When you open the door to any baby’s bedroom, it is likely that you will find at least one stuffed animal inside. Stuffed animals are a staple of almost every child’s toy collection and they play an important part in their educational and emotional development from a very early age. But why do babies love animals so much? And what makes animal baby soft toys so desirable?
An Important Education Tool
Stuffed animals are soft and tactile, meaning that from around the age of 6 months baby will be able to appreciate the texture of their favourite soft toy and begin to make an emotional connection to it. It is at this point that they will choose a favourite soft toy, and this often correlates directly with their favourite animal at the farm or the zoo.
What’s more, stuffed animals are also a great tool for developing social skills. As a general rule stuffed animals have friendly faces that are designed to appeal to babies and children, and these friendly faces provide a ready and waiting audience for them to practice their chatter and new found language skills on. At an early stage it doesn’t matter that the soft toys can’t talk back, they still provide a familiar face which baby will feel comfortable engaging with.
Fuzzy animal friends also make great partners for playing peekaboo with. As the child becomes older they will also form an essential part of other role play games: they’re always happy to join the tea party and will willingly test new recipes and dishes prepared in the toy kitchen. If your child connects to an animal soft toy during their babyhood then they will have a friend for life.
Why Stuffed Animals?
You could argue that other soft toys, such as a stuffed doll, would have the same developmental benefits as a stuffed animal and in many ways you would be right. But young children seem to have a special affinity to animals that shouldn’t be overlooked. Like babies themselves, animals are cute and unpredictable, making them easy for baby to relate to. What’s more, because animal behaviour is so unlike human behaviour, it unlocks new developmental experiences and broadens their understanding of the world.
Animals move, they’re often brightly coloured, they are easy to see. If you’re thinking about buying baby soft toy gifts for a new bundle of joy, why not consider choosing a stuffed animal? This will only encourage their fascination with animals and provide a wider audience for their growing ability to chatter, and develop an emotional connection to something that you love as much as they do!
As an added bonus, soft animals provide a great form of room décor and will lend a warm and personal feel to any nursery or children’s bedroom. Choose a stuffed animal that compliments the colour scheme of their room, and enjoy the cachet of putting together a stylish look, as well as providing baby with a friend for life.