A toy that every child likes regardless of his or her age is a soft toy. Often, a child's first toy will be a teddy bear or a stuffed animal. This plush toy will become his cuddly friend whom he likes to carry everywhere, even to his bed. The most appealing factor of a stuffed toy is that children can play with it as they please. They can cuddle with it or consider it as a friend who is always by their side. They can tug at the soft toy, bite it or even throw it around. And all this will be without any danger to them or damage to the toy. This flexibility and durability is another reason why stuffed toys are a favourite among children. Some kids even get attached to a soft toy for many years. This signifies that he trusts the toy to be his companion and has set a deep relationship with it.
Children of different age groups play with soft toys differently and have different perceptions about them. Soft toys help soothe babies, while for toddlers, a stuffed animal can become a close friend. Below is an overview of how soft toys benefit children.
Babies - For them, soft toys offer excellent sensory perception. They will love to touch the smooth surface, feel the soft fur and pull the button eyes. They might even chew or suck on a soft toy to be able to taste it. Squeaky soft toys help develop dexterity and listening skills and teach babies about cause and effect relationships. Stuffed toys are a offer a great help in teaching babies to soothe and comfort themselves. Even if no one is around, a baby will feel safe and consoled if he has a soft toy with him.
Toddlers - At this stage, soft toys help develop language by being a silent listener to the child's babble. This will encourage the child to talk more and strengthen his communication skills. Also, stuffed animals will teach children to recognise different animals and learn their names. Because this is also the phase in which emotional qualities are developed, soft toys will become friends who are hugged, kissed or even beaten up.
Pre-schoolers - When children develop imaginative play skills at this age, they often use soft toys as characters from their imagination. A stuffed doll can become a baby, a princess or a friend, while stuffed animals can be pets or characters from stories. Children also consider soft toys as substitutes for humans. If the child considers himself as a teacher, the toys will be his class of students and if he needs an audience, soft toys will be the loyal admirers.
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