Monthly Archives: November 2014

  • Buying the Best Stuffed Animals for Any Age

    stuffed animalsStuffed animals become well loved and treasured family members to a child. Even many adults still have their favorite stuffed teddy or kitty from their youth, and often these animals are passed down from one generation to another as beloved heirlooms. But all stuffed animals are not appropriate for all ages and there are a few things to take into consideration before gifting one of these childhood joys.

     

    Very young children between the ages of 0-2 years of age require stuffed toys that have nothing that can be accidently swallowed. This means no lights, noise makers, or clothing. The animal should be small enough to be comfortably held by the child, and brightly colored for attention and interest. The hair should be short so that it cannot be chewed and swallowed. The animal should also be washable.

     

    For children ages 3 and up, look for some of the child’s favorite animals. Never get a stuffed toy that the child might be scared of. For younger kids, be sure nothing can be swallowed. Be aware whether or not the stuffed friend is washable. At the young end of ages, keeping the animals clean is very important.

     

    Buy a stuffed animal that has some longevity. You may have to spend a bit more, but having a toy that will last and last as the child grows, gives that child to really bond with the animal. Also keep in mind what kind of storage is available in the home where the child lives. Very large stuffed animals are unique and fun, but most children like to be able to easily hold and often sleep with the animal.

     

    And finally, even adult’s love stuffed animals. Buying a dear friend a replacement for a loved animal that has been lost or is in an irreparable state can be a very loving thing to do. Stuffed animals remind us of easier times gone by long ago, when there were no responsibilities and obligations, and when the comfort of a stuffed toy could obliterate fears and ease you into sleep.
     
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  • Cleaning Your Stuffed Ani-pal

    UnicornKids and stuffed animals; they go together like cheese and crackers. Your child’s favorite fluffy friend is a companion, confidante, and playmate. Keeping these treasures clean and cared for is something your child can get into quite easily with a little help from you.

     

    Pookie the piglet or Snowflake the rabbit are going to get soiled and collect dust and your child should know that, just as he needs to take care of his body, his ani-pal’s body needs care as well. Showing him how to do this is not only instructive, but creates a deeper bond between child and stuffed animal.

     

    A simple hand-held vacuum can be used regularly to remove surface dust, and even a young child can do this. Make sure to get into all of Snowflake’s crevices, to vacuum feet, and give the entire body a good overhaul. It might also be good to explain to your child that dust is bad for his pal as well as himself, and that removing dust is good for Pookie’s health. Children imbue their toys with human emotions and needs, and your child will want a happy and healthy stuffed animal.

     

    dragonEvery few months it is a good idea to give your child’s stuffed animal a “bath” by putting it in the washing machine. Use cold water and a gentle cycle and follow the cleaning instructions on the animal. While you are doing this you will be teaching your child how to use the washing machine, as well as helping him understand that his ani-pal needs to be clean just as he does.

     

    You can make these tasks fun events for your child, special times for him and his stuffed animal to share together. And they can be instructional as well. This is a time for teaching your child how to care for someone other than himself, and these times of growth are important and precious for everyone, even for you.
     
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