The bear necessities of childhood
Why your children need their plush toys
Many of us have fond memories of our favourite plush toy – the teddy bear that went everywhere, the stuffed elephant subjected to yet another tea party, or the giraffe dragged by the neck through the sandpit.
There are many reasons that we all love soft toys – they’re cuddly, warm and safe. And parents will be pleased to know that there are a host of other benefits associated with children treasuring this toy too.
A comforting companion
A child’s plush toy represents a sense of security and familiarity. No matter where they are, having a familiar furry friend can help a child cope and feel less vulnerable. When they feel insecure or sad, their toy becomes a confidant. Plush toys even become close friends, providing children with a sense of love and stability.
Honing social skills
Children’s relationships with their parents, siblings and friends can benefit from their role-playing and interactions with their stuffed toys. Acting out emotions on toys provides a safe, positive platform for children to learn how to control and express their feelings.
Young children often transfer their own feelings onto their plush toy, before proceeding to comfort the toy. This helps them come to terms with how they are feeling.
Developing language skills
It’s delightful to watch children chatting away with their soft toys. When they first learn to talk, children are excited to practise and try out new words and sounds. Plush toys are very good listeners and the perfect, non-judgmental conversation partners!
Loved for a long time
Plush toys are suitable for children across all ages: Babies love to touch and feel the different textures, toddlers get constant companions, preschoolers’ imaginations run riot in role play, schoolgoers may still be strongly attached to their familiar favourites, and older children start creating stuffed toy collections.
A plush toy provides an outlet for children’s independence. As they act as a ‘parent’ to their own toy, they’re able to exert a sense of control, which helps to build their confidence. This can be especially valuable with children who are exposed to new situations in their own lives because they can test out these new circumstances on their own plush toy families, which helps them learn how to cope.
Whether it’s a trusty teddy or a patient ‘Ellie’, giving children plush toys helps them develop emotional skills and provides them with comfort and companionship.
|Where did the teddy bear get its name?
The teddy bear is named after U.S. President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt. In 1902, Teddy Roosevelt went on a bear-hunting trip in Mississippi. However, he refused to kill a bear that his fellow hunters had captured. News spread, and soon newspapers around the country featured political cartoons of ‘Teddy’ and ‘the bear’.
A shop owner named Morris Michtom saw one of the cartoons and had an idea. He and his wife created plush bears and placed them in their shop in Brooklyn, New York. With permission from the President himself, Michtom named the toys “Teddy bears”. They were an instant success…and the rest is history!
- 5 Educational Benefits of Stuffed Animal Toys – Creative Child https://hula-hula.co.za//www.creativechild.com/articles/view/5-educational-benefits-of-stuffed-animal-toys
- The Benefits of Plush Toys – Ganz World https://parentclub.ganzworld.com/uncategorized/the-benefits-of-plush-toys/