Plushies, also called stuffed animals, are soft and cuddly characters that most people remember from childhood. You can find plushies in almost every form ranging from wild animals and pets to mythical creatures and more. Thanks to decades of toy collecting, movies, and TV programs, some plushies are even collectible and potentially worth money. Whether you have a child or want to experience being a kid again yourself, there are many great benefits to having plushies at home. Read on to learn more about these toys and some of the reasons why they’re a wonderful addition to any household.
Safe Toys For Kids
Not only are plushies soft and adorable, but they’re also very safe toys for kids of almost all ages. Most plushies have no tiny moving parts, and materials like plastic and metal are also scarce. Your child likely won’t accidentally swallow something when playing with plushies. Aside from the fact that they’re extremely safe toys, they also encourage your child’s creative side. They can use plushies in a dollhouse, for roleplay, or to read books to their most beloved plushies at bedtime. There are even plushies that encourage kids’ creative sides by designing a custom doll based on their own drawing. It’s a wonderful opportunity for your child to watch their own artwork come to life.
Not Just A Toy
It’s important to note that plushies aren’t just for children alone. In fact, many adults may have some plushies from their childhood or are into collecting new ones during their adult years. There are many benefits to having plushies, including:
- Anxiety and stress relief: Having plushies offers a sense of calm and comfort when life gets stressful. If you’re feeling full of anxiety, simply hugging a plushie can help you feel calmer and more secure. This is referred to as having a “comfort object” and can be especially helpful during extreme times of stress, such as moving to a new home or starting a new job. If you’re under stress and don’t have plushies, weighted dolls, pillows, and blankets make excellent, effective substitutes.
- Sleep improvement: Since plushies or stuffed animals provide stress relief, they also help with sleep. Having a plushie on your bed may make falling asleep and even staying asleep easier. While plushies aren’t a substitute for healthy bedtime habits, they can make you feel calmer, thus lulling you into a restful night of sleep.
- Aromatherapy: Many brands infuse their plushies with scented beads or essential oils, so they release a pleasant aroma. Using plushies as aromatherapy can offer yet another stress-relieving benefit. Some plushies can be warmed in the microwave to release their scent, while others could have the fragrance embedded into the fabric or stuffing. Whatever type you choose, this is a good way to breathe in calming scents before you go to bed or whenever you feel stress starting to take hold. They may also reduce headaches, muscle aches, and stomach pain.
- Memory bears or dolls: A memory bear is a wonderful way to remember someone you love. These custom plushies or dolls are made of clothing from someone who has passed away or who has simply moved away. They can also be made as dolls, with the loved one’s clothing becoming the doll’s outfit. This is a lovely way to hold onto someone you love forever and remember them fondly while also having a sense of comfort.
- Company for elders: While a plushie will never replace a family member or even a pet, it can still be a nice companion for elders. Some studies have shown that plushies encourage interaction and the use of the senses, which may help with dementia, loneliness, and stress.
DIY Your Own Plushies
If you’re looking for a relaxing DIY activity, consider making your own plushies at home. You can do this with your child, by yourself, or even with some close friends. The first thing you’ll need to do is decide on a pattern and what type of plushie you want to make. Next, you’ll need to find the right fabric, sewing materials, and stuffing. Following the instructions step-by-step, eventually, you’ll see your new DIY plushie come to life right before your eyes. Not only is this a fun and relaxing hobby, but custom handmade plushies make a great gift too.
Kid’s Or Baby’s Room Decoration
Not only do plushies provide all of the benefits mentioned, but they’re also an adorable decoration for a child or baby’s room. Here are some tips for decorating with plushies:
- Place several plushies in woven baskets in a child’s room to keep them in one place but still within sight.
- Hang a shoe organizer on the back of the door and fill each pocket with a small individual plushie for a cute look.
- A wall planter or wall basket is a wonderful place to put plushies, so they’re off the floor and still a cute piece of wall décor.
- Hang a net canopy in the corner of the room where your child can place all of their plushies.
- Wall shelves or a nice bookshelf is a perfect place to display various adorable plushies as decoration.
Hygge is a Danish design style that focuses on creating a warm atmosphere through simplicity and coziness. Plushies are an excellent addition to a hygge-inspired home. Look for plushies made of soft, light colors like neutral gray, tan, or light blue. You can strategically place a few of these plushies on shelves to add a cozy look to a bedroom or living room. Even a shag rug in an adorable plushie-inspired design will give your home a hygge touch. Just make sure that you limit the number of plushies you choose to display. The idea of hygge is that less is more, so just pick out a few key items to use as décor.
While most plushies are sentimental or special personally, some can actually turn into valuable collectibles. Here are a few examples of collectible plushies that have become popular over the decades:
- Ty Beanie Babies: These small plushies took the collecting world by storm, with many of them garnering sellers thousands of dollars. You can still buy Ty products today, but the newer ones aren’t worth as much as their predecessors.
- Cabbage Patch Kids: In the 1980s, these plush dolls created a buying frenzy. Many Cabbage Patch Kids are still worth money today, especially if they’re still in their original packaging.
- American Girl Dolls: While they’re technically dolls, some of the American Girl products are quite collectible, particularly a doll named Molly, which sold at one point for a whopping $11,000.
- Furby: This little furry creature was a huge hit at one time. Today, an original Furby in the box can sell for as high as $900.
- Steiff bears: These legendary plushies date back as far as the late 1800s. Some original Steiff bears, and other animals may be worth thousands of dollars depending on the rarity and their condition.
Latest Plushies Trends
Beanie Babies and Cabbage Patch Kids are still collectible, but they’re not what’s currently trending today. If you’re looking for what is trending in the world of plushies, reversible stuffed animals are a huge hit. The reversible octopus has taken the Internet by storm, and you can find them in a range of fun colors and designs. They also come in other styles like turtles, bears, and dinosaurs, just to name a few. Giant, life-size plushies are also trending. While these are much larger and more expensive than some other types, they’re a smash hit among parents and kids alike. Another trending plushie is the animated stuffed elephant named Flappy the Elephant.
Plushie Ideas To Make Yourself At Home
If you’d rather make your plushies DIY, here are a few creative ideas you can try at home:
- Make a simple yet adorable plushie from a pair of soft, fuzzy slippers or thick fuzzy socks.
- If you know how to crochet, you can make a variety of sweet handmade plushies with the right pattern.
- Sock monkeys are a classic plushie that’s easy and fun to make at home.
- Felting or needle felting is a popular DIY craft, and you can make virtually anything using this technique that uses felted wool. Look for felting kits online so you can start making your own plushies at home.
- Use scraps of fabric or old clothing to make your own plushie. This is also a wonderful choice if you want to make a memory bear or doll for someone you love.
Whether it’s for stress relief, remembering someone you love, or simply for helping you fall asleep, there are many wonderful benefits to having plushies at home. These adorable and soft stuffed animals are perfect for kids and adults alike, and they also make wonderful decorations. With the right plushies on hand, you can enjoy a calm environment and a comforting home you’ll love.