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How Stuffed Animals Benefit Babies and Toddlers

As infants, a few of the first things we grow attached to are our mothers, fathers, and in many cases, stuffed animals. We form bonds with them almost instantaneously, and they shape our perceptions of the world as we wield these tools for learning and interaction.

One of the greatest gifts we can give a newborn baby or toddler is a stuffed animal, and here’s why:

Teaching about the world

When you give an infant a stuffed animal, you may not know it, but you are teaching them about the world. Stuffed animals can be used to classify different animals, such as reptiles and aquatic creatures. Not only do these toys introduce your baby or toddler to the animal kingdom, but they can also help them process and understand human emotion and sensory details such as texture and color.

What to look for in your baby’s first stuffed animal

When choosing your baby’s first stuffed animal, you will want to keep a few things in mind. Try to avoid animals with long fur or removable parts, as babies can easily choke on these. If giving your child a stuffed animal is sentimental to you, you may want to opt for a stuffed animal that your toddler can hold onto once they are of preschool age. At this age, your child is beginning to develop more of an active imagination, and will likely want to interact with their stuffed animal even more.

At the Zoo Factory, we encourage imaginative play, whether you’re 3, 15, or 67! We’re never too young or too old to connect with our inner child. Take a look through our inventory to find the perfect stuffable animal for your child today!

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How to Pick the Perfect Stuffed Animal for Your Child

Teddy Bear in a Gift Box

Kids love stuffed animals; it’s why they make the perfect gifts. However, there are a lot of options when it comes to stuffed animals, and as a result, a lot of decisions to make. Choosing the right one can be difficult, so read over some of these tips so that you can get the perfect stuffed animal for your child.

Consider your child’s age

Buying a stuffed animal for a baby is different than buying one for a child. If you’re buying for a baby, you need to make sure that the stuffed animal is safe for their age, meaning it should have nothing a baby can chew on or swallow. A stuffed animal for an older child, on the other hand, should be meant for playing, traveling, and sleeping with, so make sure it’s durable.

Think about your child’s interests

You want your child to play with the stuffed animal, so getting one that aligns with their interests is usually a good step. Do they love dinosaurs? Then get a stuffed dinosaur. Horses? Get a stuffed horse. If they don’t have a favorite animal, you can always get a stuffed animal with a special outfit. For example, if your child loves Spider-Man, then get a stuffed animal that’s dressed up just like Spidey.

Make it an experience

Often times, the experience is what makes something special. Picking out a stuffed animal together will be something your child will remember for the rest of their life, so don’t feel like you need your gift to be a surprise just for it to be special. To add an extra touch, you can buy one that you and your child can make together. The experience of putting together a stuffed animal from one of The Zoo Factory’s stuffable animal kits, for instance, will create a fun and lasting experience that can form an instant connection between your child and their new friend. Look through our inventory to get started!

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Hosting a Valentine’s Day Teddy Bear Party

Teddy Bear with Hearts above it.

Each year as Valentine’s Day rolls around, we tend to think of the ones that mean the most to us. This includes not only our spouses and romantic others, but our best friends, our teammates, our coworkers, and even our parents. It’s a time to celebrate not only love, but the power of friendship and connection.

Here are some ideas on how you can share the sentiment of Valentine’s day with your friends, coworkers, and children this month.

Hosting a Valentine's Day Teddy Bear Party

Singles Night for the Ladies

Many people take the opportunity to center Valentine’s Day around good friends and family instead of romantic partners. The holiday isn’t just for the traditional and mushy candle lit dinner crowd, so make the season your own by hosting a singles party at your home, apartment, or an outside venue for the people who matter. Celebrate everyone’s uniqueness by opting for a more laid-back color palette in your party decor, like tangerine table cloths or turquoise hanging paper lanterns and encourage people to bring a gift to exchange, even if they don’t know each other, like a fun and trendy sloth stuffed animal or a painted wine glass. You never know, you might end up playing match maker by the end of the night!

Teddy Bear Party for Kids

Most children enjoy Valentine’s Day because they get to exchange the ever-famous valentine! A lot of time and creativity goes into the shopping for such a sweet sentiment, which is then distributed to classmates and best friends. A stuffed animal party, however, involves a little more interaction and allows your class or neighborhood to get more hands-on in the gift-making process. Set up bags around your classroom with each child’s name and let them drop goodies, stuffed animals, and hand-made cards into each one! The best gifts are the ones we make ourselves, so let your child’s creativity blossom!

Secret Admirer Gifts for the Office

You can feel the love in the air everywhere during the month of February, including at the office. Some people aren’t always into the gift-giving part of the season, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t brighten someone’s day by leaving them a special surprise at their desk. Is your boss going through a rough patch, or are you wishing to settle a work disagreement you had with a coworker not too long ago? When you give a gift anonymously, it takes the obligation off of the gift receiver and keeps them guessing with delight. Be sure to not leave anyone out, though; it only works if the whole office participates! That way, everybody receives a heartfelt morale boost.

Don’t forget: Beginning February 1st, you can claim 10% off all party kits and packages when you shop at The Zoo Factory for your Valentine’s Day party stash!

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The Importance of Teddy Bears to Police Officers

When most adults think of police officers, we think of strong, brave men and women who spend their days and nights protecting us and maintaining the law.The Importance of Teddy Bears to Police Officers

And in the eyes of our children police officers are the individuals that can provide you with help in any situation.

Whether a child gets separated from their mother at the park or is in the back seat of their parent’s minivan during a fender bender, it is almost always a police officer who is there to console them and make sure they are ok.

In situations like these, the tools that brave officer uses are rather different than the ones they carry on a day-to-day basis, with one of the most important ones being a teddy bear.

According to Brunswick Police Captain Angela Smith, “When a child is caught up in a tragic situation, a teddy bear can distract and calm them,” which is why the Brunswick Police Department and so many others across the country keep teddy bears and other stuffed animal on hand to help comfort children in the midst of frightening situations.

This January, the Brunswick Police Department was lucky enough to receive the generous gift of 250 teddy bears; each packed neatly in its own gift bag.

Donated by local resident Doris Carter and the insurance firm she represents, this gift will go far in helping both local children and officers.

We at The Zoo Factory are incredibly touched by this sweet story, and thankful for all the brave men and women driving through their town with a teddy bear tucked in the trunk of their police car, ready for a child in need!

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Children Benefit from Playing with Teddy Bears

Whether your child is just learning to walk or is conquering their first year of elementary school, they are sure to have a favorite toy. It may be a doll or an action figure, but more likely than not it is a stuffed teddy bear. And looking back on your own childhood, one of your fondest friends was probably a stuffed animal as well.Children Benefit from Playing with Teddy Bears

Why? It may have to do with the benefits that a stuffed teddy bear friend can provide. From word recognition to emotional discovery, these benefits begin when your child is a baby and continue on throughout their school years.

Playing with teddy bears and other stuffed animal friends allows our children to practice the life skills they are constantly learning, role playing with their stuffed animals and teaching them how to perform tasks like brushing their teeth and getting dressed for school.

Teddy bears also provide an early form of socialization. Whether your child is having a tea party with all their favorite stuffed animals or is the teacher in a school filled with fluffy rabbit, dog and teddy bear students, there are endless opportunities to learn good behavior.

Even as our children get older, introducing them to wild and exotic stuffed animal friends – like crocodiles, hippos and gorillas – is a way to inspire learning. When they have a new and unique animal hanging out with them every day, they are sure to want to learn more about the creatures and the habitat it resides in in the wild!

Searching for a new stuffed animal for your child? Why not make the introduction of their new friend even more exciting by letting them stuff their teddy bear all on their own? Here at The Zoo Factory we offer a wide variety of stuffable animals, along with clothing and party packages for birthdays and other special events!

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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!

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Personalized T-Shirts for Your Stuffed Animal!

plain t shirt

Many times when you are looking for clothes for yourself you seem to be caught between buying the clothes that are popular and trying to find the clothes that speak to you and make a statement about who you are.

Well now you don’t have to make a choice, at least not for a new stuffed friend!

Our fabric markers are just that- markers that you can use on fabric. This means you buy our traditional plain t-shirt to fit your stuffable animal and use the markers to turn that t-shirt into anything you would like it to be.

The markers come in a set of 8 colors. This gives you a variety of colors to choose from and endless options of what to design on your shirt. The great thing about designing your own shirt is that it can be personalized to what you or your child would like to see on shirts. You could even use the markers to create a matching shirt, so your child and their stuffed friend could match and they can show off their twin!

It is important to allow your child to be creative and express themselves, they are only young once and you don’t want them to lose that innocence. When they grow up and start acting like little adults you will regret not having more days where they cuddled up with their stuffed animals and innocently playing with their toys.

At The Zoo Factory, we aim to fuel your child’s imagination, all while making it fun and safe for them.
 
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Customizing Stuffable Animals For Your Child

gorilla

Having toys for your child to play with is important, it helps their imagination run wild and lets them have the dreams you hope they achieve someday.

Many children will use their toys as a way of creating dreams and aspirations for themselves. Instead of letting your child use the popular toy to impersonate them, give them a stuffable animal that is them. Ok, maybe they will not look exactly like them but embodies them in every way possible.

There are many ways to customize one of our stuffed animals to be your child’s mini-me.

First start with the clothes-you can dress them exactly how your child would dress on a daily basis or dress them in your child’s favorite color.

You can also pick the stuffed animal that you think most directly identifies with your child. For example if you have a child who loves to play at the park and is always climbing around you may want to give them a gorilla. Or if your child is somewhat shy and quiet, you could always get them a cute and cuddly rabbit. Choose the animal that is inside of your child just waiting to come out and play.

One last thing you may want to include with your child’s new friend is a scent. If your child is your little sweetie pie or cupcake make sure to include the cupcake aroma-bearapy.

Make your child’s next stuffed animal is a toy they will want to look up to and idolize as they create their own dreams.
 
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New: AromaBearapy for your Stuffable Animals!

scent chips

During the holiday time you smell the cookies cooking and it brings back those memories of making them with your mom as a child. Or in the summer time the first time you cut the grass and it brings back memories of having a teddy bear picnic in your yard. These are all memories based around scents. Imagine the possibilities you have to create scent memories with your children.

AromaBearapy scent chips can be placed into your Zoo Factory animal to give off the scent of your choice. Currently there are 8 scents to choose from, including buttered popcorn and cupcake!

If you are unsure of what scent you would like to choose or if this is a surprise for your child, think about where this gift will be given to them. If you are planning on giving this a party of a birthday party package, you may want to think about getting cupcake flavored scent. They will remember all the fun times they have with finds create zoo factory animals every time they smell a cupcake scent.aromabearapy

Giving the bear as a gift? You may want to use Chocolate Mint or Strawberry. These two scents are very popular and can be used for any occasion. AromaBearapy scent chips are a great addition to any stuffed animal and can take a regular stuffed animal to the next level. It may even make your child choose a brand new favorite toy!

We only have 5 senses and with toys it is difficult to engage multiple senses. With AromaBearapy scent chips you are engaging the sense of smell, touch and sight. Other toys only engage touch and sight. These new scent chips can help your child grow more than you could imagine.

Have any questions about this new product? Give The Zoo Factory a call!
 
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Stuffed Animals: Gifts for Young Children

stuffed animals Stuffed animals have been around for ages. Years ago, almost every child had a teddy bear or favorite plush toy, and that stuffed animal became a cherished companion. Stuffed animals are very often a young child’s first friend, and many lessons can be learned from this special relationship.

Children frequently learn how to express their feelings non-verbally to their stuffed animal, and this is so important in the development of openness and an ability to share innermost thoughts and feelings. Children learn the concept of sharing with their stuffed friend, and the concept of caring through their relationship with these furry beings.

Giving a stuffed animal as a gift is a wonderful way to start a young child on the journey of life. But these gifts should be age appropriate and the right size for the child. Every child should be able to hold his stuffed animal to cuddle and communicate with. This can be a child’s first experience of “This is mine”, and communication can be very private.

Often even young children will indicate that they have a favorite animal, and if you are lucky enough to have that information, you should favor buying that animal. Boys will often prefer dogs to cats, and monkeys to teddies. But keep in mind that you also teach the child about that animal by giving it as a gift, so if the child is a bit older, more exotic stuffed animals like giraffes and parrots could be wonderful.

Of course there is nothing more beloved than the teddy bear and you ought not to shy away from buying one just because everyone thinks of him when thinking of a stuffed animal. They are cuddly and loyal companions, and every child responds to a teddy. When buying for a specific child, keep in mind the child’s size and age, colors she responds to, and gender. Some teddies look masculine and some feminine.

Whatever your decision, you can rest assured that a stuffed animal will be welcome by parents and treasured by the child.

 
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