Tag Archives: animals

The Benefits of Plushy Friends

25 Aug

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Just about every child owns some type of a stuffed, furry companion. From classic teddy bears to exotic animals dressed up in sneakers and bowties, plush toys have been an essential part of children’s play for decades. Explore why stuff animals are important for your child to own and see our suggestions for some new snuggle buddies to add to your little one’s toy collection.

Comfort

Plush toys provide a huggable friend that is always there for your child. Whether they are happy, sleepy, scared, or sad, stuffed animals allow children of all ages to learn self-regulation skills. Huggers Plush Sloth, Wolf, and Panda provide snuggly, friendly hugs, anytime. You simply spread their arms open wide, give a little squeeze, and their arms instantly wrap to give you a hug. Whether your toddler is seeking comfort at bedtime or your preschooler is hugging their soft friend after scraping their knee, it is amazing what a simple hug or cuddle can do for your child’s mood.

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Imaginative Play

Perfect companions for pretend play, stuff animals are great for encouraging your child to engage with his or her imagination. Stuffed animals can bring to life characters from your child’s favorite movies and books extending their stories into bedroom and backyard playtime! The Watermelon Seed with Kroc Set is the perfect example of pairing literacy learning with a fun character plushy. Have the Kroc take a bite of watermelon with every page turn! From tea parties to backyard safaris, stuffed animals are the perfect playtime sidekicks.

Exploration

Children of all ages use toys to discover how the world around them works. Younger children use soft toys to explore their own senses by chewing, touching, crunching, and squeezing their cuddly friends. Older children collect unique animals on zoo trips and museums visits, learning about their behaviors and habits along the way. The Baberoo Sea Turtle Plush provides both soft cuddles and education about endangered species. These furry friends do more than just take up space in your child’s toy bin, they are a reliable, educational playmate!

Stuffed animals are an important part of your child’s playtime, be sure to invest in quality, plushy friends to spark discovery and imaginative exploration in your child!

Encouraging Your Child’s Love of Animals

20 Apr

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Have you noticed that your little one has a particular fondness for furry friends? Whether they just love the family pet or all creatures, the love of animals is a great trait to have and support. Including this passion for animals into everyday activities can be a fantastic learning opportunity for teaching subjects likes responsibility, kindness, and even natural science! From learning about animals to actual animal care, their attachment to pets and wildlife can easily be supported and creates an excellent opportunity for family fun.

Positives of Pet Ownership

It doesn’t matter if they own a fish, a house full of furry friends, or a just collection stuffed animals; pet ownership can positively influence your little animal lover’s development. Taking care of a pet obviously teaches your child about responsibility, but it also teaches them how to nurture. Pets are often a source of unconditional love with provides your child with a “safe” friend to talk to and love. Pets also encourage children to be more active and social. From running with the dog in the backyard to playing with a friend’s hamster, animals require activities that are healthy to both the pet and owner. Perhaps due to space or family allergies, your child can’t own a pet. No worries! Maybe your child can visit pets of friends and neighbors; they can demonstrate to them how they take care of the pet and maybe let them join in for some activities. Consider adopting or sponsoring a pet at a local zoo! Your child can even help raise the money to cover the cost of the support. A trip to visit “their” animal is sure to be a blast!

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Ideas for Motivating Their Passion

From chasing lighting bugs outside to taking care of their favorite stuffed cat each night, your child will naturally find ways to explore their love of pets. Of course, spending time doing family activities is always important. Consider these ideas on how to combine your child’s love of animals with your family fun time. These activities are sure to entertain as well as educate and create extraordinary family memories for both you and your child.

  • Visit a zoo, farm, aquarium, nature preserve or local science center
  • Consider owning alternative pets like an ant farm or sea monkeys.
  • Pet-sit (a great way to trial run before adopting a pet of your own)
  • Let your child be a vet with the Nici® Wonderland Doll: Veterinarian Set
  • Take a nature walk while bird watching
  • Watch a live stream of an animal from a zoo
  • Visit animals at the pet store
  • Visit a dog park (with or without a dog. Just asking before petting!)
  • Create adorable pets with the Magnutto™ Junior Make a Pet™ Magnetic Activity
  • Visit a petting zoo or butterfly garden
  • Watch a film starring an animal while munching on animal themed snacks (like animal crackers and ants on a log)
  • Go on a virtual experience with the Genuine Ant Farm® Antopia Adventure™ Virtual Explorer
  • Create a zoo with stuffed animals and cardboard box “cages”

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Leave us a comment below and tell us your child’s favorite animal-themed activity.

4 Books to Foster a Love of Reading in Young Children

3 Feb

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Reading skill at an early age is not only one of the strongest predictors of overall school success, but it is also correlated with adult health! When a skill is so crucial to supporting a lifetime of learning, it’s important children become comfortable with it from an early age. Getting children to fall in love with reading will introduce new vocabulary, build comprehension skills, and expand children’s experiences beyond what’s immediate. Sometimes encouraging struggling readers can be as simple as promoting the reading material that they are invested in. We have four book suggestions that we hope will encourage your children to think of reading as less of an obligation and more of an enjoyment.

1. I Love Animals—Big Book

You will be hard pressed to find a child who doesn’t love animals! Encourage children to love reading about them too with I Love Animals, a journey full of colorful hand illustrations and enough animals for your reader to find their favorite!

2. DC Super Heroes

Some children think reading is boring—until you add a super hero! Comic chapter books are a great middle ground that uses colorful illustrations of children’s favorite heroes while also encouraging reading skills as children learn about bravery, loyalty and heroism.

3. Feels Real Board Book Set (Set of 8)

Bringing multiple senses to the reading experience can go a long way in developing a child’s love of reading. The Feels Real board books are a great way for tactile children to use touch as they try out simple words and test five different touch and feel textures.

4. Henry Helps Book Set (Set of 7)

Another way to get children to become invested in the reading experience is by giving them a chance to attach to characters. Henry is a great character to follow through this captivating series as he teaches children responsibility, teamwork, and how to build self-esteem. After reading the series, children will not only be more open to new reading experiences, but they will have also picked up social emotional skills along the way!

Want to learn more about the benefits of early literacy? Here are some great parenting resources: