Do you remember your first teddy bear? For many, that furry gift is their first childhood friend, so it’s no wonder that children can become so attached to their little companions.
Studies have shown that soft toys can have a positive effect on a child’s development. Even in today’s technological age, soft toys still line the shelves of shops all over the world and are one of the most loved toys by everyone.
Benefits of Soft Toys for Babies
Babies love to touch and feel new textures, particularly with their mouths and soft toys can provide the perfect mix for developing sensory skills and encouraging social and emotional growth. Even at such a young age, infants begin to grasp the different colours, sizes and textures of the world around them and soft toys are a perfect way for them to do so.
When buying soft toys for babies, it is important to make sure that they are suitable for those under 12 months of age. Due to a baby’s instinct to explore with their mouths, it’s important that there are no small parts or lose fibres that may present as a choking hazard.
Benefits of Soft Toys for Toddlers
The benefits of soft toys for toddlers are invaluable. The warmth of a cuddly toy offers comfort and security that children desire when tired or facing a new change or situation. A toddler’s favourite teddy can also help with separation anxiety and the move from cot to toddler beds.
Young children often use soft toys to project their own feelings – and then comfort them, encouraging valued qualities such as empathy, affection and bonding.
Soft toys also encourage creative play through role playing. What could beat a teddy bear picnic in the garden on a sunny day?
Older Children & Big Kids
The benefits of soft toys don’t just apply to babies and toddlers. Studies have shown that cuddling a soft toy can help soothe anxiety. The researchers at UV University Amsterdam revealed that touch that mimics human interaction, such a cuddling a teddy bear, could be a helpful addition to treat low self-esteem, depression and anxiety.
It seems that the relationship we develop as a young child with our favourite soft toys can be beneficial even into adult life. Recent research has revealed that 51% of adult men have kept their childhood cuddly toy and many of them still sleep with them – 28% to be exact! This simply proves that the bond we make with our favourite teddy is a lifelong friendship and far more deep and complex than first meets the eye.
At Beehive Toy Factory we sell a unique range of soft toys for children (and adults) of all ages.
Do you still have your childhood teddy? We’d love to hear from you!