How many toys does a child need?
Where can we store these toys in our home, which is not a hypermarket size house?
Since my little girl was born, these questions have always been in my mind.
If you visit a toy shop, you can see numerous recommendations based on the child’s age. 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 its effect on my little girl’s development. We can read the recommendations provided by the different shops, but we, parents, are the best judges of what delights and engages our child. We know which toys are the most developmentally appropriate for them and which they cherish. We can see which toys are forgotten or not missed if they vanish. We know the ones carried around and 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, 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 kids reach the 7-month age, they choose their favourite toy to which they will become attached. Cuddle toys are essential in our child’s development because they are not just toy buddies but stimulate social and emotional growth.
1. Developing sensory skills: Babies and toddlers love to touch and feel new textures, so cuddle toys are perfect for developing sensory skills. They can explore new things by touching soft toys and 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 and 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, offer comfort, and 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 for 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 can dry for the night’s sleep.
2. The other Pink Teddy Bear
This cuddle bear is 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 challenging.
3. The Giraffe
The Giraffe is not just a cuddle toy. It is a cherry stone cushion giraffe that ensures well-being thanks to its soothing heat or cold. The lovingly crafted giraffe cherry stone cushion is a 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
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 loves her gray Peek-a-Boo Elephant that is talking and singing. If we press the right foot (Sing button), we can hear the song: “Do your ears hang low,” and if we press the left foot (Play Button), we can play the “peek-a-boo” game with the elephant. My little girl loves dancing and singing and wants me to press the elephant’s foot by repeating, “Again.”
6. The Minnie Mouse
Minnie is also love for Mira. It is one that most little girls have among their loved cuddle toys. Sometimes we can replace the Pink Teddy bear with Minnie when the Teddy bear has to spend some time in the laundry.
7. Dora The Explorer Dolls
Mira has 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 for 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 us when we 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 Wildlife Park nearby. Mira loves animals, and when we visited the gift shop, she wanted me to buy all types of cuddle toys. I wanted to buy just one, and the squirrel was the first one she touched and put into our basket, so I finally bought that one. We have a Hungarian nursery rhyme about a squirrel who climbed up a tree and then fell off it, so it broke his leg. We sing that song several times daily since she enjoys it so much. In our neighbourhood, you can see numerous squirrels that can be found in the parks and 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 chose 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 it is less often in the circulation.
I could even mention some soft toys that Mira has, but they are less loved than the ones mentioned above. She has got a big heart in which many little cuddle toys can have places, but other types of toys are also in her interest.
I can see the benefits of these cuddle toys for my toddler Mira. They can help her project her feelings and encourage empathy, affection, and bonding. Moreover, they are accommodating in case of tantrums by managing their emotions.