Plush toys are a popular gift for kids of all ages due to their cuteness and cuddliness. In fact, all toy stores and most supermarkets have at least one shelf dedicated to different types of cuddly toys.
But did you know that stuffed animals have many educational and emotional benefits for children? Keep reading to learn 8 surprising benefits of plush toys for kids.
1. Increase Sensory Stimulation
One of the key benefits of plush toys for kids is that they can help stimulate their sensory skills. Stuffed animals have a variety of textures. A child will enjoy touching their soft fur and hard eyes or even bristly whiskers.
A toy may also have different colored body parts and clothes which can help a child learn different colors. Some toys also play voice recordings or some happy music that children love listening to. So, one toy can help a child develop their sense of sight, touch, hearing and even smell and taste.
Remember to keep your plush toys clean and germ-free. This is because your child will enjoy touching and sucking on them.
2. Plush Toys Can Encourage Play-Based Learning
Another benefit of plush toys for kids is that they can increase your child’s development through play-based learning. A child’s favorite plush toy is a real friend to them. The child will tell stories about anything that happens during the day which helps develop their speech.
Your child may also repeat what they learn to the toy. This can help them integrate their learning. For instance, you may see a child singing the ABC song to their stuffed toy or counting down numbers with them.
As they play with their stuffed toy, children can learn life skills like brushing teeth, potty training and even how to care for others. The child may develop their caring and nurturing instinct as they cuddle their teddy, feed it, put it to bed, etc.
The plush toy also instills a sense of responsibility and ownership in the child. Losing a stuffed toy can be extremely painful. So this could result in the child learning to always take care of it.
3. Provide Emotional Support
Children also experience stress and anxiety. One of the benefits of cuddling with toys is the calming effect. Human beings are naturally inclined to seek comfort from soft and cuddly things.
Stroking a soft toy helps release a feel-good hormone called oxytocin which can soothe a tired, afraid or overstimulated child. Some say that children’s positive effect from their plush toys is similar to the effect a real pet has on adults.
Plush toys can also be a source of relief for teething babies. This is because the child can chew on a soft cuddly toy and get temporary distraction from the discomfort in their mouths. Stroking a soft toy can also help an agitated teething baby to calm down.
4. Give Courage to Face New Environments
A child’s favorite stuffed toy is their confidant and safe space. A source of unconditional love. These toys give children a different way to soothe themselves if their primary caregiver is unavailable.
If the child finds themselves in an unfamiliar environment, they could cope better if they have their stuffed toy. To the child, the toy is a representation of their caregivers or home. This is why children prefer to carry their plush toys everywhere they go.
5. Have Sentimental Value
It’s wonderful to have some keepsakes from childhood that can help anchor your memories from that age. For instance, holding your favorite toy from your childhood could bring back memories of what you dreamed of becoming when you were 5. This could help you make major life decisions such as where to live, who to marry and what career to pursue.
Plush toys are durable and can last through several generations of babies. This is why they work as great keepsakes. Many adults still have their favorite stuffed toy from their childhood. And when they have children, they can gift them these toys.
6. Enhance Creativity
One of the educational benefits of plush toys is that they can encourage your child’s creativity. Children like creating clothing items and different outfits for their plush toys. They can also use them as characters in make-believe games and created plays.
7. Increase Confidence
Plush toys for kids can also help build your child’s confidence and social skills. As your child plays with and talks to their stuffed toys, they develop their speech and practice speaking with others. This acts as role play for when they meet their peers and have to speak, play and negotiate with them.
Soft toys are especially helpful for introverted children who find it hard to speak with strangers. Playing with their stuffed toys prepares them to deal with real children.
8. Develop Emotional Intelligence
Children often have a hard time expressing their feelings and desires. Stuffed animals are a great tool for them to communicate how they feel to adults. For instance, if a child feels hurt by a certain interaction, they may express it by saying that their teddy feels sad.
When asked what caused the teddy to feel sad, the child would then open up about why they feel hurt. If your child doesn’t have the vocabulary for emotion, they may use their stuffed animal to act out their feelings.
Let Your Little One Reap the Benefits of Plush Toys for Kids
Plush toys have stood the test of time as the most beloved toy for children of all ages. But many people aren’t aware of the actual benefits of plush toys for kids. They’re not just soft and cuddly─ stroking them releases our feel-good hormones and calms us down.
Stuffed toys also have many educational and emotional benefits for kids. For instance, it helps dysregulated children to calm down and can also reduce separation anxiety. So if you are at a loss about what gift to buy for a birthday girl or boy, a plush toy is always a safe bet.
Visit our online shop today to find some of the best, high-quality stuffed toys for your loved one.