Monthly Archives: May 2013

  • Behind the scenes of stuffed animal play

    You see it every day…a child playing make-believe with their stuffed animals. These animals become accessories to the imaginations of children. From dolls and animals in dress up attire to plush animals acting out scenes like those in fantasy or science fiction. Depending on the age of the child, these stuffed animals might be involved in elaborate plot lines or just sitting down for light conversation at high tea. What this means for the child is companionship, development and the ability to feel in control. To the stuffed animal, it means having a purpose!

     

    Elephant stuffed animalThis kind of play is known as dramatic play and it refers to the made up games that children enjoy. When adults witness it, they see a child acting cute while playing with stuffed animals and other non-living friends. But to a child involved in dramatic playing, the world that is created fosters their abilities to learn and develop. This is an imaginary world that supports intellectual growth and builds social and verbal skills.

     

    It may seem like just fun and games in a make-believe environment, but dramatic play with stuffed animals is rooted in psychology.

     

    During this type of play, children are acting out scenes from their own day-to-day lives, albeit, they are not entirely cognizant of that. They may be acting out, or reliving the things they've witnessed or participated in with their stuffed animals. That’s why some toddlers and young children carry their dolls and stuffed animals around like babies and why they mimic the coos that parents often do if there is a younger sibling at home.

     

    Sea animal stuffed animalSometimes young ones will scold a stuffed animal or doll as if it were a living thing if the child remembers being scolded or told “no” about something. The latter type of mimicking behavior should not be alarming unless accompanied by other negative behaviors or if it is the only type of dramatic play the child tends to participate in.

     

    Otherwise, watching a child act out real life scenes with a stuffed animal can be a great way to see how they are developing and how their minds are expanding. It is the first step towards gaining more in-depth play and learning how to form thoughts and relationships.

     

    So, the next time you see a little one sitting down for tea with a stuffed animal or solving a crime with a beloved plush friend, take a moment to listen in; you’ll discover that there is a lot more going on!

  • What makes a unique stuffed animal collection?

    Chances are if you child has one stuffed animal, he or she has 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.

    Some collections are clearly better than others. And if you child wants to collect every stuffed animal he or she can get her hands on, maybe they need learn that quality is better than quantity, and having 25 monkey stuffed animals might not make your collection stand out too much.

    Stuffed Animal Teddy BearHere are some ways to have your child’s stuffed animal collection unique.

    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.

    Stuffed animal kittyShow your variety – They don’t have to be just all stuffed animals. Beanie Babies, Care Bears and other unique designed or different style of stuffed animals, like The Zoo Factory’s personal stuffed animals, will certainly add a creative wrinkle that even parents can appreciate. This goes along with animals too. Unless you’re dealing with just valuable Steiff Bears, show your variety by having, lions, snakes, horses, movie characters and even the stuffable animals you create to make your collection stand out more than having 25 stuffed animal dogs.

    These are three ways to help improve or make your collection more unique.

  • Teddy Bear toss brings smile, fans

    There are plenty of stuffed animal drives throughout the country, but there not be a better one than this. The Calgary Hitman of the Western Hockey League, sponsors an annual act that's been part of their history for the past 18 seasons. It's called the Teddy Bear Toss.

    Back in December, hosting the Kootenay Ice, the Hitmen's first goal would yield a shower of teddy bears like it did every year. But every year it always seems to come as a surprise to the players.

    Whale Stuffed AnimalWhen the first goal of the game was scored by Hitmen winger Pavlo Padakin, the crowd went nuts, throwing a total of 21,453 stuffed bears onto the ice. Rather than just shrills and cheers, the fans started rifling their plush friends that encased the players in rainbows of soft colors.

    Padakin didn't expect the experience, which was his first, to be so overwhelming. As quoted in the Calgary Herald, Padakin said "I didn't think it was like this.....not emotional."

    With 16,912 fans in attendance and over 21,000 stuffed bears coloring the ice, you can only imagine the excitement from all who were there to see. Hitmen player Greg Chase reflected on the atmosphere by stating, "The nerves are flying at the start of the game — everyone wants to score that goal. We wanted to score in front of our fans and let those teddy bears come down." (Calgary Herald).

    Aside from the thrill of tossing a teddy onto the ice, imagine how the recipients felt? The Teddy Bear Toss has been a charity mission to bring smiles to those staying at the Alberta Children's Hospital. Since the tradition began 18 years ago, the Hitmen team has donated an astounding 213,000 bears.

    You'll find there to be quite a few stuffed animal drives across the country, but this one is certainly unique. For minor league teams, this idea is great for drawing and building a community of fans. But furthermore, it's not only a great marketing tool, it benefits children too. If your organization wants to sponsor an event to brighten someone else's day, browse through our many collections of cuddly stuffed animals today.

     

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