Gifts for Kids

  • Hosting a Valentine’s Day Teddy Bear Party

    Each year as Valentine's Day rolls around, we tend to think of the ones that mean the most to us. This includes not only our spouses and romantic others, but our best friends, our teammates, our coworkers, and even our parents. It's a time to celebrate not only love, but the power of friendship and connection.

    Here are some ideas on how you can share the sentiment of Valentine's day with your friends, coworkers, and children this month.

    Hosting a Valentine's Day Teddy Bear Party

    Singles Night for the Ladies

    Many people take the opportunity to center Valentine’s Day around good friends and family instead of romantic partners. The holiday isn’t just for the traditional and mushy candle lit dinner crowd, so make the season your own by hosting a singles party at your home, apartment, or an outside venue for the people who matter. Celebrate everyone’s uniqueness by opting for a more laid-back color palette in your party decor, like tangerine table cloths or turquoise hanging paper lanterns and encourage people to bring a gift to exchange, even if they don’t know each other, like a fun and trendy sloth stuffed animal or a painted wine glass. You never know, you might end up playing match maker by the end of the night!

    Teddy Bear Party for Kids

    Most children enjoy Valentine’s Day because they get to exchange the ever-famous valentine! A lot of time and creativity goes into the shopping for such a sweet sentiment, which is then distributed to classmates and best friends. A stuffed animal party, however, involves a little more interaction and allows your class or neighborhood to get more hands-on in the gift-making process. Set up bags around your classroom with each child’s name and let them drop goodies, stuffed animals, and hand-made cards into each one! The best gifts are the ones we make ourselves, so let your child’s creativity blossom!

    Secret Admirer Gifts for the Office

    You can feel the love in the air everywhere during the month of February, including at the office. Some people aren’t always into the gift-giving part of the season, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t brighten someone’s day by leaving them a special surprise at their desk. Is your boss going through a rough patch, or are you wishing to settle a work disagreement you had with a coworker not too long ago? When you give a gift anonymously, it takes the obligation off of the gift receiver and keeps them guessing with delight. Be sure to not leave anyone out, though; it only works if the whole office participates! That way, everybody receives a heartfelt morale boost.

    Don't forget: Beginning February 1st, you can claim 10% off all party kits and packages when you shop at The Zoo Factory for your Valentine’s Day party stash!

  • The Importance of Teddy Bears to Police Officers

    When most adults think of police officers, we think of strong, brave men and women who spend their days and nights protecting us and maintaining the law.The Importance of Teddy Bears to Police Officers

    And in the eyes of our children police officers are the individuals that can provide you with help in any situation.

    Whether a child gets separated from their mother at the park or is in the back seat of their parent’s minivan during a fender bender, it is almost always a police officer who is there to console them and make sure they are ok.

    In situations like these, the tools that brave officer uses are rather different than the ones they carry on a day-to-day basis, with one of the most important ones being a teddy bear.

    According to Brunswick Police Captain Angela Smith, “When a child is caught up in a tragic situation, a teddy bear can distract and calm them,” which is why the Brunswick Police Department and so many others across the country keep teddy bears and other stuffed animal on hand to help comfort children in the midst of frightening situations.

    This January, the Brunswick Police Department was lucky enough to receive the generous gift of 250 teddy bears; each packed neatly in its own gift bag.

    Donated by local resident Doris Carter and the insurance firm she represents, this gift will go far in helping both local children and officers.

    We at The Zoo Factory are incredibly touched by this sweet story, and thankful for all the brave men and women driving through their town with a teddy bear tucked in the trunk of their police car, ready for a child in need!

  • Children Benefit from Playing with Teddy Bears

    Whether your child is just learning to walk or is conquering their first year of elementary school, they are sure to have a favorite toy. It may be a doll or an action figure, but more likely than not it is a stuffed teddy bear. And looking back on your own childhood, one of your fondest friends was probably a stuffed animal as well.Children Benefit from Playing with Teddy Bears

    Why? It may have to do with the benefits that a stuffed teddy bear friend can provide. From word recognition to emotional discovery, these benefits begin when your child is a baby and continue on throughout their school years.

    Playing with teddy bears and other stuffed animal friends allows our children to practice the life skills they are constantly learning, role playing with their stuffed animals and teaching them how to perform tasks like brushing their teeth and getting dressed for school.

    Teddy bears also provide an early form of socialization. Whether your child is having a tea party with all their favorite stuffed animals or is the teacher in a school filled with fluffy rabbit, dog and teddy bear students, there are endless opportunities to learn good behavior.

    Even as our children get older, introducing them to wild and exotic stuffed animal friends - like crocodiles, hippos and gorillas – is a way to inspire learning. When they have a new and unique animal hanging out with them every day, they are sure to want to learn more about the creatures and the habitat it resides in in the wild!

    Searching for a new stuffed animal for your child? Why not make the introduction of their new friend even more exciting by letting them stuff their teddy bear all on their own? Here at The Zoo Factory we offer a wide variety of stuffable animals, along with clothing and party packages for birthdays and other special events!

  • Celebrate Easter with a New Stuffed Animal Friend

    Berry Bunny Stuffed AnimalFor families with young children, one of the most exciting parts of Easter is watching your little ones run around the house or yard in search of Easter eggs and their prized Easter baskets. Typically filled with chocolates, jelly beans and marshmallow peeps, we love the idea of adding an extra something special to your children’s baskets this year. One great gift idea that they will get plenty of use out of is a spring-themed stuffed animal friend from The Zoo Factory!

    With bunnies, lambs and more, there are lots of adorable stuffable animals to choose from, as well as tons of great outfits to dress them in. Here are just a few of our favorite Easter recommendations:

    Berry Bunny

    Covered in bright flowers, Berry Bunny is the definition of spring; the perfect Easter present for any child. With big, floppy ears and glittery eyes, this bunny would look perfect in a red or pink tutu!

    Miss Lambie

    With curly white fur and a bright pink ribbon, we can already imagine Miss Lambie as the guest of honor at your daughter’s next tea party. Looking for the perfect spring outfit for her to wear? We love this frilly green and pink fairy costume.

    Brown Rabbit

    With big floppy ears and a poufy tail, the Brown Rabbit looks just like a miniature Easter Bunny. Whether you dress him up to play your child’s favorite sport or to have the same career they would like to, the Brown Rabbit and your little one are sure to become fast friends.

    Sherman the Sheep

    Dressed in pajamas and these adorable bunny slippers, Sherman the Sheep is ready to celebrate Easter with your son or daughter. With his fuzzy white coat and long legs, he is sure to put a smile on your little one’s face.

    Regardless of which stuffable animals you choose, don’t forget to order a bag of stuffing and a sound boxes to go with them for the recording of Easter greetings.

    Happy Easter from The Zoo Factory!

  • 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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  • New: AromaBearapy for your Stuffable Animals!

    scent chips

    During the holiday time you smell the cookies cooking and it brings back those memories of making them with your mom as a child. Or in the summer time the first time you cut the grass and it brings back memories of having a teddy bear picnic in your yard. These are all memories based around scents. Imagine the possibilities you have to create scent memories with your children.

    AromaBearapy scent chips can be placed into your Zoo Factory animal to give off the scent of your choice. Currently there are 8 scents to choose from, including buttered popcorn and cupcake!

    If you are unsure of what scent you would like to choose or if this is a surprise for your child, think about where this gift will be given to them. If you are planning on giving this a party of a birthday party package, you may want to think about getting cupcake flavored scent. They will remember all the fun times they have with finds create zoo factory animals every time they smell a cupcake scent.aromabearapy

    Giving the bear as a gift? You may want to use Chocolate Mint or Strawberry. These two scents are very popular and can be used for any occasion. AromaBearapy scent chips are a great addition to any stuffed animal and can take a regular stuffed animal to the next level. It may even make your child choose a brand new favorite toy!

    We only have 5 senses and with toys it is difficult to engage multiple senses. With AromaBearapy scent chips you are engaging the sense of smell, touch and sight. Other toys only engage touch and sight. These new scent chips can help your child grow more than you could imagine.

    Have any questions about this new product? Give The Zoo Factory a call!
     
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  • Stuffed Animals: Gifts for Young Children

    stuffed animals Stuffed animals have been around for ages. Years ago, almost every child had a teddy bear or favorite plush toy, and that stuffed animal became a cherished companion. Stuffed animals are very often a young child’s first friend, and many lessons can be learned from this special relationship.

    Children frequently learn how to express their feelings non-verbally to their stuffed animal, and this is so important in the development of openness and an ability to share innermost thoughts and feelings. Children learn the concept of sharing with their stuffed friend, and the concept of caring through their relationship with these furry beings.

    Giving a stuffed animal as a gift is a wonderful way to start a young child on the journey of life. But these gifts should be age appropriate and the right size for the child. Every child should be able to hold his stuffed animal to cuddle and communicate with. This can be a child’s first experience of “This is mine”, and communication can be very private.

    Often even young children will indicate that they have a favorite animal, and if you are lucky enough to have that information, you should favor buying that animal. Boys will often prefer dogs to cats, and monkeys to teddies. But keep in mind that you also teach the child about that animal by giving it as a gift, so if the child is a bit older, more exotic stuffed animals like giraffes and parrots could be wonderful.

    Of course there is nothing more beloved than the teddy bear and you ought not to shy away from buying one just because everyone thinks of him when thinking of a stuffed animal. They are cuddly and loyal companions, and every child responds to a teddy. When buying for a specific child, keep in mind the child’s size and age, colors she responds to, and gender. Some teddies look masculine and some feminine.

    Whatever your decision, you can rest assured that a stuffed animal will be welcome by parents and treasured by the child.

     
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  • Preventing the Dog From Attacking Stuffed Animals


     Stuffed Chihuahua Toy

     

    There are two scenarios that can happen when a dog is faced with your little one's stuffed animals. One, feisty four legged friends might treat stuffed animals as their arch nemesis. And two, they will want to cuddle, play and make friends with it and we can't blame them, stuffed animals are soft and cute!

     

    Even though the above are very common, your dog taking over your little one's stuffed friends won't go over so well. Our business is built on creating soft, plush and adorable friends for your little one to find comfort in, which is why this post is dedicated to keeping your dog from attacking stuffed animals.

     

    • Provide a box or bin where the dog's toys are located. Introduce this area to your dog and show them how to retrieve toys from there only.

     
     
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    • Make a positive association with the location of the dog's toys. Throw a couple of treats in the box when the dog retrieves a toy or when he picks one up to put back.

     

    • If it hasn't already been established, teach your dog the "leave it" or "drop it" command. This will not only save you stuffed animals, but socks, slippers and toilet paper as well.

     

    • Show your dog a stuffed animal and if they attempt to approach it, enforce the "leave it" command.

     

    • If you are going to be out of the house, leave the stuffed animals out of reach. This is an important lesson for your little one as well.

     

    • Lastly, cross your fingers that any attempt you make works!

     

    If you're looking for adorable stuffed friends for your adorable little one, be sure to browse the Zoo Factory's inventory.

     

  • History & Interesting Facts about the Teddy Bear

    Teddy's Bear

    teddy bear stuffed animal birthda giftMorris Michtom might not have foreseen his invention of stuffed bears becoming a staple for our childhood, but he knew this was a great idea. Placing two bears in his store window, his toy store quickly hosted a plethora of interested customers. Mitchtom requested permission from Theodore Roosevelt to call the bears "Teddy's bears", as "Teddy" was Roosevelt's nickname. It's rumored that Michtom wanted to remind people of Roosevelt's compassion, specifically the day he decided shooting an unconscious bear (tied to a tree) was unsportsman like; he put the bear out of misery peacefully. This act gained a lot of love and respect from Americans. Now, any story that starts like that is one worth telling.

    The first teddy bear went on sale in 1903, but there's so much more to this companion than dates and facts. The teddy bear becomes special when we add our own personal experiences in with its own rich history. As the first of two Teddy Bears resides at the National Museum of American History, encourage your child to keep his or her teddy when done with it, and explain why. It may already be family tradition to pass down a Teddy, but if not, you can start now. Whatever bear style you choose, just remember to love it, and the rest will come naturally. When you pass it on to children and grandchildren, their friendship with it will fill you with an amount of love you didn't even know existed. One of the best parts of becoming a parent is sharing with your kids, the things you loved as a child.

    Interesting Teddy Bear Facts

    • The first time bears appeared in the literal sense was in the 1834 tale "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" by Robert Southey.
    • Bear toys existed, though not in stuffed form, and were called Bruins.
    • In 1924, Disney's Alice and the Three Bears was the first color-animated film about teddy bears!
    • Wendy Boston changed lives in 1954, when she invented a washable teddy bear! Go Wendy! We bet you would have loved Teddy needs a Bath!

     

     

     

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