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.

  • Party Planning Tips for Your Child’s Next Birthday

    birthday partyFrom decorations to food and games, there is much to take into consideration when planning a birthday party for your child. A day that only comes around once a year, this is one that you want your little one to remember for years to come. But how do you make sure that you have everything covered before all your young guests arrive?

    For parents looking to plan a bear-y memorable birthday party for their child, The Zoo Factory has put together a detailed checklist of what you need to get ready before party time!

    Food

    The first thing to decide – even before sending out invitations – is if you are planning to feed your young guests a full meal or if you will just be serving up snacks. Although you may be inclined to serve up some fancy foods, we recommend sticking with kid-friendly staples. Talk to your child about what foods they would like to eat – chances are the other children will have similar food tastes.

    Decorations

    Regardless of if you are hosting your big birthday bash indoors or out, there decorations are a wonderful way to get everyone excited. Work with your child to pick out balloons and streamers in their favorite colors. You can also pick up birthday-themed plastic tablecloths and paper plates for easy clean up.

    Games & Activities

    The most exciting part of any child’s birthday party: The games! Work with your child to decide what games, activities and crafts they would like to with their friends, coming up with plenty of ideas to keep them busy throughout the celebration.

    One activity that every child will enjoy is making their own stuffed animal! The Zoo Factory offers plenty of different stuffable animal kits for your child and their friends to make. Both 8” and 16” animals are available in sets of three or four; or you can choose each stuffable animal by hand.

    Once you place your order, all you will need to get the festivities started is plenty of stuffing!

    Stuffable Animal Accessories

    Along with offering stuffable animal kits, The Zoo Factory also has accessories for you to customize your furry friends will. Have each child make a wish on a Wishing Star before placing it inside their animal, and send everyone home with a Take Me Home Carry Box for their new best friend.

    You can even order a special birthday outfit for the birthday child’s bear to wear. Happy Birthday t-shirts are available in red and blue, and this birthday dress is perfect for a princess-themed party.

    Place your Zoo Factory order online or give us a call at 866-993-3325 for assistance choosing the right items for your birthday celebration!

  • Activities for a Rainy Summer Day

    camp stove

    A time for barbecues and pool parties, the month of July is finally here. And for parents of young children, this also means that school vacation has just started! Your children are probably filled with excitement for the weeks of fun ahead of them, as there are endless activities you can do when it’s warm and sunny outside.

    But what do you do on a rainy afternoon indoors?

    To ensure those rainy summer days don’t drag on too long, we at The Zoo Factory recommend stocking up on board games, craft supplies and stuffable animal kits.

    If your little ones love to play with stuffed animals, what activity would they love better than creating their own? Choose from a wide variety of eight inch and 16 inch animals, or pick a party package for your children and all their friends to enjoy making together. Whether they love jungle animals, sea animals or dinosaurs, there is a package they will love!

    Once your new stuffed animal friends have been put together (no sewing required!), you can pick out outfits for your animals to wear and take them on their first adventure. Even though you can’t go outside, you can always host an indoor “camping” excursion with your stuffed animals! Just set up a tent in the living room and your children will have hours of fun ahead of them.

    The Zoo Factory even offers an awesome set of Coleman supplies, including a camp stove, lantern and cooler with lemonade. Shop with us online or contact us by phone at 866-993-3325 to place your order.

    We hope you and your children have a great summer vacation together!

  • Celebrate National Zoo and Aquarium Month with a Wild Stuffed Animal!

    stuffable giraffe

    The start of summer and the end of another busy school year, June is also National Zoo and Aquarium Month, the perfect time to learn more about the wild animals your children love most, instilling within them a compassion for wildlife and the environment.

    Read a Book

    Whether you take a trip to the library or a nearby bookstore, encourage your children to pick out books about their favorite animals this month, reading them together to learn more about these incredible creatures. We recommend choosing books with plenty of pictures so your little ones can visualize how these magnificent creatures live in the wild.

    Take a Trip to the Zoo

    There are few things as exciting for young children as a trip to a zoo or aquarium, and seeing the awe on their faces when they see their favorite animals just a few feet away is sure to make you smile too. Instead of running from exhibit to exhibit, take some time to read the plaques and signs, learning about each of the animals to make this fun activity an educational one as well.

    Regardless of how you celebrate National Zoo and Aquarium Month, your child will enjoy bringing their favorite stuffed animal friend along to participate in the fun.

    Here at The Zoo Factory, we have lots of wild animals and sea creatures that can join you on your adventures! Not only are our stuffable animals fun to play with, but stuffing them is a great afternoon activity to do with your kids. Shop with us online or call us at 866-993-3325 to place your order.

  • 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!

  • Unplug and Incorporate Imagination into Playtime

    child reading to stuffed animal

    From the games they play on smart phones and tablets to the shows they watch on Netflix and T.V., children are growing up in a technology centered universe where much of their learning is done in front of a screen. And while laptops and cellphones now play an integral role in our society, we also love the idea of unplugging these devices and just playing! Whether your children decide to put on a play, host a tea party for their stuffed animals or have a family game night, there are so many opportunities to actively learn, building social skills and making memories.

    There are so many ways to incorporate more imagination and creativity into your child’s day, so turn off your electronics for a couple of hours and do one of these fun activities together.

    Host a Family Game Night

    Regardless of what game you play and who the winner is, family game nights are always a ton of fun and offer many different learning opportunities. Board games and card games can teach your children about teamwork, taking turns, thinking ahead and much more. Depending on your child’s age there are even games to help them improve their math, science and reading skills!

    Go Outside

    There is nothing better than spending a day outside enjoying the fresh air and summer sunshine. Whether you walk to the park, go for a bike ride or host a backyard picnic, there are so many great opportunities for play and learning.

    Read a Book

    Instead of sitting down in front of the T.V. before bed, pick out a book and spend some time reading with your children. Depending on their age, you can read to them, help them sound out words or let them read to you and a stuffed animal audience. An opportunity to escape into unknown worlds, books are an incredible way to get your child’s imagination flowing.

    Spend some time talking about the stories you read, discussing alternate endings, other adventures the characters could go on and acting out your own version of the story with a stuffed animal cast. There are so many ways to expand upon your reading adventures, all of which are wonderful outlets for creativity.

    Just Play!

    It doesn’t really matter what you and your children do together during your unplugged afternoons, as long as you are having a good time. If your children love playing with stuffed animals when they are away from technology, The Zoo Factory offers a wide array of stuffable creatures that you can make with your children. Dressed up like a superhero, a sports star or a princess, your child’s stuffed animal can accompany them on all of their unplugged adventures, making playtime even more memorable and fun.

    Visit us online to find a stuffed friend for your child, and don’t forget to pick up a bath bag while you’re there. Your teddy it after all the adventures they share in this summer!

  • 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!

  • Reasons to Play with Stuffed Animals

    girl playing with stuffed animal

    When you think back to your childhood, there is probably a certain toy – a doll or stuffed animal – that you carried with you constantly. Your first companion and friend, this toy taught you many life lessons, just through play. Nowadays, there are so many electronics for parents to purchase for their kids, that sometimes we forget how much can be learned through the simple role playing activities and imaginative scenarios children act out with their stuffed animals and dolls.

    Here are a few of the most important reasons that playing with stuffed animals can benefit your young child:

    Language

    Watch any toddler or preschooler play with their stuffed animals and you will see just how many words and phrases they know. A stuffed animal friend and the adventures that your child takes with them can lead to lots of elaborate and interesting conversations – which will help your child to practice their vocabulary and increase their confidence when speaking aloud to adults and other children.

    Emotions

    Playing with and acting out scenarios with a stuffed animal allow toddlers and preschoolers to test out and express their emotions. Even if they do not yet have the words to explain them, Role-playing with dolls and stuffed friends provide young children an outlet to work through their frustrations in a safe and positive manner.

    Friendship

    Getting along with others is an important part of forming friendships and relationships, and playing with stuffed animals is a child’s first opportunity to learn how to share and communicate with a friend. Join your child in playing with their stuffed animals, introducing positive conversations and sharing techniques to help teach them how to get along with the friends they will meet at school.

    Here at The Zoo Factory, we have a wide selection of stuffed animals and outfits that your children will love exploring their creativity with. Whether your child’s best friend is a dragon in pajamas or a turtle in a soccer uniform, their friendship will be one your child remembers for years to come.

  • Latest American Girl Doll Announced!

    Little girls know their dolls are real: these are their first friends, who they spill their secrets and desires to and their best playmates through thick and thin.

    The newest American Girl Doll is set to hit the scene in late summer this year, according to an article from The Detroit News. Embracing Motown and civil-rights era Detroit, American Girl has named 9-year-old aspiring African-American singer Melody Ellison as the latest American Girl Doll.

    The BeForever brand’s third African-American doll, after Addy Walker and Cécile Ray, will retail with a paperback book for $115.

    Melody’s story begins in a Detroit church choir, where Melody took to singing with her congregation while simultaneously learning about racial inequality. In the first story of the series of novels featuring Melody, “No Ordinary Sound,” Melody lands a singing solo for Youth Day at her church where she must draw upon the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s words to help her pick what song to sing.

    A six-person advisory panel helped to develop every detail of Melody, down to the texture of her hair. When Melody is released this summer, she will have her own bed and a recording studio that plays Motown music.

    Melody will also feature multiple outfits, including a blue and yellow houndstooth dress with a blue ribbon headband and blue patent leather shoes. An “Equal Rights in ‘63” lapel pin in red, white and blue completes the outfit.

    Before adding Melody to your daughter’s American Girl Doll family this summer, create a supplementary wardrobe for her to come home to. The Zoo Factory offers American Girl Doll clothes including dresses, leggings, socks, pajamas, pants, shoes, skirts and tops.

    Categories of clothing that cover careers, costumes, sports and scouts round out the collection. Help your daughter understand that she and Melody can grow up without limits by purchasing a green scrubs and white doctor’s coat set, or let your child teach Melody karate with a karate outfit. Is your daughter a Brownie? Make Melody one too! Or, give your princess the gift of her own little royal with a Snow White costume.

    Allow your daughter’s imagination to run wild as she dresses up Melody in a new outfit each day or for special occasions. Remember to watch for the release of American Girl’s latest doll towards the end of the summer, and check out the full line of outfits and accessories for American Girl Dolls from The Zoo Factory today!

  • Valentine’s Day Gifts Every Daughter will Love

    A holiday usually celebrated by couples, Valentine’s Day is also a wonderful opportunity to remind your daughter just how much you love her. You daughter will love spending the day with you and whether you decide to bake pink cupcakes together or let your child introduce you to her current favorite movie, there are so many ways to make this holiday a special one for your entire family. And with Valentine’s Day landing on a Sunday this year, you will have plenty of time to spend with your daughter during the day while still being able to enjoy a night out with your spouse.

    Looking for a gift your daughter will love? The Zoo Factory has some sweet ideas for her and her favorite stuffed friends:

    Jewelry

    cupcake necklace

     

    The perfect daddy-daughter Valentine’s Day gift, surprise your daughter with an adorable necklace this year. From bumble bees to cupcakes and ladybugs, there are a wide variety of options to choose from, each in a unique box that compliments the jewelry inside. Whether you choose her favorite animal or a cupcake in her favorite color, your daughter will love wearing this Valentine’s Day gift from you.

    “Little Secrets” Heart

    little secrets stuffed animal hearts

    Whether paired with a new stuffed animal or for your daughter’s favorite stuffed pal to hold, this 16 inch heart is available in purple, pink and red. Each color has a different Valentine’s Day themed message embroidered on it and a secret compartment perfect for storing a Valentine inside.

    A New Dress

    red and silver dress for stuffed animals

    Planning a fancy brunch or an afternoon tea party with your daughter this Valentine’s Day? Come prepared with a new dress for her teddy bear. Some of our favorite outfits for the holiday include the red dress with silver hearts, the black dress with pink hearts and the pink satin tutu!

    There are so many great ways to make Valentine’s Day special for your daughter, so why not start a new tradition with her this year? With the holiday less than a month away, place your gift order soon to make sure it arrives in time.

    Happy Valentine’s Day from The Zoo Factory!

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