The Surprising Benefits of Stuffed Animals
Promotional products like toys and stuffed animals can often be looked over for more practical items like bags or chargers. However, you might be surprised to learn that stuffed animals provide major health benefits for both children and adults. This means they’re a promotional gift that keeps on giving.
The best stuffed animals will appeal to all ages and make your school fundraiser a huge hit. Want to learn about the ways that stuffed animals help individuals grow and learn throughout their entire lives? Read on to discover the science behind stuffed animals and how they’re proven to make amazing gifts.
Stuffed Animals and Early Development
It’s not surprising to see a child hanging onto a stuffed bunny throughout the day. They’re soft and cuddly, so what’s not to like?
But you may not have thought about the role that stuffed animals play in a young child’s development. Read on to learn about the ways that a stuffed animal can be essential in your child’s emotional and social growth.
Make sure you are buying promotional stuffed animals that are SAFE for young children. Many of the lower-priced versions are unsafe – either with harmful chemicals/materials or choking hazards. These custom stuffed animals are THE ONLY safe options for newborns and up!
Learning to Self-Soothe
Beyond looking cute, stuffed animals are important in helping young children cope with anxiety and stress. This is because when babies and toddlers are separated from a parent or caregiver, they often feel anxiety from the separation.
How can a stuffed animal toy help? Stuffed animals teach infants how to self-soothe.
It can often be hard in a child’s first year to learn how to cope with negative emotions. But when they learn to reach for a favorite stuffed animal, they can develop an essential emotional skill that carries on into adulthood.
Early Social Development
Stuffed animals also make great friends–in pretend and in reality. How? They can help toddlers begin developing social skills as they interact with a “friend.”
Up until age two or three, most children are still playing by themselves and haven’t begun to explore playing in groups. Toys like stuffed animals encourage pretend play, which teaches children how to interact with others.
For example, a one-year-old might pretend to feed their stuffed bear a bottle. Or, a toddler might let their stuffed rabbit join them on the swing because they want to share the fun experience with a playmate.
This early stage of playing is also an important time for them to learn empathy and compassion. As young children play and care for their stuffed animals, their brains are beginning to form important emotional connections. Later on in life, this skill will be important in forming friendships and relationships.
Early Language Development
Children begin to talk at different stages, but most will begin developing their language skills very early in life. The first three years of life are an essential time for children to gain speech and language skills.
What role does a stuffed animal have in this? When children play and “socialize” with their stuffed animals, they’re eventually encouraged to talk to their stuffed friend. Pretend-play and role-play activities teach them how to interact with a playmate both emotionally and verbally.
Early Literacy Skills
We’re not saying you should expect your toddler to crack open a novel–but encouraging them to play with stuffed animals can help them as they gain early literacy skills. How does this work?
As a child engages in pretend-play with stuffed animals, they will often have the toys “talk” to each other. When their stuffed friends are engaging in a back-and-forth conversation, this is laying the groundwork for storytelling. As they mature, this groundwork will help them to learn to read and write.
The next time you see your little one playing with their stuffed toys, pay attention. The way that they play and interact with their toys will tell you where they’re at in their early development.
As young children age, they have to learn how to adjust to major changes. They start school, encounter people who are different from them and spend hours away from their familiar home surroundings. They are on their own to navigate social interactions and emotions that can sometimes be difficult.
Because of this, many of today’s children experience anxiety regularly. Over six million children today are diagnosed with mental health disorders like anxiety and depression.
Why is this important? Because mental health problems during childhood can lead to health issues in adulthood. Treating young children with mental disorders is becoming a common challenge in today’s stressed-out age, which means finding a solution is a bigger priority.
Animals Help Treat Anxiety
Although children with severe cases of mental disorders will benefit the most from medicine, sometimes a simple gift like a teddy bear can make a big difference. Stuffed animals have characteristics that encourage a sense of calm and comfort.
For school-aged children, holding onto a familiar stuffed toy during a stressful event can make a world of difference. The familiarity of an “old friend” is comforting, while the soft and fluffy texture can help trigger brainwaves that say, “You’re safe.”
While stuffed animals helped to develop social skills in infancy, at this stage of life they are essential to maintaining a healthy state of mind. This is vital to a child’s growth too because mental disorders can affect a child’s ability to learn and grow.
A De-Stress Toy for Your Child’s Health
How can you use your child’s stuffed animal as a way to lower stress and anxiety? Sometimes, all it takes is giving your child his teddy bear when you notice he looks anxious. When your child can give his bear a big hug, it will calm him down and re-center.
Another trick you can try is to squeeze a drop of lavender essential oil onto your child’s favorite stuffed friend. Studies have shown that lavender is an effective aromatherapy tool to reduce stress and anxiety. It can even help your child sleep, which means their favorite stuffed toy can help them sleep better and function better during the day.
Stuffed animals have always been lovable toys for kids to play with. Today, they’re proving to be essential tools to help people develop and grow in healthy ways. When children are given the space and tools they need to develop, the skills they learn will benefit them throughout the rest of their lives.
Teens and Adults
You may think that stuffed animals are for kids only but think again. One study found that 40% of adults still sleep with stuffed animals–or at least keep their childhood teddy bear someplace safe. Why?
This is because the vital role that a beloved stuffed animal plays in childhood is still valued in adulthood. As adults, many of us place sentimental value on the toys we loved and played with. For stuffed animals especially, they play a bigger role in each person’s life because they teach multiple life skills: social development, literacy, emotional development, and coping skills.
Science has shown that teddy bears and other stuffed animals play vital roles in the way humans grow and develop. Having that cuddly companion with you during vital learning years provides a sense of comfort and safety. These are two things that we never stop needing, even in adulthood.
Stuffed Animals and Adult Mental Health
In the US, nearly 50% of adults experience some level of mental health disorders. This can come in many forms like depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder.
When a condition like this happens, having something to hold onto for comfort can play a huge role in the healing process. Although our minds might not need a stuffed toy for language or social skills, we can still experience the same level of soothing comfort by hugging a teddy bear as we did when we were kids.
There’s a reason you will often see a stuffed bear for sale in a hospital gift shop. It’s because these familiar items are valued and needed at any age of life.
Teens and adults can benefit from the comfort of a stuffed toy after suffering a major health problem or enduring the death of a loved one. They can help adults heal after severe trauma, survive the stress of exams, or endure homesickness.
They also gather significant value over the years and can be treasured throughout multiple stages of life. Many adults tell their children about their favorite stuffed toy and use those memories as a way to encourage the same happy experience for future generations.
For adults, stuffed animals also make valuable gifts because of their sentimental value. A teenager or adult who receives a teddy bear from their significant other will treasure the gift because of the sweet message it sends.
No matter what age you are at, a stuffed animal can be both a helpful tool and a comforting companion. Not only do they make great gifts, but they also offer essential benefits for mental and emotional wellness.
Stuffed Animals as Promotional Products
Stuffed animals have proven to be highly effective tools for mental health and development. They’re cute and cuddly, easy to look at, and hard to throw away.
Beyond the health research of stuffed animals, it’s also true that they make great promotional gifts for fundraising and marketing events. Before you opt for a branded keychain or water bottle, here are some reasons why stuffed animals make the perfect promotional products.
1. High Rate of Retention
If you make a cuddly teddy bear your corporate gift, it won’t be easily ignored. Even if you give it to your grumpiest financial advisor, he or she will still pass it on to kids, grandkids, or neighbors.
Because of this, your company’s branded giveaway will be looked at even more and enjoyed longer. Your brand will stick around and be noticed again and again.
2. The Most Customizable
Stuffed animals are one of the easiest and most fun products to customize for businesses. You can often choose the color of a teddy bear’s shirt or bandana.
Customization is easy to do, and your brand’s logo can be placed front and center beneath a lovable face. Every time a potential customer reaches for it, your company’s brand will be thought of and noticed.
3. Easy Fundraising Resells
If you’re wanting to find promotional products for fundraising or merchandise, a plush toy is a perfect option. Attendees at school fundraisers will love seeing familiar brands on a cute teddy bear.
For clubs or community organizations wanting to raise funds, a stuffed animal wearing your logo will be an easy sell. Members of your community will be happy to hand over $20 to both support a cause and get a cute plush pal.
The Perfect Gift
When you’re choosing a promotional item for your next corporate party or marketing campaign, it’s important to choose a product that fits your brand. Opting for products like stuffed animals that offer both enjoyment and health benefits can be the perfect ingredient for a successful campaign.
Want to find the perfect stuffed friend for your next school fundraiser? Browse our selection of customizable stuffed animals and gifts for kids.