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Soft Toys



Most of us can remember a time in our early childhood when the world seemed as if it had fallen in around us, for one reason or another. It could have been something simple like falling out with a friend – something which at a young age always feels like the end of the world, even if it is forgotten about 24 hours later – or it could have been something more serious than that. However, at this time it was commonplace for one of our parents or both to hand us our most beloved and trusted cuddly toy. Soft toys are as much a part of childhood as training wheels on a bike or mittens tied to coat sleeves. Quite simply, they are something all children remember as they grow older. There is no doubt whatsoever that the soft toy is something that leaves an imprint for any child, due to its familiarity and comforting capabilities. They may be inanimate and wordless in reality, but for a child their presence is something overwhelmingly positive and reassuring. While dolls or action figures may be somewhat more lifelike the teddy bear, or any other soft toy, feels more personal and friendly to any child. Due to their softness and their floppy arms they are far more huggable than any other toy, and they act in much the same way as a comfort blanket for many children. In fact, look at the most favored childhood toy of anyone now grown up and you are likely to see it a little threadbare due to its use as a comforter. The most wonderful thing about a cuddly toy is that it is safe enough for a child to have in bed with them as they try to sleep. Having a favorite toy to cuddle and talk to as we wait for sleep to come along is something that, as a child, we all value. Having a nightmare is always awful for any child but, if we have a good soft toy, there is a reassuring presence there to make us realize that everything is OK, that we have someone there (almost to defend us, in a way). A child between the ages of a baby and a kindergartner can often be a tricky one to second-guess. By this time they are walking, and talking a little bit too, but they are too young to leave the sanctuary of their home without being under the supervision of a parent. Looking after them can be quite tiring for an adult, because they seem to have the boundless energy of an older child yet the insane thirst for exploration of one much younger. Everything seems so interesting to them that they have to keep checking things out. This is the stage where children fall over more than at any other, so it is important to make sure things are set up right for them. Additionally, at this point in their lives children can be hard to separate from their toddler toys – usually these are fairly anthropomorphic and cute toys which the child views as being like another human. In a child’s imagination, their dialogue with the toy is both very real and the most important thing in the world. So they are unlikely to want to leave the toys behind. This, coupled with the chances that a toddler will fall over (always high!) means that it is suitable to make sure they have quite safe toys to carry around with them – something like a teddy bear or other stuffed animal will mean that should the toddler fall over their toddler toy does not do them any harm. Of course, there are other things to consider when a child is at this stage. At this point they are more intuitive than they were as babies, and better able to understand things that you say and that they see. At this point, educational toys like an alphabet game or a “Farmyard Noises” toy can be absolutely golden for the child, and give them a start in the educational sphere, so that when they get to kindergarten they hit the ground running. Of course the most important thing is that their toys are fun, so this should be prioritized even in educational toys – after all, it makes them more likely to pay attention. Toy Store


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