How many toys does a child need?
Where can we store these toys in our home which is not a hypermarket size house?
These questions have always been in my mind since my little girl was born.
If you visit a toy shop, you can see numerous recommendations based on the age of the child. We need to supply our kids with toys that are age appropriate and don’t overstimulate them.
When I select a toy or game, I consider the effect it will have on my little girl’s development. We can read the recommendations provided by the different shops but honestly, we, parents, are the best judges of what delights and engages our own child. We know which toys are the most developmentally appropriate toys for them, which ones they cherish. We can see which toys are forgotten, not missed if they vanish. We know the ones that are carried around, the ones that have made a place in our child’s heart.
Parents of today can purchase toys of all shapes and sizes. Toys can be cuddly or high-tech. But even in today’s technological age the soft toys are usually the most favoured among kids. Studies show that cuddle toys have a positive effect on the development of a child.
Why are cuddle toys developmentally appropriate toys?
Experts say when our kid reaches the 7-month age, he or she chooses their own favourite toy that they will become attached to. Cuddle toys are very important in our child’s development because they are not just toy buddies, but they stimulate a child’s social and emotional development.
1. Developing sensory skills: Babies and even toddlers love to touch and feel new textures so cuddle toys are perfect for developing sensory skills. From touching different soft toys, they can explore new things through grabbing the different colours, sizes, and textures of the objects around them.
2. Safety and security: A cuddle toy can give your child a feeling of safety when parents are not around easing separation anxiety. It can also be protection for children who have a fear of sleeping in the dark.
3. Independence: A cuddle toy can help a child become independent. The cuddle toy is brave, helps to explore boundaries.
4. Self-expression and socialisation: Children often talk to their cuddle toys. This is an excellent way of self-expression and can help with socialisation especially in the case of introverted children.
5. Dealing with emotions: A favourite cuddly toy can be your child’s best friend, can offer comfort, and can act as a co-star in role plays.
Here I have collected my little girl’s favourite cuddle toys which might be helpful for you when you want to decide which toys would be appropriate to your kids.
1. The Pink Teddy Bear
This cuddle toy is a huge love, favourite one that Mira doesn’t part with. She carries it around all the time, she sleeps with it. It soothes her, it is her best friend. Without this bear she doesn’t want to go to sleep. But it always needs to be washed. I need to wash it in the morning so it could dry for the night sleep.
2. The other Pink Teddy Bear
For me this cuddle bear is very similar to the number one teddy bear, but it is a bit larger. However, for Mira this is very different. We try to replace the first bear with this when the favourite one is dirty, but it is not always easy.
3. The Giraffe
The Giraffe is not just a cuddle toy. It is a cherry stone cushion giraffe that ensures a feeling of well-being thanks to their soothing heat or cold. The lovingly crafted giraffe cherry stone cushion is the baby-friendly alternative to a hot water bottle. So, we could use it to ease Mira’s colic symptoms, but it has also been her little companion since then.
4. The Winnie the Pooh
The Winnie the Pooh is a timeless Disney character. Mira got him from my brother when she was 4-month-old. It supports sensory development with its rattle built in his tummy and its colourful tags.
5. The Peek-a-Boo Elephant
Mira absolutely loves her pink Peek-a Boo Elephant that is talking and singing. If we press the right foot (Sing button), we can hear the song: “Do you ears hang low” and if we press the left foot (Play Button), we can play “peek-a-boo” game with the elephant. My little girl loves dancing and singing, and she wants me to press the elephant’s foot by repeating “Again”.
6. The Minnie Mouse
Minnie is also a love for Mira. I think it is one that most little girl have among their loved cuddle toys. Sometimes we can replace the Pink Teddy bear with Minnie when Teddy bear has to spend some time in the laundry.
7. Dora The Explorer Dolls
Mira has got two Dora the Explorer Dolls, a big one and a small one. The big one is carried around all the time. My little girl has started to be interested in combing her lately. She always asks me to make a ponytail her little doll. She often gives her a big hug repeating “So cute” when she squeezes her to her neck. We need to take her with ourselves when we go for a walk in the afternoons.
8. The squirrel
The squirrel won’t be out of circulation for long either. We bought it for her when we visited the Wildlife Park nearby. Mira loves animals and when we visited the gift shop of it she wanted me to buy all types of cuddle toys in it. I wanted to buy just one, and the squirrel was the first one that she touched and put into our basket, so finally I bought that one. We have got a Hungarian nursery rhyme about a squirrel who climbed up a tree and then fell of it, so it broke his leg. We sing that song several times a day since she enjoys it so much. In our neighbourhood you can see numerous squirrels who not only can be found in the parks but anywhere around the trees beside the streets.
9. The Blue Doll
The Blue Doll was Mira’s first doll. Initially it also must be with her and Teddy Bear, but after some months Teddy Bear was enough for her. I choose this doll because first I wanted to buy a doll which is rather a soft toy doll not a real one. She loved it but nowadays is less often is in the circulation.
I could mention even some soft toys that Mira has but they are not so loved as the above-mentioned ones. She has got a big heart in which many little cuddle toys can have places, but of course other types of toys are also in her interest as well.
I can see the benefits of these cuddle toys for my toddler Mira. They can help her project her own feelings and encourage empathy, affection, and bonding. Moreover, they are very helpful in case of tantrums by managing their emotions.