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Stuffed Animals as Healers

 stuffed animals

When you were sick as a kid your mom would keep you home from school and give you chicken noodle soup. She would also make sure you were tucked in tight with your favorite stuffed animal. Not because she wanted you to have him but because you wanted to have him. You felt safe and secure when your friend was around. Some kids feel more comfortable around their stuffed animals than they do around other people.

Why do stuffed animals make us feel so secure? They don’t judge us, and they provide comfort. They are there when we need them and they don’t tell us anything we did was wrong. They are the best of all worlds, especially when you have an imagination and can have a conversation with them while playing with your tea set. These reasons are why stuffed animals are great healers as well. They are not doctors or nurses and they do not actually provide medical healing but they do provide metal healing. If there is a sick child in the hospital, chances are they have a stuffed animal nearby. When they want to cry stuffed animals can wipe their tears dry. When they want to be alone, they don’t actually have to be alone.

Stuffed animals can provide more comfort than you could ever describe. This is why children become so attached to their stuffed animals. Being so young children cannot always convoy their emotions to an adult, but a stuffed animal can listen and they can say anything they want, they don’t have to censor their anger or their sadness.


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Birthday Party Clean Up Games

Kids Birthday Party Ideas

Cleaning up after a rocking birthday party is definitely the only downside of having such a great party for your child. However, if you get the kids involved it can help the process and you can create memories while doing it. There are a few different approaches to getting the kids involved, so make sure you choose the best option for your kids and your kids attention span. They usually want to help but don’t know how. Maybe this will be the beginning of helpful hands cleaning up after themselves.

One exciting way to get the kids to help is to play a game; the best game to play is dress up! Since your children have the imagination, they can use it to dress up as maids or butlers. Another dress up game that can be fun is pretending to be Cinderella. In this type of setting, you might be able to get your children to scrub the floors from all the cake smashing! At the end, you need to have some fun and make sure your prince and princesses get a ball… complete with a special dance!

If your children are old enough to count, turn it into an educational experience. Ask them to pick up 5 things and count them out as they pick them up. Then continue with adding on numbers until the whole house is spotless! This can also work if you tell them to pick up all the blue objects, then all the pink ones and so on. You could also make it a competition to see who can fill his or her garbage bag with the most items. Make it a fun experience and your children may want to help out more often than just after the best birthday party ever.

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Giving Your Child “The Best Birthday Ever”


kids party ideas

Birthdays only come once a year, which feels like a decade to children. Each and every birthday should be celebrated to the full extent and treated like a once in a lifetime day, (except once a year)! When your children are young, their birthdays should be even more exciting. You are not only celebrating the day they were born, you are celebrating the 9 months that lead up to your miracle coming into the world, and because of their bad days you are celebrating not sending them away to military school. Make sure you celebrate the whole day and not just at the party, there are fun and inexpensive ways to make sure your little guy or girl feels special all day long, below are some of our favorite to keep the excitement going all day.

Balloon wall- after your child goes to sleep tape crepe paper to the door frame and fill it in with balloons. When your child wakes up and opens their door they will be greeted with a balloon wall!
Pancake…cake? – it already has cake in the name so why not use it to start the day?! Make a short stack and top it with a birthday candle, who says you only get to sing happy birthday once?
Lunch surprise- pack their favorite lunch with a special birthday note, don’t stop there wrap each part of the lunch like tiny little presents, unwrapping presents is one of the best parts to a birthday.
Decorate your vehicle- use washable window paint to let all the other drivers on the road know you have the birthday kid on board!
Pets can get in on the fun- if you have pet that would cooperate make a birthday hat for them to join on the fun

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5 Ideas for a Great Stuffed Animal Birthday Party

Animal Birthday Party Ideas

All children loved stuffed animals, and all adults have had one when they were kids. We can all relate to the comfort and even support these animals gave us. So having a themed birthday party around the idea of stuffed animals is a great way to celebrate.

 Ask Each Child To Bring Their Favorite Stuffed Animal

On your party invitations, invite your guests to choose their favorite stuffed animal to come with them. This gives each child  a sense of participation even before the party.

Make Name Tags

When your guests arrive, sit them all down in a circle and ask each child to introduce his or her stuffed animal. Then get the kids to make name tags to tie around the animal’s neck with a ribbon. You can get tags and different colored ribbons at a craft store, and give the kids crayons or fine-tipped Sharpies to decorate the tags and write their animal’s name.

Animal Coloring Books

Get some animal-themed coloring books and let each child choose an animal to color. This encourages the kids to explore their creativity, and when they are all finished, let each child talk about his coloring project.

Pin The Tail On The…

Make the shape of the birthday child’s favorite stuffed animal on some construction paper, and have the children play Pin the Tail on the Donkey. You can give the winner of the game a tiny stuffed animal as a prize.

Animal Birthday Cake

You can either make a birthday cake in the shape of an animal or buy one and place tiny plastic animals on it. After the cake eating, let each child choose one of the little animals.

The love of stuffed animals brings children together. It is one of childhood’s great common denominators. And a party like this one involves all the guests in participating to make the party fun and creative.




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A Child’s Emotional Connection with a Stuffed Animal

stuffed bear

Watching your children interact with their stuff animals is more than just child’s play. They can form an emotional bond and attachment to a non living object. Children say and think the funniest things and have the wildest imaginations so it is not far-fetched that they create relationships in their heads.

Children have the best imaginations and they can create anything in their mind if they try hard enough. Most children will name their favorite stuffed animals and even give them personalities. If they create a good personality for their stuffed animal they can create an unbreakable bond with them.

These stuffed animals serve as a security blanket for your child. No matter where they go they are taking someone with them they like and get along with. It is important to note that it is normal for your child to have stuffed friends, but also encourage them to make living breathing friends. If they are extremely shy maybe start with a pet, then gradually work up to human children. But always allow them to have time with their stuffed animal friend. If you try to take away their stuffed friends before they are ready they may have serious emotional problems down the road due to what they think is abandonment. Although their animal hasn’t left them, they will feel lonely if you take them away too soon. Nothing puts a smile on you child’s face like that stuffed animal, just remember to them that stuffed animal is real.

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Don’t Hinder your Child’s Imagination

sleeping with stuffed animals


Do you remember the moment you realized you were grown and no longer could have the imagination and creativity you once did? For most of us, that was a defining moment and probably a little bit sad and depressing. Did you ever take a moment to understand how you got to that point? Well it probably started when your parents told you to start growing up.


One of the first things you think about when you think about small children and their creativity is when they don’t have friends around and they start playing with their toys. Those toys are what fuels their mind and creativity. Children cannot let their imagination grow if those things are taken away from them. There is no good reason to take away your children’s stuffed animals at any age. Let them decide when it is ok to stop sleeping without boo boo bunny. After all you were the one who let them sleep with it in the first place. Wouldn’t it be a little bit contradictory to take them away now?


Children need their stuffed animals not only for their imagination to grow but for their own sense of security. Yes, you as their guardian provide security and protection but the stuffed companions they have are something they can control in their life. If you were to take away something so precious to them they may no flourish in the social department, instead feel lonely and lost. When your child begins to go to school it may be a good idea to start leaving their stuffed friends at home and playing with living breathing friends at school. That does not mean they will forget about their stuffed friend and not look for it when they come home. They will always want that sense of security and some people may hold onto those things well into adulthood but that isn’t a bad thing. Emotions are high when it comes to their prized possession.


Don’t take away something so important to them; let them decide when it is time to stop sleeping with boo boo bunny. Let them decide when it is time to start growing up.


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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.


  • 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.


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Unique, Whimsical, and Personalized Sorority Gifts

sorority big and little gifts


Sororities create long-lasting friendships and global communities. Sorority sisters connect from colleges to Universities, town to town, and across the States. Pledges never forget their time as new members, and forever remember the gifts and mementos exchanged during the pledging process. Special gifts that are given to the sorority by a new chapter member, or received by the pledge from their new chapter, are keepsakes for a lifetime; and personalized gifts mean that much more to those who receive them.


Personalized gifts can be fun and whimsical, be specific to one person, or uniquely represent a whole organization. Here are a few creative and personal gift ideas that pledges can give to their new sorority chapters, or that sorority chapter presidents can offer to successful new members.


Stuffed Animals with Personalized T-shirts


Stuffed animals are loved by just about everyone, even “big girls” living the college life. How many times have we seen our dorm mates with their favorite stuffed animals, or even carried our own life-long stuffed animal friends to school with us. Many dorm rooms are decorated with stuffed animals that were once childhood buddies. Customizing a stuffed animal with personalized t-shirts with the sorority chapter name on it, is a creative and unique gift for pledges to offer to the sorority as a new chapter member. That cute furry little mascot will always be connected to that pledge, and remembered by all.

Jewelry and Teddy Bear Bling

Teddy bears are always welcomed gifts; from beauty queens to class presidents, even superstar college jocks, can be caught with their favorite one. Whether big and fluffy or small and cute, teddy bears make wonderful sorority gifts. But teddy bears with their own jewelry, accessories, and bling, are even cooler. It would be great fun for each local campus member to own identical teddy bears with matching jewelry accessories. Upon entering your dorm room, everyone will see that you are a part of a great Greek chapter tradition, by seeing your personalized sorority teddy bear on your pillow. Whimsical matching ladybug or pink flamingo necklaces for all of the local pledges, also makes a great gift.


Personalized Talking Stuffed Animals


With easy to order “record your own voice” kits, you can have a sorority craft party, making personalized stuffed animal gifts, while recording a special “thank you” from new chapter members, or a “welcome to our chapter” message for successful pledges. Wouldn’t it be fun to re-create those old childhood craft making parties, with an adult flair. Sorority sisters can order pizza, watch the latest chick flick, while creating stuffed animals for everyone. With sentimental recorded messages in them, these unique gifts will remind everyone of that significant time in their lives, for years to come.




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How to Care for American Girl Dolls and Other 18″ Dolls

Most little girls love to play with their dolls. They imitate their mothers and things that they see portrayed in family TV shows. What little girl hasn’t fed her “dolly” real food and drink, and loved her almost to death?  So there is bound to be a certain amount of wear and tear and the occasional stains and grime. Caring for your American Girl doll is not difficult, and if you perform regular maintenance, your doll will stay “healthy” for years.

Caring for the skin

The skin of your American Girl doll is made of a soft, porous vinyl, which will absorb stains, so follow these cleaning tips.

  • Cover the doll’s eyes so they do not get wet and remember to protect the soft, fabric body and the hair as well as you can.
  • With a damp, lukewarm cloth, wipe down the doll’s skin
  • Make a paste with warm water and baking soda and gently apply the paste with your cloth, in a circular motion
  • After you have removed the stain or grime use a clean damp cloth to wipe off the paste, and pat the skin dry with a towel.
  • NEVER submerge the doll in water.


Caring for the hair

For styling, never use human hair care products such as mousses, shampoos or styling gels, and never use hot rollers, curling irons, hair straightening irons, or blow dryers. Just lightly mist the hair to make it more manageable for styling and, for best results, use our Doll Hairbrush and Sparkly Hair Pick. For a detailed how-to, refer to our earlier blog: How to Wash and Style Your American Girl Doll’s Hair.

Caring for clothes

Know beforehand if the clothes are color fast. As washing machines are not gentle for doll clothes, hand wash them in the sink using either a mild soap or equal parts water and vinegar. Don’t wring the clothes dry, but pat them dry with a towel and then lay them flat to finish drying.  For wool clothing always hand wash in cold water and use a wool cleaner like Woolite or a mild baby shampoo.

Caring for your American Girl doll can be a fun activity for you and your child, and with just a little love and care your American Girl doll will last for years.

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Prevent Bullying in Classrooms with Stuffable Animals

Teachers of today face a new task on top of their traditional teaching chores. In addition to activities, field trips and lesson plans, teachers now need to work in ways to prevent bullying in their classrooms. Many people think that there’s little you can do about bullies, but that’s actually very far from true. It could be difficult if a child doesn’t learn consequences at home, but it can be done. A great way to combat bullying is to bring children together in a project, like a stuffable animal party.

anti bullying lessons - prevent bullying


Here’s what you do….

First, remember that this isn’t a birthday party, so you’re not dealing with a group of kids that are friends. Some are the “in” kids, while others are the outcasts; your goal is to leave no outcasts, and nobody feeling bad at the end of it.

Then, choose one stuffed animal, because there could be fighting over the lion or the pig; just eliminate that problem before it’s even an issue.

Now, observe. Don’t let the kids know this is a bullying assignment. Some of the worst bullies are the kinds that pay attention to supervision and act innocent. Pretend to be engrossed in a book while the kids stuff their animals. Observe who breaks off into groups, and notice the instigators. Also, look for the kids who say rude things and poke fun at the others.

Finally, when the kids have all of their animals together, have a concluding discussion. At this time, use the kids’ animals to act out some of the behaviors you’ve noticed. After that, grab two students, who had nothing to do with the bullying and ask them to act out different skits. When kids see their peers being mistreated it strikes something in them. They see one of their friends being mistreated, and they become less likely to do it to others.  One of the best examples of this can be seen on Jimmy Kimmel’s show. He often has celebrities come on the show, to read aloud, some of the things people say and tweet about them online. Albeit comical, you can actually see how people’s feelings get hurt with just a few words.

Some bullies are mean people, and some are misunderstood kids but they all have something in common, they don’t realize how much they hurt the other person. Find a way to stop bullying in your classroom, in whatever way that works best for you. All you have to do is find a way to show the bullies how damaging their behavior is and they are likely to cease the rude behavior.

Some of today’s kindest doctors, public figures, and scientists are yesterday’s bullies, reformed. Bullies aren’t villains; they just need a little guidance from teachers who inspire them.