The Zoo Factory

  • Teddy Bears Can Help Kids Get Ready for Bed

    While some children embrace nighttime routines and willingly hop into the bath, other kids struggle with the concept and will do anything to postpone shutting their eyes.

     The Zoo Factory has some suggestions on how to get your children ready for bed if they typically struggle, including how to incorporate their teddy bears!

    Set and Stick to a Bedtime Routine

    Children thrive on routines because they set expectations. Create a fun bedtime routine with your child and include some activities that make them excited about bedtime. Start with a bath that includes some entertaining games, directly followed by changing into a set of pajamas of your child’s choosing. Have them pick them out ahead of time so you’re not wasting time looking for the “right pair.”

    Reading one book or listening to one song is another easy thing to incorporate into a routine. Choosing a favorite activity will help children look forward to bedtime.

    Consider Teddy Bear Backup

    Grab your child’s favorite teddy bear and have your child change it into pajamas during your child’s bedtime routine. The Zoo Factory has several different pajamas sets perfect for fuzzy friends.

    While you help your child change into pajamas, they can help their teddy bear do so.  Children tend to imitate, so they might be excited to change into their pajamas if their favorite stuffed animal is as well.

    Create a Game

    Most children love games and making bedtime into a game  can help some children enjoy the experience. Once you have an established routine, add in some activities to make it more fun. Time how long it takes your child to get through their bedtime routine, and on a night that it seems to be dragging, have them try and beat the time. Consider changing into your own pajamas with your child and “race” to see who can change the fastest.

    Don’t be afraid to offer small prizes when bedtime goes as planned such as stickers, a stuffed animal for consistent good behavior, and so forth.

    Find teddy bear outfits for any occasion with The Zoo Factory. We offer pajamas, sports outfits, dance outfits, costumes, vests, sunglasses, and more.

  • Why Pets Loved Stuffed Animals Like We Do

    Growing up, our first best friend was likely our favorite stuffed animal. We all carried around our teddy bears, stuffed dogs, stuffed cats, and more. We all carried our treasured stuffed animals through life to help us tackle tough times and sleep through the night.

    As children, we really love and cherish our stuffed animals and we see similar patterns of behavior when it comes to our pets.

    It’s in Their Genes

    Different dog breeds exhibit different character traits towards stuffed animals based on their ancestors. Dogs traditionally used for hunting and carrying game, such as retriever breeds, enjoy carrying around stuffed animals in their mouth because the feeling is familiar.

    Dogs that are passionate about playing fetch or chasing things also enjoy the playful aspect of stuffed animals. Stuffed animals rip apart easily and many dogs enjoy it because it triggers that “hunting” instinct that they can’t help but satisfy.

    Pets Plays Favorites

    Both dogs and cats have “that one toy” that seems to be their favorite, but what makes a certain stuffed animal a “favorite” for your pet? Many different reasons could explain why your pet might like one stuffed toy the most, from the size and smell to the shape and texture.

    Your pet probably also enjoys how that specific toy makes them feel or they might believe they are taking care of the toy like they would care for a puppy or kitten. Pets create attachments to their favorite stuffed animals and associate them with mothering, playfulness, or relaxation.

    Our Pets Love Us

    Pets are intelligent and can make connection between special moments with their favorite toy and happy memories of you. Giving your dog or cat a new toy makes them happy with you, symbolizing a special moment that impacts your pet in a unique way.

    Perhaps because you gave your pet a stuffed animal and because they love and respect you, they choose to love and care for the toy as a result! This is likely why our pets attempt to play with us when playing with their toys!

    Stuffed animals bring a tremendous amount of joy to us and to our pets, providing everyone with comfort and love.

    Looking for a stuffed animal for a loved one? With dozens of fun, soft animals to choose from,  The Zoo Factory likely has your child’s new favorite friend and toy.

  • The Healthy Aspects of Attachments to Stuffed Animals

    As a parent, it can become overwhelming to feel the judgements of other parents.  People will likely lecture you, specifically as your children grow, on what types of items your children should be growing out of.

    The Zoo Factory has highlighted how a child’s attachment to a stuffed animal is not as alarming as many parents believe.

    Children are Less Shy with Attachments to Objects

    When a child has an attachment to an object such as a teddy bear or blanket, they generally feel more brave and comfortable in uncomfortable situations.

    As children develop attachments to comforting objects, they will learn to interact in a comfortable manner. A child doesn’t receive any judgments from a teddy bear which is why children often view them as “friends” and gain a sense of security from them, regardless of their age.

    Increased Empathy in Social Situations

    As children establish bonds with comforting objects such as teddy bears, they learn how to handle transitions along with unfamiliar environments. When a child has the comfort of a stuffed animal, it usually increases their overall empathy and helps them to understand other people’s desire to feel comfort. Children care deeply about their stuffed animals which helps them develop a sense of empathy for people as well.

    As children grow into adolescence and adulthood, they will eventually let go of their beloved friend, but every child has their own schedule.

    Do you recall a stuffed animal or blanket that you were really attached to? You might still even have it somewhere! The Zoo Factory has a variety of stuffed animals that might just be your child’s new best friend for life.

  • Playing Dress-Up Offers Many Developmental Benefits

    Children often learn through play which has a direct effect on their development. The Zoo Factory encourages growth through play and as such, we love to explore it.

    We have highlighted a few ways that children can benefit from dressing up and letting their imagination run wild.

    See the World Through Other Viewpoints

    When children play dress-up, they learn valuable ways in which others contribute to our lives. Perhaps a child is playing the role of a mother and has a crying baby to nurture, or maybe they’re pretending to be a policeman and stopping “the bad guys.” This sense of imagination allows children to learn empathy through having to see alternative viewpoints and respond to them accordingly.

    Building Blocks for a Diverse Vocabulary

    When children play through dress-up, they begin to explore terms, phrases and words that are often inclusive to the role they are playing. These strengths can develop through hearing certain words in books and transferring them into the role they’re playing where children will eventually use them in daily conversations.

    Confidence Building

    For children, dressing up and having theatrical elements to their play can greatly impact their overall confidence. Self-expression is incredibly helpful when building self-confidence and this is just another way we can allow children to develop that skill. What child doesn’t feel on top of the world while dressed up as their favorite super hero?

    If your child loves playing dress up, consider purchasing some outfits for one of their Zoo Factory stuffed animals so that the two can play dress up together! Visit our website for a wide selection of outfits.

  • Libraries Use Stuffed Animals to Encourage Young Readers

    At The Zoo Factory, we love to see the different ways parents and children appreciate stuffed animals in their lives. That’s why we were thrilled to read about the Somerville Public Library’s “stuffed animal sleepover” event that took place in late July. It incorporated two of our favorite things: our best fluffy friends, and the joy of reading.

    If you hadn’t yet heard, a library outside of Boston, MA, hosted a “stuffed animal sleepover” bringing books and stuffed animals together.

    What that meant was young readers were invited to drop off their stuffed animal at the library for a sleepover and could pick them up the next day. In the meantime, the librarians spent the evening arranging the stuffed animals in different settings, so it makes it look as if they’re watching a movie or playing toys with each other. The photos were then shown to the stuffed animals’ rightful owners.

    The event was promoted to get children more involved in their local libraries. Time and time again, libraries are shown to be incredible sources of knowledge and fun for children, at virtually no cost to the parents. There, they can explore new worlds through books and literature, understand current affairs by examining the newspapers and magazines that are available, and take part in workshops made available to them.

    This comes at a time when people are debating what libraries mean in 2018—and if the “stuffed animal sleepover” is any indication, the answer is: fun!

    At The Zoo Factory, we are so delighted to see institutions like the local library use stuffed animals in an educative, appealing manner. It’s no surprise that the event drew widespread attention both on and offline. We offer our customers an extensive selection of figures and toys that would be perfect sleepover companions. Contact us today to learn more!

  • These Fictional Bears Warmed Our Hearts and Our Childhoods

    At The Zoo Factory, we like to say that we’re in the business of making memories. Each of us remembers when we were young and had a stuffed animal that was our best friend. That’s what we look to recreate for children, and hope that they, too, will feel as special as we did.

    Many famous fictional bears were a crucial part of our childhood, establishing our love for teddy bears for years to come.

    Winnie the Pooh

    Why do we continue to love Winnie the Pooh so much? Maybe it’s his boyish charm, or his innate ability to love his friends (Christopher Robin, Piglet, even Eeyore) no matter what. Or maybe it’s the chance that he’ll likely fall into a jar of honey at least once while you’re watching. Since he premiered in the 1920s, Winnie the Pooh has captivated young audiences. And for good reason. In fact, a movie titled “Christopher Robin” was just released in theaters highlighting Winne the Pooh and his friends in 2018.

    Paddington Bear

    We recently found out that one day, a man named Michael Bond took shelter from the snow, and laid his eyes on a teddy bear at a store nearby Paddington Station, in London. He purchased the bear for his wife and was then inspired to write his first book featuring the character, Paddington Bear, a duffel-coat-wearing teddy who migrates from Peru to London to start a new life. He also loves marmalade sandwiches. The books written about this beloved bear eventually sold over 30 million copies.

    Yogi

    Ayyyy, Boo-Boo! A Warner Bros. classic, we had to give a mention to Yogi the Bear, who, along with his sidekick Boo-Boo, are on the hunt for picnic baskets, and fun. Yogi first appeared in 1958 on a show titled “The Huckleberry Hound Show” and his success spiraled from there. He was known to be “smarter than the average bear.”

    These are just some of the fictional bears that we’ll remember forever, many of which continue to create new audiences with feature films, cartoons, and books alike.

    At The Zoo Factory, we’re proud to offer an extensive selection of make-your-own stuffed animals. With dozens of fun, soft animals to choose from, your child can pick out his or her new favorite friend and toy.

  • Hospice Inspires Patients with Teddy Bears

    When a doctor diagnoses someone you love with a terminal illness, the next step is to find a facility that exists to serve his or her medical, physical, and social needs. Beyond this, those that need end-of-life care - as well as the supportive network of family members and friends they leave behind – also require emotional support to move through each tough, scary experience.

    Hope is one of the best feelings a patient can focus on, as hope inspires people to believe they might get better. During times of restlessness, anxiety, depression, or sadness, hope is the shining light that people cling to for guidance. As the desire for a certain thing to happen, hope is a feeling of expectation that breeds optimism and positivity.

    Notorious for bringing comfort and joy to people for over a century, teddy bears are a friendly symbol of hope and love to children and adults alike.

    With their soft, soothing fur and welcoming, constant smiles, teddy bears generate feelings of contentment. Hugging a teddy bear brings instant feelings of warmth and gladness, taking away fear and pushing away negative emotions.

    Capitalizing on these feelings of hope, Serenity Hospice in Peachtree City is using a teddy bear named Hope, created by public relations and marketing coordinator Erica Graham, to give patients a little joy in spite of their illnesses. By providing patients with the small, stuffed Hope bear when they arrive at the facility, Graham bestows a simple reminder upon each patient that they can find hope everywhere.

    To demonstrate hope, Graham carries her own Hope bear on different journeys to show that you can truly find hope in any stage of life. By taking the bear on adventures, Graham uses a combination of humor and messaging to help patients get through difficult times.

    Teddy bears do wonders for those needing a little optimism and hope. Give your own gift of hope to someone who could use some cheering up by sending him or her a stuffable animal from The Zoo Factory, where you can stuff, dress, and love a new friend.

  • Tips on Donating Stuffed Animals

    Stuffed animals provide love, hope, and joy to children of all ages; however, many children only receive stuffed animals and other toys through donations.

    Donating stuffed animals is a great way to provide hope to a child in a tough situation and The Zoo Factory has some tips on how to make a successful donation.

    Help Your Child Understand

    While you might have the best intentions, your child might not understand why you are giving away their stuffed animals to a stranger. Although decluttering your home sounds inviting, your child might need some time to understand why it is important to donate.

    Have a conversation with your child about the concept of charity. Explain how their older stuffed animals will help make another child happy and how important that is. Help your child be involved in the process of donating and let them help you pick the best place to send their stuffed animals.

    How to Find Teddy’s New Home

    Selecting where to donate stuffed animals will depend on where you live. However, many towns have similar locations for donating stuffed animals, just do some research to find the best place in your area.

    Look into what local thrift stores allow stuffed animal donations. Many foster care agencies also appreciate more toys for their children. Depending on where you live, you can also consider donating to children’s hospitals, women’s homeless shelters, and school counselors. You might even consider doing to animal shelters for old, worn out stuffed animals.

    Hashing out Policies and Logistics

    When looking for the best location to donate your stuffed animals to, don’t be afraid to ask some questions about donation policies. Too often well-intentioned donations end up in the trash due to unfollowed policies.

    For example, if a place typically serves infants, you’ll need to consider age-appropriate safety in terms of pieces that come off your stuffed toys.

    You should also consider the logistics of your donation such as the best times to donate. Will your location accept one stuffed animal, or do you need to donate in groups? Should you drop off the items in bags or boxes? These questions will help you know the best way to make your donation count.

    The Zoo Factory offers stuffable animals perfect for helping your child bring their next best friend to life. Purchase several stuffed animals with The Zoo Factory and have your child create several stuffed animals to donate as well.

  • How the Internet Helped Reunite Little Girl with Beloved Stuffed Animal

    Children take their stuffed animals friends everywhere, and if for some reason they accidentally leave that friend behind or lose them, it is often devastating.

    Stuffed animals quickly become the best friends of our children, who pick their favorite cuddly toy and view it as a treasured companion.

    Recently we learned about a little girl named Pheobe Simpson, who lost her favorite stuffed lion named Roar on a train during a surprise trip to London, according to an article in the Independent. A woman named Lauren Bishop Vranch discovered the stuffed toy on the train and posted a picture on Twitter to try to find the lion’s owner via her followers.

    According to The Meta Picture, Lauren first tried to give Roar to the employees at the train station, but found out he would end up pretty far from where he was lost if they kept him. So, she opted to take Roar with her, updating her Twitter account with pictures and status updates while using #lostbear in the hopes of finding the owner. While Lauren had Roar, she took him on some exciting adventures documented via her Twitter account, including to a hotel, to a cozy pub, and even to Northern Stage Newcastle to see a show.

    A Facebook group called Spotted: On the Train picked up the photo and posted a status about helping to reunite Roar with his owner. The photo featured a picture of Roar with a note explaining how he was lost and where Lauren found him.

    Over time, Pheobe’s father Ben saw the photo. Lauren was able to mail Roar the lion, which she originally thought was a teddy bear, back to Ben to reunite him with Pheobe, who was overjoyed at having her best friend home.

    Dozens of soft, fun animals await your children at The Zoo Factory, offering stuffable animals perfect for helping your child bring their next best friend to life. Let your children build their favorite toy and capture a unique memory with this all-inclusive gift!

  • Why Most Dogs Love Stuffed Animals

    Is there anything cuter than looking at a bunch of photos of dogs playing with their favorite stuffed animals? We don’t think so! From dogs nestling up with their stuffed animals to take a nap to dogs “wrestling” with their stuffed animals, it’s absolutely adorable to watch a dog interact with a stuffed animal. We’ve been doing it for longer than we care to admit now!

    As it turns out, there are a number of different reasons why our beloved dogs seem to gravitate towards stuffed animals, teddy bears included!

    One theory people have for why dogs love stuffed animals is that many dogs, including Golden Retrievers, enjoy walking around with something in their mouth. People believe that dogs feel good about themselves when they have something like a stuffed animal in their mouth and get to enjoy a sense of accomplishment. Another theory for why dogs love stuffed animals is that playing with them reminds them of their natural instincts to hunt. While not all dogs are hunters, many of them are, and the thought is that dogs are reminded of their hunting ways when they’re shaking a stuffed animal all over a room.

    But the most prevalent theory on why dogs loved stuffed animals is probably the most practical and believable one. The majority of people think dogs enjoy stuffed animals simply because they’re a lot of fun to play and cuddle with. Just like your child might love to line up their stuffed animals and play games with them, dogs also seem to enjoy having stuffed animals around that they can play with whenever they want.

    You know who loves stuffed animals and teddy bears as much as dogs? Just about everyone else too! Call The Zoo Factory at 480-699-5519 today to get your hands on some of the cutest stuffed animals around. Just be sure to hide them from your furry friends before they get their paws on them.

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