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5 Educational Benefits of Kids Stuffed Animals Toys

Often, a child’s first toy might be a teddy bear or another stuffed animal. Stores are full of stuffed toys, and there are even entire businesses dedicated to customizing stuffed animals. While adults may think that such toys are cute and soft, there is more potential lying inside. Kids at all ages enjoy these toys, sometimes even getting attached to the same toy for many years. Stuffed animals offer educational benefits to kids of all age groups, as listed below:

1. Babies: Babies love to touch the surfaces of stuffed toys, feeling their bristly whiskers, soft fur, and hard eyes. They will chew or suck these toys as well, so make sure early choices are designed to be well-loved and washed. Avoid small beads or removable parts. Some babies like squeaky toys. Fur or hair should be short and not easily plucked out.

2. Toddlers: Up until about two or three years, toys should be carefully chosen for durability and safety. Toddlers are learning empathy along with language and names. Different stuffed animals help young children recognize familiar words like cat, dog, bear, and pig – along with the appropriate sound made by each animal. Stuffed toys will receive names and become constant companions. Emotions are tested out on these silent friends – they may be thrown, hugged, hit, and kissed. Early parenting skills are practiced too, so stuffed animals may be fed, have their diapers changed, get put to bed, and sit on the potty. By rehearsing these situations, toddlers work through challenges, understand changing expectations, and demonstrate their observations. Stuffed toys may be a child’s first real friends.

3. Preschoolers: By this age, children start to engage in more imaginative play. Stuffed animals are not restricted by their appearance, so a giraffe can be a princess, an astronaut, a teacher, or even a giraffe. These toys can be included in active play. Kids often share their feelings with stuffed toys and may conduct elaborate conversations. After an upsetting day, a child can come to a stuffed friend and reenact the event, helping them deal with difficult emotions. Like real pets, stuffed animals may even help children become calm.

4. School-aged children: From about five years old, games often reflect kids’ preoccupation with new structures and people in their lives. Stuffed toys can become a whole class of students, the audience for a puppet show, or a gang of pirates. At the same time, kids may be strongly attached to these toys, still sleeping with them and possibly creating new clothes or constructing items to expand on earlier games.

5. Older children, especially animal lovers, may want to collect unusual stuffed animals. Finding an exotic anteater or platypus becomes a passion. Along with this hobby, kids learn about classifying animals, natural habitats, and geography. Visiting a local zoo or even another country offers a chance to understand sciences like zoology and biogeography. Some children sew stuffed companions for themselves or as gifts for friends or siblings. It’s a wonderful way to learn basic sewing skills and pattern-making, involving both fine motor coordination and 3-dimensional math skills.

Dog Health Alert – Do You Own Toxic Dog Toys?

Every dog owner knows that dogs love to chew; leave him or her to their own whims they will chew just about anything. Have you ever returned home from work or from an errand to find your favorite pair of shoes in pieces or the edge of the couch shredded? If the answer is yes then perhaps it is time to invest in some dog toys.

Pet toys do more than just entertain your dog; they keep his/her mind occupied. Most dog breeds suffer from some level of separation anxiety. The way your dog demonstrates that anxiety is chewing, having a toy available, or if you’re like many dog owners, several toys around will relieve stress and boredom.

Recently, there has been concern that some dog toys are toxic to both your family and your dog. If you have, any pet toys made from vinyl or PVC you should replace them immediately. Both contain toxic chemicals and quite possibly lead. How can you tell if the toy is vinyl? Take a whiff if it smells like vinyl it most likely is. In buying new pet toys, check with the manufacture for more information if in doubt or choose another toy with a clearly marked label.

With the variety of pet toys on the market today, making a safe choice can be the ease part; determining which kind to buy is another matter. If your dog is a moderate chewer then a plush dog toy is a good choice. Most are machine washable and keeping several around rotating as needed is a great way to keep them clean.

Squeaker toys are also a good choice for the moderate chewer as long as the noise does not bother you. The noise of the squeaker helps to keep your dog’s mind offer an anxiety trigger and focused on the business of having fun. Although not machine washable, some dog owners have used the dishwasher to keep these pet toys clean.

If you have a heavy chewer or your dog suffers from severe dog anxiety then a more durable dog toy is in order. While a dog toy for the severe anxiety suffer will never replace your attention, keeping a variety of tough dog toys around will help to relieve some of the stress.

For the heavy chewer there are really two options for dog owners; buy cheap dog toys knowing that your dog will destroy them in a matter of days or tough dog toys like knotted ropes. If cheap dog toys are your choice, make sure to buy only those with clearly marked labels. The stuffing on the inside as well as the exterior material should be made of a natural substance. If you see the word “phthalates” then the toy is toxic. Phthalates, used in plastics keep them flexible and durable.

Dog toys play an important role in your dog’s life from temperament to well being. Look at the pet toys in your collection, if you cannot identify whether you have a toxic dog toy then replace them with new organic dog toys. Organic dog toys are toys such as a rope toy made from natural jute, organic cotton in plush dog toys and others made of wool materials. These toys are rather inexpensive, priced from $3.99 to about $15 dollars.

Whether you buy your pet toys on-line or from your local pet store read the labels and choose the very best dog toys for your four-legged family member. Realizing the significance pet toys present to your dog’s overall well being and happiness it is our responsibility as dog owners to provide the safest environment for our dogs.