the zoo factory

  • Big Brands Still Use Old-Fashioned Teddy Bears

    In an age where remarkable digital toys and daring technologies surprise and delight kids of all ages, you may stop and wonder if good, old-fashioned toys still make an impact on children. The short answer is yes.

     Classic toys like the loveable teddy bear are still around and make popular choices for holiday gifts.

    The proof is found in the marketing tactics of well-known brands this holiday season. An established retail chain took advertising with a teddy bear to the next level with their Canadian ad featuring a teddy bear that comes to life when the store closes.

    The ad opens with the bear sitting on a shelf next to a wide variety of other, modern toys. Shoppers choose toys to place into their cart, but everyone seems to be avoiding the teddy bear. When the store closes and the lights turn out, the teddy bear magically springs to life, climbing down from the shelf to explore. We see the bear dress up in a rainbow wig and read a book, ride a fire truck, use a tablet, and eat about an abundance of ice cream.

    When the store reopens, the teddy bear hops back onto his shelf to endure another day of shopping in the hopes of getting picked among the other toys. Luckily, on this day, a customer picks the bear off the shelf, and in the next scene we see a little girl unwrap the bear on Christmas morning. As she hugs the bear, her joy radiates from the screen and the words, “holiday magic starts with believing” appear.

    By bringing a teddy bear to life, stores help recreate the appeal and warmth of teddy bears, making them inviting to children who already consider their stuffed animals as “alive.” The holidays are a time of magic and wonder, and using the classic teddy bear as an advertising tactic is a great way to show how old-fashioned toys still have their place in today’s digital world.

    To gift your own teddy bear magic this season, shop at The Zoo Factory. Let your children make their own stuffed animal with our stuffable animal kits. Each child will experience an instant connection with their new stuffed friend with a birth certificate, unstuffed animal, wishing star and stuffing instructions so they can bring their pal to life.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Teddy Bear Explores for Science

    Scientists are always working hard to find new ways to explore the world around us, and recently, a teddy bear got involved and bravely ventured out into the great unknown.

    A teddy bear named “Nugget” was launched into the stratosphere by the Museum of the Goldfields in Australia, equipped with a GPS and a camera in the name of science.

    The idea of this experiment was to use the teddy bear to study the local region, and for residents to have a better understanding of what’s around them. The faux animal’s findings will be used for educational purposes at the museum, which was established to promote science, math, geography, and other subjects to local patrons.

    “Nugget” was strapped to a helium balloon when taking off, and not too long after lift-off, the museum’s staff actually lost track of the teddy bear, as it floated to altitudes of 37 km. After nearly three hours of no contact, the teddy bear was tracked down as it began its descent, having gone some 50 km further astray than previously thought. According to some recent reports, the teddy bear’s landing location had been charted thanks to a recovery mission set up by the museum. What it saw along the way will be anyone’s guess, once the footage is viewed.

    We are looking forward to seeing what “Nugget” picked up along his journey, especially for scientific purposes. At The Zoo Factory, we love to see stories like this—where science is being used in a way to educate young minds. And with teddy bears, even better!

  • Little Teddy Bears Take a Big Adventure

    Teddy bears serve many great purposes. They give us a friend to hug and love, they are great sleeping partners, and often times, they can be used to raise awareness for a good cause.

    Students in Indiana recently raised a lot of money using teddy bears, and in the process, the teddy bears got to have a lot of fun.

    Forty students from the Indiana University Dance Marathon (IUDM) recently made headlines when they each jumped out of a plane with a teddy bear along for the ride, all in the name of boosting the spirits of the kids at the Riley Hospital for Children in Indiana.

    The plan was simple or so they say. The 40 students each took their own teddy bear and loaded into an airplane. Once they were in full flight (13,000 feet in the air), each student jumped out of the plane with a teddy bear in tow.

    Why you may ask?

    Well, they wanted to give the brave children at the hospital a brave teddy bear to keep by their side, and after jumping out of a plane and falling towards the ground at 120 mph, each bear was then considered the “Bravest Bear in the World.” These bears were then presented to the “Bravest Kids in the World.”

    This is the fourth year that these students have had this event and not only does it produce brave bears, but over the years, they have raised many millions of dollars for the hospital with 75 percent of that money going to research and 25 percent going to clinical care. All for a cause that is 100 percent for the children.

    It is so refreshing these days to have young people who are so compassionate about those in need, and these kids are really dedicated. As event organizer Matt Arnold has said, “Looking out of the door of the plane at 13,000 feet, knowing you are going to jump out is scary, but when you think about these kids are going through, it’s a lot scarier. This program puts it all in perspective.”

    At The Zoo Factory, we also take pride on putting smiles on children’s faces, and that is why we offer a comprehensive selection of stuffed animals and stuffable animal kits so each child can make their own customized best friend to accompany them through thick and thin. Check out our site to see our grand selection.

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