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How to Choose Soft Toys for Kids
Did you know that 53% of adults in the US still have stuffed animals from their childhoods? Soft toys are not just comforting for kids. They can be prized, sentimental possessions.
If you’re a parent, you might default to buying the first teddy bear you see at your local toy store. But picking soft toys for kids can and should be a more collaborative and involved process! With a little care, you can pick the perfect toy that will be treasured for years to come, the Personalized Stuffed Animals by Lavington Designs are a great options for your kids.
To help you pick the right toy, we put together this soft toy buying guide! Read on to learn how to do it!
Why Are Soft Toys So Important?
Teddy bears are sometimes referred to as “transitional objects.” In many cases, they’re the first friend your child will have. A soft toy will act as a shoulder to cry on, and a tool for self-soothing.
Scientists have found that transitional objects reduce stress and help children process their emotions.
Further studies have found that soft toys are designed to have the exact facial features that the human brain finds adorable. A small face, rounded cheeks, short limbs, and a large forehead are all qualities that elicit affection in humans. It’s the same reason that, even if you’re not a dog person, puppies still have an irresistibly cute quality.
Cuddling them, then, can help soothe turbulent emotions and provide companionship. Cuddling a soft toy has been proven to help children with absent parents and children affected by psychological trauma.
You can take these findings and see how a soft toy can help your child cope with a tough day at school, complex new emotions, and loneliness.
The Key Is Softness
In a recent study, one-third of children were shown to express an attachment to an inanimate object, assigning it a human-like personality. Of these children, 93% were attached to soft toys. Only 7% were attached to plastic toys.
In fact, soft toys had a higher attachment rating than security blankets!
This suggests that the softer the toy, the better. They’ll feel better in your child’s hands, and your child will be more likely to form an attachment.
Make It Collaborative
Take your child’s interests into account when you pick a soft toy for them. Consider their favorite animals, books, and hobbies.
Do they love horses? Pick a horse!
Are they obsessed with The Lion King? Pick a lion!
If you’re not sure what type of animal they would love, take them to the store or show them a few options and see which ones they reach for.
And don’t be afraid to shirk convention. Don’t feel limited to the standard teddy bear. Consider something more unique and creative, like this platypus beanie baby.
Do It for a Special Occasion
You don’t need a reason to buy soft toys for children, but it can help make them feel more special. If your child is coming up on a big achievement or has been struggling with something, a soft toy can be the perfect gift.
For example, if your kid is moving to a new school or is getting over a sickness, a soft toy can be the perfect, comforting companion. In addition, if they’re celebrating an achievement like a big win in Little League or a good report card, a soft toy makes for a great reward.
A special occasion can give extra meaning to the toy and shows your child that you care about them.
You can also give them the toy on an excursion. For example, if they love elephants you can take your child to the zoo to see their favorite animal and present them with a stuffed elephant while you’re there. This can help foster attachment and your child will be thrilled.
When choosing kid’s soft toys, it’s important to make sure they’re safe and high quality. Younger kids especially are at risk of choking and other safety concerns with their toys.
When you pick a soft toy, look into the company that makes it. Family-run companies and companies with a long history of manufacturing toys for kids are best. They often put a little more thought into the design process of the toy, creating a higher quality product.
Toys with high-quality materials and good construction are less likely to fall apart. In addition, buttons and glass eyes are less likely to fall out and become choking hazards. Some companies even include antibiotic fabrics, which can help reduce microbes in your child’s toy.
When picking a toy for a baby, it should be super soft and small enough to fit in small hands. It should never have any hanging attachments or accessories, as babies tend to suck on these and they can be choking hazards.
The CPSIA and ASTM have created safety standards for soft toys for children. When in doubt, look for toys that are certified by these companies.
That said, please note that babies should not sleep with soft toys until they are at least one year old. Before that age, loose bedding and stuffed animals can contribute to overheating and suffocation concerns.
Pick the Right Soft Toys for Kids
Picking soft toys for kids is more difficult than it seems. You can’t just pick the first one you see! But, with a little care and consideration, you can pick a truly special toy that will thrill and delight your kid.
Follow these tips, and you’ll be sure to pick the perfect one!
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