Teddy bears and other soft toys are beloved by children of all ages, although they are particularly appropriate for babies and toddlers. They come in a variety of designs and colours which will delight young children. They are soft and cuddly and also an essential decorative element for any child's room.
The most famous stuffed toys, of course, are those in the shape of a bear, although these are only one of many types available. You can find soft toys which are not only in the shape of animals but also all the most famous cartoon characters. This shopping guide will give you some tips on recommendations on which one to choose.
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- 2 Key Facts
- 3 Our selection: The best teddy bears
- 4 Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about teddy bears
- 5 Shopping criteria
- 6 Summary
- Teddy bears are generally the first toy of any baby. It is soft to touch making it perfect even for newborns.
- Among the benefits of stuffed toys is that they provide comfort, a sense of security and confidence to young children. They aid with the development of fine motor skills and as well as social and emotional skills.
- There is a huge variety of teddy bears and stuffed toys available. You can find bears, rabbits, dogs and all kinds of animals. You can also find those representing kids characters like those from Disney.
Our selection: The best teddy bears
The extensive range of teddy bears on the market can make it difficult to choose the best one. For this reason, we have prepared a list of some of the best stuffed toys around. Here we also provide details on design, quality of materials and suitability for children in this ranking.
Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about teddy bears
Stuffed animals have been passed down the generations and today remain one of children's most favourite toys. Given the thousands of designs, materials, sizes and shapes there are on the market, it is worthwhile getting your head around the main aspects of teddy bears. Here is what you should know about stuffed animals to make sure you make the best purchase.
What are teddy bears made of?
Another very common material used is wool, known to be quite fluffy. Other important materials include calico, velour, and polyester. The latter is a synthetic material that adds a certain texture to stuffed animals.
Can teddy bears be washed in the washing machine?
If the stuffed animal is broken or unstitched, it is not recommended to put it in the washing machine, as this could end up breaking it. Of course, if the toy has some type of electronic mechanism it generally cannot be submerged in water. To protect the teddy bear in the washing machine, one option is to put them inside a cloth bag.
What are the benefits of stuffed animals for children?
Due to their texture, soft toys stimulate children's sense of touch and are beneficial for the development of their fine motor skills. They also help children develop social skills and encourage their imagination and creativity. They are items that improve their self-esteem and encourage their sense of responsibility, providing comfort and peace.
Here are some of the many benefits that the stuffed animals provide:
- They are soft and endearing
- They are safe even for babies
- They are flexible and durable
- They promote social skills
- They provide a sense of security
- They contribute to the emotional development
How to choose the right stuffed animal for each child?
For very young kids, the best stuffed toys are those that are lighter and have a lower hair density. Soft stuffed animals are ideal. As they grow up, children start wanting toys which represent their favourite TV characters with various functionalities, such as music or lights. These are definitely much more interactive.
What types of stuffed toys are available on the market?
The largest are almost as tall as an adult (160 cm), while the smallest models range between 10 and 25 cm. You can also find stuffed animals linked to television characters: Disney, Peppa Pig, comic superheroes, Canine Patrol and many more. You can also choose between simple models and more interactive ones, with various functions.
In order to choose the best teddy bear, there are some purchase criteria you have to keep in mind. Every child is unique so it's important to consider their age, preferences and other aspects. Below, we talk about the most important factors to consider in order to choose the best stuffed toy which is in line with the needs of your little one.
Design is one of the key criteria when selecting a teddy bear for a child. Think about the kid's tastes and preferences, or if buying it as a gift for a baby, those of their parents. There is an almost infinite number of models available on the market today. When it comes to colour, there are pastel shades, as well as those which are more striking, and those which are simpler.
Examine the softness of the stuffed toy. For a baby, it is not recommended to have a toy with dense fur, but rather a fabric with a soft texture. You can select a teddy bear or one that is in the shape of any animal. You can also choose models related to famous characters such as Mickey Mouse, Kermit the Frog or Spiderman, among others.
Another element to consider is the size of the stuffed animal. There are children who prefer XL models, as they have a lot of fun having an inanimate friend who is as tall as they are. Larger stuffed animals, in this sense, could measure up to 160 cm. They are ideal as decoration, although they are not the most manageable or transportable.
On the other hand, there are smaller teddy bears and other stuffed toys who are around 25 cm long. These are ideal for babies, since they will be able to safely sleep with them. We also find medium-sized models, perfect, perhaps, for older children. This size is ideal for hugging them and interacting with them.
Maintenance is essential when it comes to stuffed animals. Do not forget that these are toys that will be in permanent contact with the child, but also with dirt and dust. It is common for babies to put them in their mouths all the time, which is why it is essential to always keep them as clean as possible.
Depending on the model, it is possible that they can be machine washed, between 30 and 40ºC. Be sure to consult the manufacturer's instructions. In the case of delicate materials, it is possible that they can only be washed by hand. On electronic models, contact with water should generally be avoided.
Before buying a stuffed animal, you will have to make sure that the model chosen is suitable for the age of the child. Manufacturers usually indicate this on the label or packaging. For example, it is important that a teddy bear for babies does not contain small, hard or painted parts, as they could be harmful and/or come off.
At an early age, it is advisable to opt for light and soft stuffed animals, preferably made of soft fabrics. When the child grows, the possibilities will increase. In this sense, accessories will be the key to greater fun. Gradually the child will become interested in models that emit sound, or that talk or moves.
Teddy bears, like any other toy, are designed for children's entertainment. However, fun and safety are not mutually exclusive, and so it is essential to ensure that the toy meets the strictest safety standards. A good stuffed toy is one that, despite its prolonged use, accompanies the child throughout their childhood.
There is something about these kinds of toys that excites not only children but also adults. We've all had one that, though simple, was truly thrilling to us. There are even those who still have stuffed toys well into adulthood. At the end of the day, teddy bears and stuffed toys transcend fashion and generations.
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(Source of the featured image: Pawel Horazy : 96037702/ 123rf.com)