Caring for Stuffed Animals

  • Stuffed Farm Animals the Perfect Easter Basket Stuffers

    While the traditional Easter candy and other edible treats make great basket stuffers, a stuffed animal will become a lifelong friend to your children beyond the celebration of a once-a-year holiday.

    That’s why we want to encourage you to incorporate some stuffed farm animals into your child’s Easter basket this holiday!

    Froggy Favorites Basket Stuffed Farm Animals the Perfect Easter Basket Stuffers

    Children that love frogs will adore a frog-themed Easter basket full of treats and gifts centric to their favorite animal. Fill colorful plastic Easter eggs with frog trinkets like shiny necklaces with frog charms, soft green socks, and dangly key chains. Tie the basket together with this adorable plush frog that will have your child hopping around with excitement on Easter morning!

    Rainy Day Basket

    Spring ushers in rainy days, perfect for splashing around in puddles! Create a rainy day Easter basket full of fun activities perfect for a rainy day, such as arts and crafts, treasured movies, new rain boots, and an umbrella with a silly pattern. Your child will love celebrating “duck weather” with this fluffy yellow duck and a new yellow rain hat.

    Gardening Basket

    April showers eventually bring May flowers, but you have to plant them first! Gift your little gardener with their very own gardening Easter basket, complete with packets of seeds, shovels, a bright watering can, and some fun gardener’s gloves. Make gardening even more fun with a garden buddy. This precious brown rabbit will easily help make gardening a new favorite pastime for your little one.

    Soft and Sleepy Basket

    Young kids love soft things to help lull them to sleep, so filling an Easter basket with only the softest treasures is sure to please! Pack a basket with soft, fleece blankets and small fluffy slippers. Throw in some fun soft pajamas, a new bedtime book, and the perfect snuggle buddy lamb for the ultimate bedtime basket!

    Get a head start on your Easter shopping and head over to The Zoo Factory and select your child’s new best friend. Shipping is on sale for orders over $50 now through March 31st!

     

  • Tips on Cleaning Teddy Bears

    If you haven’t yet cleaned the teddy bear that your child sleeps with on a night basis, you’re not alone. Washing stuffed animals can be a hassle and many children don’t want to part with their teddy, period.

    The Zoo Factory some several suggestions on how you can clean your child’s teddy bear to ensure that they remain fresh and loveable for years.

    Check the Tag

    Many stuffed animals are machine-washable (including ours) but you should always check a stuffed animal’s tag for washing instructions. If it doesn’t indicate washing instructions, you can usually get away with a cold wash on a delicate cycle or soaking it in cold water with detergent.

    Use a Garment Bag

     

    A garment bag typically protects a teddy’s plushness, making sure that it doesn’t get harmed in the washing machine. This can often allow you to wash it with other items, but we suggest washing teddy alone in order to be sage! If you don’t have a garment bag, you can use a pillow case that zips closed as an alternate.

     

    Allow a Natural Dry

     

    The dryer can be a little hard on teddy’s fur, instead, place teddy somewhere comfortable (preferably outside) to air dry. Make sure the teddy is completely dry before you returning it your child. A teddy that gets soaked might be damp on inside which can result in a build-up of bacteria. If you have a hair dryer, use that to speed the drying process and to ensure the inside of the bear gets dried too.

     

    Consider a Spot Clean

     

    If teddy has a tendency to stick his foot in spaghetti sauce or toothpaste, most of these stains can be easily spot cleaned. Use a damp cloth along with a blotting method to remove stains and spots. If water isn’t doing the job, use a tiny drop of detergent and use a clean damp cloth to remove the detergent from the toy.

     

    Looking for another stuffed animal to add to the family? Make your own stuffed animal with Stuffable Animal Kits from The Zoo Factory. With dozens of fun, soft animals to choose from, your child can pick out his or her new favorite friend and toy. 

  • The Importance of Washing Stuffed Animals Regularly

    stuffed animal laundry bagA stuffed animal is usually a child’s best friend. They go for car rides, play in the backyard and travel to every corner of your child’s imagination with them. With all of this adventure, they are bound to get a bit dirty on their travels, which is why it is so important to wash your stuffed animals on a regular basis.

    When Should a Stuffed Animal Be Washed?

    Any parent will tell you that trying to get a stuffed animal away from a child is a difficult task, especially if it is a favorite one. You should try to wash your little one’s stuffed animal friends when you notice that they are soiled, have food or other grime on them. We recommend getting this task done during the day, so your child can still go to bed with Teddy in their arms at night.

    How Should You Wash a Stuffed Animal?

    A common misconception about washing stuffed animals is that they will be destroyed in the washing machine. But with the help of our Teddy Needs a Bath Laundry Bag, you can rest assured that the only changes in your stuffed animals will be that they are clean and fresh-scented after a trip through the washer.

    How Can You Ensure Your Stuffed Animals Smell Great?

    Hoping to make your Teddy smell just as great as he did the day you brought him home? The Zoo Factory now offers Aromabearapy Scent Chips that you can purchase and stuff inside all of your stuffable friends before closing them up. We have 9 scents to choose from right now, including baby powder, cotton candy and cupcake.

    Order a few; this way you will have some backups to keep Teddy smelling great in between washes!

    Why Should You Wash Stuffed Animals?

    If your child has any allergies, regular washing of their stuffed animals will help to prevent flare ups. Dust mites can collect on stuffed animals, potentially causing eczema and asthma attacks. Besides when your stuffed animals get dirty, it is also important to wash them after your child is sick, or if there is a case of head lice found at their school.

    Ready to make Teddy smell fresh as the day he came home? Order all the supplies you need right here at The Zoo Factory!

  • Storage Solutions for Your Child’s Stuffed Animal Collection

    stuffed animalsThere are few things that young children love more than their stuffed animals, and there will come a time in every parent’s life when you start to wonder, “How many stuffed animals is too many?” This question usually comes about when your child no longer has room to sleep in their bed, because the entirety of it is covered in their much loved stuffed friends. And since we at The Zoo Factory are stuffed animal lovers through and through, we know that there is no such thing as too many stuffed animals!

    If you are facing an overflow of stuffed animals in your child’s room, but understand that they cannot be parted from any of their fluffy friends, here are a few ideas to help keep your son or daughter’s stuffed animals from taking over the entirety of their bedroom.

    Shelving

    A great way to keep your child’s stuffed animals organized while adding a touch of style to the walls of his or her bedroom, shelved are an attractive storage solution. The best part of this situation: As your young child grows older then can continue to use these shelves for sports trophies, academic awards, books and trinkets.

    Netting

    Hung in the corner of the bedroom, netting is an inexpensive storage solution for an overflowing amount of stuffed animals. Just toss your child’s stuffed animal friends into the net when they are done playing to make extra space around their bedroom.

    Depending on your child’s age, you may want to put a step stool near the net so they can easily get stuffed animal friends in and out on their own.

    Closet Organizer

    Available at most general merchandise stores, closet organizers are a handy way to keep stuffed animals out of sight when they are not in use. Hung in your child’s closet or the closet in the playroom, an organizer that reaches to the floor will have more than enough room for all your child’s stuffed animals. We recommend putting their favorite friends neat the bottom so they can grab them on their own when it’s time for their next tea party or adventure.

    For more stuffed animal storage solutions, check out this WooHome.com article.

    Now that you have plenty of room for your son or daughter’s stuffed animal collection, it’s time to give everyone a bath before putting them in their new home! To ensure your child’s stuffed animals make it through the laundry machine safely, we recommend using the Teddy Needs a Bath Laundry Bag. Currently on sale for just $7.00 here at The Zoo Factory, this bag is made of 100% cotton and is perfect for the washing of all delicate items.

  • Japanese Company Gives Old Stuffed Animals New Life

    child with stuffed animal

    When you think back to your childhood and your favorite stuffed animal, what do you see? If it’s a teddy bear with loose stitching or a missing arm, it is obvious that your stuffed friend was well-loved. And while your mom might have replaced a missing eye with a button, or continually re-stitched the same hole, Second Life Toys – a Japanese campaign created by Dentsu Japan – has found a creative and beautiful way to give new life to old stuffed animals.

    A country that has the lowest rate of organ transplants in the industrialized world, Japan wanted to spread awareness for the concept of organ donation and let individuals across the country know how it works with the help of stuffed animal transplants.

    Participants will take a photograph of their toy for approval, sending the actual animal in for “surgery” through the mail once approved. Animals will be given new life with transplanted limbs, showing individuals that organ donation is an enhancement, not a compensation.

    Examples include a deer with new, fuzzy pink back legs and a white bunny with a new, floral printed ear.

    [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=twRsHV0UByA&feature=youtu.be[/embed]

    This program is especially wonderful for introducing the concept of organ donation to children, and we at The Zoo Factory think it is a beautiful project that combines learning with whimsical fun.

    While there isn’t a program like this to bring new life to U.S. stuffed animals, we do have advice to help keep new stuffed critters in the best shape possible.

    Especially for the stuffed animals that your children play with the most, pay close attention to their seams, checking them regularly for small rips and tears. A little hole under a bears arm is much easier to repair than a missing limb!

    We recommend sewing injuries by hand, keeping stitches close and matching the thread to the fur color.

    It is also important to keep your stuffed friend clean, but just throwing it in the washing machine could cause extra wear.

    Our Teddy Needs a Bath Laundry Bags are the perfect alternative, preventing your children’s treasured stuffed animals from being damaged in the washing machine while providing them with the deep clean necessary to keep them looking their best for years to come.

    For all your stuffable animal needs, visit The Zoo Factory online or contact us by phone at 866-993-3325. Whether you are hosting a birthday party or just looking for a fun activity to do with your kids, stuffing 8” or 16” animals is sure to be a fun time!

  • 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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  • Cotton Candy Dryer Sheets & Teddy Needs a Bath

     

    The Zoo Factory is now offering awesome products from a Shark Tank success story! Shark Tank is an Emmy nominated reality show, in which self-made entrepreneurs search to invest in some of the best businesses and ideas in the country. A recent winner had an idea that was too awesome for us to forget about. Subsequently, The Zoo Factory now carries Cotton Candy Dryer Sheets and Teddy Needs a Bath Bags.

     

    Teddy Needs a Bath

    The National Allergy Association suggests cleaning your child's stuffed toys often, at least once per month. Washing a stuffed toy in a traditional washer and dryer may effectively destroy bacteria, but it could destroy your son or daughter's beloved 'pet' as well.

    Teddy Needs a Bath is a safe, pediatrician recommended solution for removing bacteria and dust mites, while keeping the toy intact.

    Cotton Candy Dryer Sheets

    You can add to the excitement by drying the stuffed animal with a scented dryer sheet. Place it inside the Teddy Needs a Bath laundry bag, along with the toy, and it will come out smelling sweet and feeling soft.

    For more information about these awesome products, visit: teddyneedsabath.com

  • How to clean your child’s favorite stuffed animal

    Nemo stuffed animalThat stuffed animal has been at your child’s side for what seems like ages. You can’t picture one without the other. Except, you could probably stand to see the animal looking a little cleaner! When a well-loved stuffy has seen better days, performing a little magic cleaning can have it looking like new again.

     

    Firstly consider a few factors when determining how to clean the stuffable animal. For instance, the older the animal is, the more fragile it has become. Harsh scrubbing may end up doing more damage than good, so it’s best to approach cleaning mildly and gently. Also, you will want to gage your level of cleaning on how the stuffy is constructed and what materials from which it is made. An animal with sturdy stitching and heat-friendly stuffing might do well being machine washed and dried. But an animal bonded by glue, or with moving parts will not fair well in a washing machine and dryer.

     

    However, some stuffed animals are machine safe. Those made for babies are typically made of soft, fleecy material and usually made to be washed in the washing machine. After all, babies tend to chew, drool and spit up on things in the crib. Always read labels or use your best judgment. Those stuffed animals that may operate by battery often have a battery removing system so that they can be washed. When possible, be sure to remove any battery compartments or other non-washable parts before washing.

     

    Stuffed animal horseFollow all directions on labels when you can. For instance, if it says wash by hand, sometimes you can get away with a gentle cycle on the washer. But if it says surface clean only, it is best to comply. Be sure to remove any bows or accessories before washing in a machine. Not only can these items fall off or get ruined in the machines, but they have a nasty habit of working their way inside the machine and can cause serious problems for your appliances.

     

    Animals that have been loved hard sometimes don’t make the cut anymore. Those that are deemed unsalvageable should be tossed. However, if is very meaningful, try to replace it with a new one before tossing the old. Also, if you are going to throw it out anyway, try it in the washing machine just in case. You haven’t got anything to lose!

     

    Learning how to spot wash or wash by hand is a value to the beloved build a stuffed animals.  Take a vacuum brush to the animal and gently remove dust and dirt. An upholstery cleaner may also be used on the stuffed animal, but be sure to test an area of the stuffed animal first. And avoid using harsh chemical cleaners on any stuffed animal that may go into the child’s mouth. A safe, non-toxic cleaner can be made of warm water and a squirt of liquid dishwashing soap. Beat the liquid and soap on a medium speed until foamy. Sponge clean the animal and use a spray water bottle to remove the suds. Let the animal air-dry. If desired, fluff the animal on a low heat or delicate dryer setting.

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