Birthday Gift Ideas

  • Personalized T-Shirts for Your Stuffed Animal!

    plain t shirt

    Many times when you are looking for clothes for yourself you seem to be caught between buying the clothes that are popular and trying to find the clothes that speak to you and make a statement about who you are.

    Well now you don’t have to make a choice, at least not for a new stuffed friend!

    Our fabric markers are just that- markers that you can use on fabric. This means you buy our traditional plain t-shirt to fit your stuffable animal and use the markers to turn that t-shirt into anything you would like it to be.

    The markers come in a set of 8 colors. This gives you a variety of colors to choose from and endless options of what to design on your shirt. The great thing about designing your own shirt is that it can be personalized to what you or your child would like to see on shirts. You could even use the markers to create a matching shirt, so your child and their stuffed friend could match and they can show off their twin!

    It is important to allow your child to be creative and express themselves, they are only young once and you don’t want them to lose that innocence. When they grow up and start acting like little adults you will regret not having more days where they cuddled up with their stuffed animals and innocently playing with their toys.

    At The Zoo Factory, we aim to fuel your child’s imagination, all while making it fun and safe for them.
     
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  • Customizing Stuffable Animals For Your Child

    gorilla

    Having toys for your child to play with is important, it helps their imagination run wild and lets them have the dreams you hope they achieve someday.

    Many children will use their toys as a way of creating dreams and aspirations for themselves. Instead of letting your child use the popular toy to impersonate them, give them a stuffable animal that is them. Ok, maybe they will not look exactly like them but embodies them in every way possible.

    There are many ways to customize one of our stuffed animals to be your child's mini-me.

    First start with the clothes-you can dress them exactly how your child would dress on a daily basis or dress them in your child's favorite color.

    You can also pick the stuffed animal that you think most directly identifies with your child. For example if you have a child who loves to play at the park and is always climbing around you may want to give them a gorilla. Or if your child is somewhat shy and quiet, you could always get them a cute and cuddly rabbit. Choose the animal that is inside of your child just waiting to come out and play.

    One last thing you may want to include with your child's new friend is a scent. If your child is your little sweetie pie or cupcake make sure to include the cupcake aroma-bearapy.

    Make your child's next stuffed animal is a toy they will want to look up to and idolize as they create their own dreams.
     
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  • Wish Your Zoo Factory Animal a Happy Birthday!

    zoo factory birth certificate

    On your birthday you like to celebrate and have a great time with friends and family. Maybe you even have Zoo Factory birthday party planned for your little one. A birthday is a time to celebrate and look back on the fact that you have become another year older.

    The older you get the more you would like to forget it, but your children find it to be a very important day to them. They will also think it is important when their own little friend from zoo factory has their very own birth certificate.

    The birth certificate your Zoo Factory pets come with has a place to put the name your child has chosen for their pet. This is the time for them to choose a name they would want and name they think has meaning. Don’t take the creativity away from them, they are only little for so long.

    The next thing on the certificate is the date in which you made their pet. This will forever be their birthday and your child can celebrate it for years to come. Maybe they will give their friend a birthday as big as their own. Well, in their imagination anyways.

    The last and maybe the most important thing on the birth certificate is the name of the child who made them. This will serve as a forever reminder that they made them and they promised to forever keep them safe. When the days are gone that they no longer want to play with their stuffed toys you can add this to a growing book of memories to reflect on when they have children, and continue the tradition of making their very own friend.
     
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  • How to Wash and Style Your American Girl Doll's Hair

    Disheveled, frizzy hair is the bane of any woman's existence, no matter what age. Before girls get started with the products and blow dryers on their own hair, they start with their dolls. However, American Girl dolls are much more delicate and intricate when it comes to their materials.

    All doll hair is prone to becoming frizzy, and it can ruin the original style of an American Girl doll. Be sure to prevent your little one from trying to wash the doll's hair in a sink or with regular shampoo. There is an entirely different way to wash your doll's hair than your own.

     

    •    Fill a large bowl with cool water, a large mixing bowl or baby-tub is ideal. Add in a capful of wig shampoo.

    •    Then, you'll want to slowly, softly swish the hair around in the water, completely saturating it. You'll want to leave this soaking for fifteen minutes.

    •    After it has soaked for fifteen minutes, rinse with cool water, avoiding the doll's face.

    •    Simply towel-dry the hair, do not try to wring or twist it. The hair should remain damp for the next step anyways.

    •    Fill a big, yet shallow bin with fabric softener liquid. It should be about one inch high. Then, prop the doll against the edge, and comb the fabric softener through the hair and let her hair soak for one hour. You may have to check on the hair to keep it saturated for that hour.

    •    Then, rinse it with cool water and gently towel dry again.

     

    For a final touch, check out this helpful tutorial on how to steam your American Girl Doll's hair!

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  • The Zoo Party: A Fun Recap from a Fun Mom

    pig farm stuffable animal for birthday partyToday's guest post is brought to you by  fun-loving, mom-of-the-year, Dana!  Dana is always throwing great parties for her daughter, and she decided to share her awesome Zoo Party Recap with us! Share your thoughts with us in the comment's section below!

     

     

    I tend to go a little overboard for birthday parties for my daughter. When I say “little” I mean every thing MUST match the theme that I started preparing the day after her last birthday.
    This year’s theme was “The Zoo”. I was on top of these preparations like a boy scout looking to get the next merit badge. Don’t doubt it, this was the checklist:

    • Venue – Local zoo party room booked well over a month in advance.
    • Zoo Cake – Another thing ordered well in advance with matching zoo theme.
    • Invitations and Thank You cards – Monkeys included for a “wild time”
    • Food – Fruit and Veggie trays made to look like a forest with lion and tiger. (The zoo provided pizza with the party automatically, which was a nice bonus.)
    • Plates and Cutlery – Animal face plates with color matching plastic ware.
    • Activity for kids / party favors – A menagerie of animals from The Zoo Factory.

    The children in the party ranged from 3-11.  The highlight of the party for everyone was stuffing The Zoo Factory animals.  The younger children had to have their parents help with the stuffing but that made the activity even more fun for them.  I was worried that a couple of older kids in the party might not enjoy the party favors as much but that wasn't the case.  They had just as much fun stuffing and playing with them as the younger kids.

    In the end due to my obsessive planning everything turned out perfectly. I even received a compliment from one of the parents that I should become an event planner because everything was so wonderful.
    In case you are wondering next year theme will be “Bubbles at the Science museum”.

  • When Is A Newborn Baby Old Enough For Stuffed Animals?

    gift ideas for babiesWhen it comes to bringing a newborn baby home, medical experts advise parents to do and not do many different things. SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) is a leading cause of death for children under one year of age. An important piece of information parents should follow is to avoid placing toys, blankets or anything else into the crib that could increase chances of suffocation or SIDS.

     

    Newborn babies don't have the strength or skill to remove items from their face while in the crib. This is why the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents do not put soft objects in a baby's crib until 12 months of age. (http://www.babycenter.com/408_when-can-my-baby-sleep-with-a-stuffed-animal-or-doll_1368443.bc). A soft object includes a stuffed animal, regardless of size.   

     

    While stuffed animals are cute, fuzzy and appealing to babies, they can pose a threat. Most babies learn to roll over between three and four months old, which increases the chances of suffocation. There are plenty of things you can do to decorate a nursery before it's safe to put blankets and animals in the crib.

     

    There is a definite benefit of waiting for that first birthday before purchasing a plush friend for your baby. Just like with many other things, you’ll have to wait for signs of maturity and development, and not really a number. A good guideline is about one year. When your baby can remove things from his or her face, that’s when it’s safe to start the snuggling!

     

    At The Zoo Factory, we have tons of adorable and soft stuffed animal kits that make a great gift idea for your child's first birthday. By this milestone, you'll have a sense for what animals and colors your child prefers, making the buying process easier.

     

    When the time is right to include stuffed animals in the crib, don't forget to visit The Zoo Factory.

     

  • Awesome Gift Ideas for Tween Girls

    gift ideas for tweensTween girls are some of the hardest people to buy for. You can just as easily hit a home run as a foul ball. Fortunately, the internet makes it easy to avoid the latter. There are some things on the market that are super popular right now that will be a great hit for your pre-teen.

     

    1. Chalkboard Paint: Letting the creativity flow is a great outlet for tweens.  And with this gift you may find out that they are a great artist, or poet.  Here is a great room we found on Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/370280400582439746/ You can even use the new chalkboard wall to write down when tests/fieldtrips are for school too so they never forget.
    2. American Girl Dolls: If your daughter already has a collection of dolls, why not get them some new outfits?  We offer a great variety of clothes that fit 18'' American Girl dolls here at The Zoo Factory.
    3.  Cra-Z-Loom: Creating bracelets or jewelry never goes out of style.  Especially if you can making matching one’s for you and your group of girlfriends.  We found them at Toys“R”Us, and they are fairly inexpensive as well for the kit and even if you want to buy an extra bag of bands on the side as well.
    4. Monster High by Lisi Harrison: This book is all about the granddaughter of Frankenstein trying to find her place in her new high school. Guaranteed tween fun and we found it on Amazon.com

    We wish you the best of luck this holiday season hitting the stores for the perfect present for your tween. Hopefully our gift guide helps give you some great ideas for great gifts!

     

  • Party Favor and Décor Ideas for a Stuffable Animal Birthday Party

    pig farm stuffable animal for birthday partyWhen you're planning a stuffable animal themed party, you have a few options for your setting. Some parents opt for one animal choice, to avoid fighting over specific animals, while others prefer offering an array of options to the kids. If you wanted to go for a particular theme, then you could choose a few options that relate to it. Alternatively, if you want to keep it generic, you could offer a wide variety of animal styles.

    If you have a myriad of animals, you can go with an overall farm animal theme. This is probably the easier option, as it gives you more options for party favors, snacks, and games. Go with the color red, it's often associated with barns. Give the setting a farm feel with cornstalks and hay bales.

    If you want to go the other way, and keep everything the same, choose an animal that you can work with.  For example, if you offer one choice, opt for a bear. Your child could have almost any theme decorations, and a stuffed bear section would make sense; it is versatile.

    Regardless of the decor and theme, your party will need favors. Offer animal shaped treats or cookies as snacks to take home, this is a good idea for favors because they're already taking home their stuffed animal, so a snack feels like a new treat AND it's cost effective. We can't promise other parents will love you for feeding their kids sugar, and then sending them home with sugar, but you'll be the coolest parent ever.

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  • Five Great Ways to Spoil Your Birthday Boy or Girl

    By the time your son or daughter is in the tween years, you're bound to start running out of creative gifts. To continue your reign as "parent of the year", you'll have to outdo yourself every year (which can get exhausting).

    Gather ideas from Pinterest, meet with friends, or hit up eHow for an array if handmade DIY gift ideas. They're sentimental, cost effective, and fun to make. Or, you can look at a few ideas that other parents love on forums and online communities

     Go Feral

    cat purse gift for young girls birthday party
    Animal prints and character purses are hot items with the pre-teen crowd. Opt for something like a stuffed animal purse, or an animal print clothing item.

    Let the Customization Begin

    Younger kids love to create things, especially when it comes to personalizing their toys, clothes, and living area. Red Envelope has fun, interactive pillows where kids can create characters and dress them, right on the pillow. Our guess is, this gift would take the fight right out of bedtime; it’s play-until-you-fall-asleep fun!

    Get fun Props for the Party Theme

    Photo Props from Paper Source always make for a silly and exciting time! Look for things that match the theme of the party. For example, if you were doing pirates, this Captain Hat & Beard would make a great party favor for guests to wear around!

    Friendship Bracelets

    Kids, particularly girls, love to honor and celebrate their friendship with matching bracelets, necklaces or scarves. Consider something like DIY projects where everyone can make two bracelets; be sure to tell everyone to give their item away after the party, to avoid any hurt feelings.

    American Girl Dolls and/or Accessories

    american girl doll clothing items and knockoff accessoriesA few weeks ago, we went in depth about our new collection of clothes that fit American Girl Dolls and other 18'' dolls. These dolls are huge with younger girls, preteens, and girls often keep them as collectables when they outgrow them.If your intended has an American Girl Doll, a unique outfit, sports uniform, or cute sundress would be a wonderful gift.

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