Activities With Stuffed Animals

By James Roland

Stuffed animals make up a major part of a child's toy box. The cute and furry creatures aren't just play things to a child, they're real pals brought to life by imagination. The toys help your child express his emotions and ideas. Guide your child to make the most of this time by suggesting and setting up role-playing games and adventures.

Teddy Bear Picnic

Host a picnic for your child and her teddy bears. Invite other children to join in the fun and bring their bears as well. Hold picnics in a park, community center playground or even a backyard. Bring food for the children and their teddy bears, such as honey graham crackers. Read the books "Teddy Bear Picnic" or "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" to the children.

Cubby Condos

Turn everyday shelves into a lively condo community for your child's stuffed animals. Remove all items from a shelf unit, dust it off and then allow your son to set up rooms on the shelves for each animal. Large doll furniture works well for this arrangement. If you don't have enough beds, a folded kitchen towel will do. The fun is in setting up the condos. Once the animals all moved in, encourage him to meet the neighbors and have the animals host a dinner party or barbecue.

Fluffy First Grade

Kids love to play school, but they rarely have enough fellow children to act as the students. Substitute stuffed animals for the students instead and have your daughter act as the teacher. Help create a classroom by using kitchen or dining chairs for class seats. Provide the young teacher with paper to hand out to the students. Remind your her that the animals will want to go through the same activities she does in school, including nap time, snack and recess. Play the part of another student and enjoy watching your little one rattle off things a teacher might say.

Animal Hospital

Encourage him to try out the role of physician. Set up an animal hospital in your house. Use a toy doctor kit, but throw in some real bandages, which are easy to use and give the game a realistic feel. If you're playing, too, be the nurse and introduce each animal patient and its ailment. Keep the ailments simple, such as a tummy ache, a boo boo on the arm and a headache.

About the Author

James Roland started writing professionally in 1987. A former reporter and editor with the "Sarasota Herald-Tribune," he currently oversees such publications as the "Cleveland Clinic Heart Advisor" and UCLA's "Healthy Years." Roland earned his Bachelor of Science in journalism from the University of Oregon.