Stuffed animals are an inseparable part of childhood and many children love them. But does it come a time when they should say goodbye to the stuffies?
One may say stuffed animals are for children and as the children grow up, the need for stuffies is not that important. Actually some parents think that at certain point toys become “stupid” and a child shouldn’t play with them. Especially if it is a boy that is “meant” to play with “toys for boys”.
Scientists describe stuffed animals and similar toys as “transitional objects”. This means this is the object that makes them feel better when alone or in a difficult moment. Sometimes it just brings them extra comfort.
According to the Encyclopedia of Children’s Health, around 60% of children in US have a transitional object. The most strong connection with it is between 18 and 24 months old.
But as we know, many children continue to love stuffed animals for years to come. Scientists say it is natural for the child to give up stuffed animals on its own at some point. Usually other toys and activities become more interesting.
But not always. There are many, many children around the world who either keep their favorite stuffed animals or even prefer them as main toys. In both cases the parents shouldn’t feel concerned at all. Having a stuffed animal as a favorite toy is really beneficial and is not damaging to the development of a child.
Actually quite the opposite. Stuffed animals can have a tremendeous effect on child development. You can use them to teach them quite a few things. Like taking care of a pet for example. Or being there for a friend.
There is no real reason why you should try to limit the play time of a child with stuffed animals. If the child wants to play with stuffies, let him or her play. If the child loses interest over time, so be it. But let that happen on its own.