Summer Activities

  • The Travel Agency for Stuffed Animals

    When we travel, it’s a chance to see the world. That’s true for humans, but now, thanks to a Japanese travel company, it’s also true for our stuffed animals.

    How it started

    It all began with a handmade eel named Unagi. It belonged to Sonoe Azuma, eventual founder of Unagi Travel, the Japanese travel agency dedicated to stuffed animals. Azuma had Unagi ever since she was a little girl, and when she got older, she began taking Unagi with her on trips. She took photos and posted them to her blog which “made my friends smile and made me smile,” she said. “I thought it was a fun and creative way to share my daily life.”

    After a while, Azuma’s friends asked if they could bring Unagi with them on trips as well. And, just like Azuma, they took photos of Unagi enjoying the sights, sometimes having it pose beside famous landmarks. The trips made Azuma realize that the idea of sending our beloved stuffed animals on their own vacations could appeal to more people. So, in 2010, she started Unagi Travel.

    How it works

    After placing an order, you simply send your stuffed animal to Unagi Travel and they handle the rest. Once received, your stuffed animal friend will enjoy all the sights and events of Tokyo and Kamakura. They might attend a TED Talk, or maybe they’ll visit Historic Asakusa. Wherever they go, your stuffed animals are sure to have a fun time.

    A trip that’s instaworthy

    You don’t have to worry about being kept out-of-the-loop on your stuffed animal’s vacation. Unagi Travel posts photos of the stuffed animals every day on their social media accounts, showing them at different sites or attending different events, and allowing you to follow along on your stuffed animal’s adventure.

    Unagi Travel is a fun experience both for your stuffable friend, and for you and your child. So once you’ve received your new best friend from The Zoo Factory, why not send them on a trip? It’ll be a vacation of a life-time.

  • Why Your Child Should Bring a Stuffable Animal to Summer Camp

    Summer is the perfect time for your child to try out new hobbies, sports, and activities, and no place is better for that than a summer camp. But when your child leaves for the summer, make sure they bring along one of their furry friends, too. Here’s why:

    They help deal with homesickness

    Leaving home can be tough, especially for a young child. The moment you arrive at a summer camp your child may already want to go home, but a stuffable animal can help. By taking along one of their furry friends, they’ll be bringing a piece of home along with them, easing any homesickness they may feel.

    They can help with making friends

    A stuffed animal can help with building social and language skills, very important factors into making friends in a new place. They’re also great conversational starters. Other children may want to play with your child’s teddy, or have their own stuffed animals play with them. Before you know it, your child has made friends before the first day has even ended.

    They can join in on the fun

    From baseball practice to cooking classes, your child will encounter many new and interesting activities. Having a stuffable companion along will make those activities all the more enjoyable, and memorable. Plus, they can have their stuffable animal look the part by donning on a baseball uniform or chef’s outfit.

    Don’t have a stuffable animal for your child to bring along? The Zoo Factory has you covered. We have plenty of stuffable animals and stylish outfits for your child to choose from!

  • How to Serve Your Community with Stuffable Animals

    Our stuffable friends are always there to help us, and that includes helping out in the community. Many of the same benefits that a stuffable animal can have for our children can apply to families in need. Here are a few ways you and your child can help the community with stuffable animals.

    Take stuffable animals to your local police or fire station

    When police officers or firefighters respond to a situation, they often give stuffed animals to any children involved. After a traumatic event, a child is often in a lot of fear and pain, and a stuffable animal can help ease those emotions. To help, you can donate stuffable animals to your local police or fire station. You can also send them to Project Smile, a non-profit organization which donates stuffed animals, coloring books, and children’s books to police officers, fire fighters, and paramedics around the country.

    Donate them to your local animal shelter

    As much as kids can benefit from stuffable animals, so can pets. Dogs in particular love stuffable animals; they’re fun to play with and can ease anxiety. Just be sure to remove any buttons or zippers before you donate them.

    Get involved with a stuffed animal drive

    With the power of numbers, people can really make a difference. Local charities or schools often have charity drives, and they’ll donate what they’ve collected to children in need. That could range from local children living in poverty, to children in another country who have just survived a natural disaster.

    Would you like to give a stuffable animal to a child in need? The Zoo Factory can help. Check out our inventory to see how you can start making a difference.

  • Teddy Bear Events Across the United States

    Across the United States, teddy bear events are popping up, fueling children’s educations and allowing them to use their imagination!

    From healthcare events to educational events, teddy bears are playing a role in many learning opportunities for children.

    Below is a highlight of some of our favorite teddy bear events from across the United States that we’ve spotted so far.

    Teddy Bear Clinics

    We’ve talked about these types of teddy bear events before, but there is no better place to learn how to care for your best bear friend. After all, zookeepers are experts when it comes to animals! One popular event that many zoo’s offer are Teddy Bear Clinics which encourage children to bring their teddy bear along to explore how to care for their bear and introduce them to the world of medicine.

    Teddy Bear Fest at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo

    At the Beardsley Zoo in Connecticut, children and parents enjoyed a “Teddy Bear Fest” that centered on raising awareness of bears and wildlife.  The day was packed full of crafts, storytelling, and educational facts on bear awareness. Plus, children under 12 that brought any plush toy (not just teddys!) and was accompanied by a paying adult got in free!

    Wild Nights at Fort Wayne’s Children Zoo

    If you’ve ever wondered what the zoo is like once the lights go out, those that attended Family Wild Nights at Fort Wayne’s Children Zoo got to find out. This event allows children to take part in educational activities and delicious food while sleeping over at the zoo!  2019 registration is now open.  Pitch your own tent under the stars and learn about nocturnal critters or sleep under the sharks. Most importantly, don’t forget to bring your teddy bear!

    Teddy Bear Day at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

    Save $10 on “Teddy Bear Day” at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo when you bring a plush friend! Meet some of the zoo’s hands-on outreach animals, get your teddy bear a check-up, enjoy a giraffe feeding and more! This event will next occur on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019. Save the date!

    In need of a teddy bear or plush friend to adventure with this summer? Make your own stuffed animal with Stuffable Animal Kits from The Zoo Factory, LLC. We have dozens of fun and soft animals to choose from, teddy bears included.

  • 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!

  • How To Have Fun This Summer Vacation

    Summer vacation is here! There will be days spent by the pool, and in front of the TV, and hopefully playing outside in the yard. Summertime is a break from the classroom, homework, and any schoolyard drama that is hard to deal with during the year. For a lot of kids, the summer is a great time to recharge, relax, and just worry about having fun for a change.

    But even the summer is time spent distracted, forgetting almost everything they’ve learned the year before, you can still keep your kids engaged this summer. Exercise both their bodies and their minds, and those first few weeks back at school in the fall won’t be so bad.

    If you’re running out of activities to do that are both interesting and educational for your kids, consider a make-your-own stuffed animal kit from The Zoo Factory.

    These projects, which come in all shapes and sizes, from classic teddy bears to cats, and dogs to pillow pets, require no sewing, and can teach your kids about following directions and the value of working on something with your hands. At the end of the process, they’ll have a finished product that they can keep, and when they look at it, they’ll remember that they made it themselves. How cool!

    Like we said, the summers can cause a little brain lethargy and, after about a week, it’s hard to come up with interesting, new activities to keep your kids entertained. Try a make-your-own stuffed animal kit from The Zoo Factory to shake things up! The best part is your kids will learn a thing or two throughout the process. For more information about any of the products we offer or to order yours, contact us today!

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