Kids 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.
Every 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.