Not all stuffed animals are made the same. Some kids have a collection of stuffed animals. And I want to talk to you about what I look for in a good stuffed animal… and how they can be used for many different types of place.
Stuffed animals are GREAT comfort items. Neither of my kids have attached to a stuffed animal, but when I was a teacher many children would have a stuffed animal that gave them consistency, comfort and a feeling over safety as they laid down for nap or left their parents to come to school. If a stuffed animal is serving your child in this way… it is something to celebrate, not condone. They are using this animal to be BRAVE with change and discomfort. This is a healthy way they are choosing to regulate. If they get older and are sucking on this animal or bringing it everywhere and you’re concerned about hygiene…. make a carrier or a bed. And have them place the animal in site, but not always in their arms.
Buy stuffed animals that can be machine washed!
If you have a collection of stuffed animals, you can use them in a toy rotation. Pull them out to be a zoo with blocks for a fence. Pull them out to be a pet shop, use cardboard boxes to make kennels. Use them with dramatic play.
Child-led play is extremely beneficial. It is the way for them to discover what they love, who they are and make sense of the world around them. Our role in child-led play is to FOLLOW THEIR LEAD sometimes that means letting them lead ENTIRELY. We can also support them when needed, keep them safe, engage in their play.Read More