Why Plush Toys Are Important for a Child’s Development

Why Plush Toys Are Important for a Child’s Development

Do you remember your favourite childhood toy?

Whether it was a teddy, a doll or even a cuddly octopus, that connection between you and your best friend bridged the gap between reality and a world of make-believe. It’s said that young children - even below the age of 1 years old - start to build relationships with their favourite toys, which can last for years to come and create so many happy memories. However, that’s not all. Here’s why plush toys are so important...

 

Communication Skills

To a child, plush toys or dolls represent living beings with real personalities, thoughts, and feelings - almost like Toy Story in real life. This plays a major role in teaching children how to communicate with others and practice those essential soft skills that will be used throughout their entire lives. As this starts from such an early age, it becomes part of their nature.

 

Calm & Comfort

There’s a reason why soft toys are comforting beyond emotional connection - they also give children a way of learning to self-calm through something called ‘proprioception’. By hugging a soft toy, it gives off warmth and deep pressure, which is ingrained in humans as a sign of stability (this is why we often clench our fists if we feel tense). Ever notice how your little one wants to have teddy (or their favourite Squishmallow) nearby if they’re feeling scared, or a little apprehensive about trying something new? It’s all about how our nervous system develops to self-regulate.

 

A Peek Inside

Just as soft toys connect reality and imagination for kids, it does the same for parents and carers too. Next time you see them playing with their favourite soft toy - open your ears, and listen to what the say and how they communicate. This can give you key insights into their world and get a better understanding of what’s on their mind (as their best friend, kids always trust their toy and speaking to them can be a lot less scary that speaking to an adult).

These are just some of the reasons why plush toys are so important for children’s development and it’s no wonder that the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights has listed ‘play’ as a right for every child.  On top of everything, there’s nothing quite like the connection between a child and their soft toy.

Looking to find their best friend? Meet the Squishmallows.

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