Extra Large Stuffed Animals and Toys During the Nursery Years

While it might seem a little silly to give a young child extra large stuffed animals, the fact of the matter is, they will eventually grow into them, much like they will the clothes that were bought for them that were too big. No matter the age of a child, they are able to appreciate what plush toys have to offer and that includes the ones that are above average in size.
Both the toys and the play of babies, toddlers, and older children are marked by a distinct boundary. Newborn babies, for example, follow a specific individual pattern in that as they age they learn all the multi-skills toddlers and children previously developed: sucking, chewing, seeing, smiling, babbling, listening, talking, understanding, grabbing, stroking, sitting, rolling, standing up, and walking. All of these baby developments last for a period of about two years at which time toddlers gain a much better understanding of themselves and are able to interact with the environment and people that surround them.
As Sigmund Freud discovered, babies play begins very simply. It’s not manufactured toys that babies first play with, but rather, it’s with their mothers when they begin to stretch out and explore. Following that, it’s usually the rattle and/or small soft toys that are the first to be introduced. As far as history goes, rattles are among the oldest toys and are the first toys babies use. Despite the change in the rattle’s design and material over the years, its function has remained the same. Even before they acquire the skills needed for holding on to them themselves, as rattles are shaken in front of them, babies will listen and watch them.
By the time a baby is six months old, they have started to develop hand-eye coordination. While it’s often taken for granted, it’s really a complex accomplishment – one that helps the child move on to other developmental stages. At this young age, a child is also quite taken with the element of surprise. ‘Peek-a-Boo,’ for example, or ‘This Little Piggy Went to Market,” are all popular games which include the elements of anticipation and surprise. Toys that offers some of the same, are wooden jumping jacks which includes such imagery as animals and hunters. These toys have been made for some 300 years in the Grodner valley near Nuremberg; when the figures are hung up, and the cord which is attached to all the limbs, is pulled, the arms and legs move up and down.
Glove puppets are yet another type of toy which furthers imaginative play in a child; they can develop their very own character right alongside their owner. In the 1950s and 1960s, Sooty the bear and Sweep the dog were quite popular glove puppets in Britain – they were spin-offs from Harry Corbett’s Sooty television series. Life-like puppets of monkeys were also made by Schuco – the German firm. In addition to that, the industry went on to develop the glove and finger puppet in which the part of the glove that covers the palm of the hand, becomes a container for the animal family – one on each finger.
Soft toys, such as extra large stuffed animals, are both touchable and stimulating to babies; from the first soft balls which were made from leather to fabric to the modifications such as the wobbly clown, and then first manufacturing of soft toys by Margarete Steiff in 1902, in a child’ life, these have all been firm favorites. Extra large stuffed animals have gone on to become a child’s long term comfort toy- a fitting role no the matter the child’s age.
Copyright Shelley Vassall, 2010.

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