Stuffed animals can work wonders in a classroom full of young children, and we love the idea of incorporating them into an educational setting.
Here are a few of The Zoo Factory’s favorite ways that stuffed animals can be used in a classroom setting.
Consider a Class mascot
A cuddly and unique stuffed animal can make the perfect class mascot. Mascots create a sense of belonging, uniting everyone in the class and representing diverse classrooms as a solidified unit. Class mascots make kids excited to go to school every day, giving them something fun to look forward to. These special class heroes can increase classroom morale with minimal effort.
Create a Reading or Writing Partner
Stuffed animals serve as the perfect audience for reading and writing practice. Letting students read books out loud to stuffed animals allows them to practice reading comprehension and fluency while minimizing nerves. For editing help, have students write a few thoughts down and let them read these thoughts out loud to a stuffed animal to listen for writing mistakes. Reading with a non-judgmental stuffed animal causes an increase in confidence (and fun!) for young students.
Offer Recognition and Reward
Kids love positive recognition and rewards for appropriate behaviors and actions. Use stuffed animals in the classroom as a tool for rewarding students for following your classroom rules. For example, let a student that demonstrates good manners sit with a stuffed animal on their desk during class. If a student does a particularly good job with reading something out loud or mastering other course content, let them pick out a stuffed animal to carry around for the day.
There is no shortage of fun ways to use stuffed animals in the classroom! Find teddy bears, unicorns, sea creatures, farm animals, and more at The Zoo Factory.
Teddy bears are therapeutic tools that many educators incorporate in their classrooms for a number of beneficial reasons, such as promoting positive interaction and emotional growth during children’s formative years.
Teddy Bears are Transitional Objects
Blankets, teddy bears, and other stuffed animals hold a special place in our hearts from the moment we are born into this world. These objects are self-chosen and given special value only because we choose to give them this significance.
They mark the earliest phases of our development as humans and also help us cope with separation anxiety. A positive example of this is when a parent drops a child off at kindergarten. The child may feel stricken with anxiety and other uncomfortable emotion, and so to cope they will look for an object to hold onto. These objects are often abandoned once the adult picks the child up, but during the day, the object soothes them during their time of discomfort.
Teddy Bears Encourage Healthy Interaction
Teddy bears provide us with a clear understanding of how a child, as they grow, will interact with other people. A child who grows an attachment to a self-chosen object will more than likely be able to express emotion in a healthy way, and show that they can easily connect with others and maintain relationships. This is a necessary life skill that is vital to mental and emotional growth.
Teddy Bears are Non-Disruptive
If you are a teacher or work with younger children, then you realize that most objects of comfort are non-threatening to your lesson plan. Because of their calming effect, teddy bears help children concentrate by providing emotional and sensory support. They make children feel safe in uncertain situations and new environments, and even including an activity involving a stuffed animal or a teddy bear party in your lesson plan could contribute greatly to a healthy psyche.
Surprise your classroom, youth group, or after-school club with a special friend this month at The Zoo Factory!