TOP 10 STUFFED ANIMALS
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Whether they're squashed for hugs, worn around the neck or destined for endless snacking, plush toys will never fail to be your child's best friend.
With their endlessly adorable faces and compressible bodies, these plush toys make great stuffed animals for little ones' comfort (Note: do not put stuffed animals - or anything else - in babies' cribs).
From traditional picks (hello, teddy bear!) to stuffed animals that give back to the world, find your child's favorite cuddle buddy here:
TOP 10: A STUFFED DRAGON
Once upon a time...
Who knew dragons could be so charming? This sweet little storyteller will quickly put your child to sleep reading famous fairy tales with a soothing voice and gentle movements.
TOP 9: A STUFFED ELEPHANT
As for any elephant, the big ears are this playful pachyderm's best asset. Your baby will love to play hide and seek because the elephant hides behind its ears.
TOP 8: A STUFFED DEER
The fabric that returns
You can feel good about buying these soft and cuddly animals. Not only are they cute, hypoallergenic and made with non-toxic, 100% cotton materials, but they are also handmade in Peru with sustainable and fair trade practices. And for every purchase, Cuddle + kind provides 10 meals to children in need. There is a wide variety of animals, and they are available in small and regular sizes (13 and 20 inches, respectively).
TOP 7: A TEDDY BEAR
There are cotton velour and soft plush toys. Start with a classic of the plush world: a natural-colored teddy bear in beige, pink or blue with embroidered eyes that can't be plucked out. Because teddy bears are hand-sewn and made of high-quality materials, they last a long time (think: from generation to generation).
If you want to buy a quality teddy bear, we recommend a visit to the Ours Shop. They are true specialists in the field of teddy bears and the reliability of their service has been proven.
TOP 6: AN OCTOPUS STUFFED ANIMAL
We're pigeons for this cephalopod. Its eight flexible tentacles are perfect for snuggling (or wrestling) with toddlers. Octopus plushies are well known for their plush materials and adorable patterns, and this plush octopus is sure to get a ten out of ten tentacles in your home.
TOP 5: A LAZY STUFFED ANIMAL
The soothing companion
Its ultra-soft fur and soft face are sure to delight your baby's sense of touch, while providing a comforting source of security.
TOP 4: A LAZY STUFFED ANIMAL WITH 3 FINGERS
Anything but basic, this fuzzy sloth is a master at the art of giving hugs. Simply wrap long arms around your child's neck or chest for a cozy cuddle. In the wild, these sluggish denizens of the South American jungles have only three toes, just like this stuffed animal.
TOP 3: A STUFFED PONY
If your child is begging for a pony, here's your solution. Big enough to sit on, this pony is perfect for fake cowboys and jockeys. While this horse won't cower, your child will love cuddling him and brushing his soft fur (and, let's face it, this stuffed pony is much more practical than the real thing).
TOP 2: A BELUGA TEDDY BEAR
Saving the whales
You and your child may not be wildlife conservation experts, but you can help protect the nation's wildlife by symbolically adopting an endangered animal (i.e., making a donation to protect that animal).
TOP 1: A UNICORN STUFFED ANIMAL
Unicorns are said to be soft and sweet, so you need a unicorn toy that has these same attributes. The best unicorn plush toy is the pink giant unicorn kingdom.
Unicorn stuffed animals are known for being cute, cuddly and a comfy place to lay your head all in one. This lavender unicorn is no exception. Unicorn lovers of all ages will find this stuffed animal adorable.
Velcro underneath keeps the unicorn upright. To use as a pillow, simply remove the Velcro to flatten the body and make a soft pillow for sweet unicorn dreams. These plush pillows are generally well made and will last for years of use. You can offer this plush pillow to the unicorn lover in your life.
THE ADVANTAGES OF A PLUSH TOY
Outside of the family, one of the first relationships your child will likely develop will be with a beloved stuffed animal. These sweet, cuddly friends are more than just a toy. To a child, a stuffed animal is a companion with whom he or she can interact and identify. Stuffed toys allow children to play out scenarios and explore emotions they don't yet fully grasp, practice newly acquired skills and develop their sense of independence.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE BENEFITS ASSOCIATED WITH STUFFED ANIMALS?
The world can be a scary place, but no matter how far children travel, or the strange new worlds they encounter, a precious plush toy represents the safety and familiarity they can carry with them. When faced with new situations, a stuffed friend can help a child adjust and feel less vulnerable.
STRENGTHENING TRUST AND CONFIDENCE
Young children don't have much control over their world, so a stuffed animal can provide an outlet for their own need for independence. By raising their toys, children take charge for once, which boosts their self-confidence.
DEALING WITH EMOTIONS
Young children often role-play with dolls and stuffed animals. When children are experiencing emotions that they do not fully understand, playing with their toys can be a safe and positive way to learn to manage their feelings.
PRACTICING SOCIAL SKILLS
Relationships with siblings, parents, and new friends can also benefit from the role-playing that children do with their stuffed toys. Through imaginary interactions, children learn to empathize and practice behaviors they have seen shaped by those around them.
When children first learn to speak, they are excited to use their new skills. Conversations with their stuffed animals help them develop this muscle - practice makes perfect!