Parenting

5 Reasons Why Stuffed Animals Should be Colorful

People of all ages are drawn to the adorable faces of their favorite stuffies. From trendy Squishmallows to familiar Disney characters, children specifically choose toys based on a number of factors: popularity, cuteness, size, collectability, feel, and especially color.

There’s even evidence that the bright colors of your child’s favorite stuffed toy have significant relevance to their development. Color matters — and here’s why:

1. Visibility

Bright colors capture the attention of children. Beginning just a few weeks after birth, babies begin to distinguish between basic colors. Brightly-colored stuffed animals are more attractive to babies for a reason — they can be seen early on. Here are some ways you can use brightly colored stuffed animals to encourage brain development in babies and young children:

  • Place brightly colored stuffies in your child’s playroom so your child can distinguish the object from their surroundings.
  • Choose plushies with bold, bright features and expressions to help capture attention.
  • Look for toys that have a simple rattle or make noise when your child finds it so they are more likely to seek the colors and sounds again next time.

A young child is more likely to play with a toy they can see and distinguish from others.

2. Motor Skills

It’s essential to help your growing baby develop their fine and gross motor skills beginning from a young age. This means providing them with both the opportunity and incentive to use those hand muscles as much as possible. Your child is more likely to reach for unique handmade stuffed animals or brightly colored objects:

  • Move the stuffed animal to each side so your child is encouraged to grab it in both directions.
  • Play a game of throw and catch using a stuffed animal instead of a ball — this will be easier for your child to see and catch.
  • Place their favorite bright stuffie just out of reach and watch as your child is encouraged to roll over or move towards it.

Games are more engaging with plushies that are brightly-colored and eye-catching. For more ideas to engage in play with your child, look for toys and games designed to enhance motor skills naturally.

3. Problem-Solving Skills

Simple, brightly-colored stuffed animals can give parents a lot of insight into a world that is uniquely their child’s. Simple games of hide and seek using eye-catching objects are the first steps toward development of problem-solving skills.

  • Bright colors capture a child’s attention and may help keep them interested in this type of bonding and play for a longer period.
  • When playing peek-a-boo, it’s easier for a young toddler to notice a bright object disappear.
  • When your child learns to play hide and seek, you can help them engage in the search by leaving a small part of the brightly-colored toy visible to assist them.

As your child figures out how to locate hidden objects, they will develop the skills they need to problem-solve in the future.

4. Encourage Imagination

Children begin to develop more imaginative play skills around the age of three. Your child will begin to interact with their stuffed animals and see them as an extension of their own world. They are more likely to be drawn to brightly colored plushies as they grow their imaginative abilities. Here are some other ways you can encourage imaginative play:

  • Have your child read (or pretend read) favorite books to their stuffed animal and encourage early literacy skills
  • Place brightly colored stuffed animals next to a more neutral background and some other brightly colored toys such as blocks or rings
  • Rotate toys so that your child re-discovers their favorites from time to time

As your child creates a world of their own, you will begin to see them speak to their stuffed animal and gain an insight into the workings of their mind.

5. Social Interaction

As your child grows past the toddler stage they will begin to play with other children and develop stronger bonds. Don’t be surprised to see them learn how to share their favorite toys or begin collections. Children are intrigued by what their friends are playing with — here are some ways you can encourage more social interaction:

  • Help your child place the toys they want to share on a special blanket before a playdate.
  • Offer simple materials to help your child and their friends build a home for their favorite bright stuffed animal.
  • Create new settings where children can engage in imaginative play both indoors and outdoors.

Your child is more likely to engage with their friends through play so having them choose their favorite stuffed animal friends to bring on a trip, to a sleepover or to show-and-tell at school will help them develop important social skills.

Now that there’s even more reason to reach for that favorite rainbow plushie, it’s time to engage in life’s most essential work — learning through play!

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