Fun Facts about Stuffed Animals

  • Scientific Reasons Kids Love Stuffed Animals

    Studies have shown that more than 50 percent of Americans are still hanging on to the teddy bears they had when they were growing up. Even though those teddy bears aren’t as soft and cuddly as they used to be, people keep them for all kinds of reasons. For some, it’s because it provides them with a sense of comfort, while others have held onto their bear for so long now they can’t imagine giving it up.

    The idea of keeping a teddy bear for years and even decades on end might seem silly to some people. However, there are actually scientific reasons for why so many kids—and, by extension, adults—love teddy bears and other stuffed animals so much. Here are a few of the scientific reasons behind it.

    Teddy bears are made to make kids feel safe and peaceful

    It’s human nature for kids to yearn for feelings of peacefulness and safety. Often times, they’re able to find those feelings in the arms of a teddy bear. Studies have shown that kids who spend a lot of time holding a teddy bear tend to feel calmer and more secure than those who don’t.

    Teddy bears can help fill a void

    The average teddy bear can’t walk or talk or offer any real emotional support to a child. Studies have indicated that teddy bears can, however, help kids overcome psychological trauma and fill a void in their lives. They can also make kids feel like they have some control over the things happening in their lives since they’re able to use their imaginations with their teddy bears.

    Teddy bears are designed to prompt affection and nurturing behavior from kids

    There are a lot of studies that have been done on the designs used to create teddy bears. Many have shown that teddy bears are built to have many of the same facial features and proportions as humans. So when kids hug a teddy bear, it makes them feel like they are caring for their teddy as much as they believe their teddy cares for them. Even though this stuffed animal is an inanimate object, a bond is formed.

    Would you like to give a teddy bear or another stuffed animal to a special child in your life? The Zoo Factory has countless options for you to choose from, including farm animals, wild animals, and more. Order yours today!

  • How to Use Stuffed Animals in the Classroom

    Stuffed animals can work wonders in a classroom full of young children, and we love the idea of incorporating them into an educational setting.

    Here are a few of The Zoo Factory’s favorite ways that stuffed animals can be used in a classroom setting.

    Consider a Class mascot

    A cuddly and unique stuffed animal can make the perfect class mascot. Mascots create a sense of belonging, uniting everyone in the class and representing diverse classrooms as a solidified unit. Class mascots make kids excited to go to school every day, giving them something fun to look forward to. These special class heroes can increase classroom morale with minimal effort.

    Create a Reading or Writing Partner

    Stuffed animals serve as the perfect audience for reading and writing practice. Letting students read books out loud to stuffed animals allows them to practice reading comprehension and fluency while minimizing nerves. For editing help, have students write a few thoughts down and let them read these thoughts out loud to a stuffed animal to listen for writing mistakes. Reading with a non-judgmental stuffed animal causes an increase in confidence (and fun!) for young students.

    Offer Recognition and Reward

    Kids love positive recognition and rewards for appropriate behaviors and actions. Use stuffed animals in the classroom as a tool for rewarding students for following your classroom rules. For example, let a student that demonstrates good manners sit with a stuffed animal on their desk during class. If a student does a particularly good job with reading something out loud or mastering other course content, let them pick out a stuffed animal to carry around for the day.

    There is no shortage of fun ways to use stuffed animals in the classroom! Find teddy bears, unicorns, sea creatures, farm animals, and more at The Zoo Factory.

  • The Evolution of Stuffed Animals

    At the Zoo Factory, it’s no surprise that we love stuffed animals. We think they’re great for people of all ages as a safe, healthy, and fun toy that everyone can enjoy. And clearly, we’re not alone: stuffed animals have been loved by people for centuries.

    Let’s take a trip in time to see where stuffed animals came from, and how people came to love them in the first place.

    The Early Stuffed Animal The Evolution of Stuffed Animals

    Did you know that civilizations around the world have been making some form of a stuffed animal since the beginning of recorded history? Actually, it was the Romans in as early as 300 BC who are first credited with creating the rag doll, which were made with fabric scraps and filled with straw. These were mostly enjoyed by poorer children, who were unable to afford the pricier toys of the day.

    The Modern Stuffed Animal

    There are really two instances where the stuffed animals that we know came about. The first is the stuffed elephant created by Margarete Steiff in 1880, who first produced the toy based on a pattern she read in a magazine. She eventually started manufacturing thousands of these elephants, and Steiff’s company became one of the most popular in the world.

    The other is the most famous: the world-famous “Teddy Bear.” In 1902, toymaker Morris Michtom saw a cartoon in the Washington Post about how President “Teddy” Roosevelt had spared the life of a bear cub when out hunting one day. The story inspired him to make a toy replica of the bear cub, and he ended up calling it a “teddy bear.” Of course, Michtom’s toy shot to international fame, and Ideal Toy Company, Michtom’s company, soon was the biggest toy manufacturer in the country.

    Of course, stuffed animals have gone on to take a number of different forms, and appear in popular culture all over the world. But that history lends itself to their original creativity, and beloved comfort.

    At the Zoo Factory, we pride ourselves on continuing that history with the best selection of stuffed animals out there. If you have any questions about our selection, contact us today!

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