stuffed animal behind? Your child’s stuffed animal wants to enjoy the trip as much as they do!

Here at The Zoo Factory, we think every child should bring along their favorite stuffed animal on their next adventure. To find a stuffed animal for your child, look through our website today!

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The Benefits of Giving Your Kids Chores

young girl doing chores

As your child gets older, you want to teach them the importance of responsibility. One key way to do that is to give them chores. Giving your child chores will not only help you around the house, but it will also teach your child vital life lessons. Read on to learn more:

Chores can build self-esteem

Accomplishing a task, especially if it was difficult, is one of the best ways to build your self-esteem. Your child may complain and grumble when they have to do chores, but once they’ve completed the task, they’ll feel a sense of satisfaction. When they see themselves finishing chores, they’ll see they are capable of more than they realize.

It encourages independence

When you ask your child to vacuum the carpet or dust the shelves, you’re teaching them how to take care of themselves once they’re older. Chores foster independence, and this independence will help them when they live on their own in the years ahead.

Chores will become a habit

The more your child does their chores, the more those chores will become a habit. They’ll stop grumbling about cleaning the dishes and instead automatically do it once dinner is done. By establishing these chores as habits, this will help them keep a healthy and clean environment when they’re out on their own.

It teaches cooperation and teamwork

When everyone pitches in to keep the house clean and orderly, your children will learn the importance of cooperation and teamwork. They’ll be less likely to see household chores as a burden but as a way to help out the family.

When your child does their chores, it’s important to show your appreciation and give them a goal to work towards. A stuffable animal from The Zoo Factory can be just that. Look through our website today to get started!