“Uffff…. Almost everyone has gifted her soft toys.. Don’t know what to do with so many of them.”
“My kid has no liking towards soft toys and my house is over loaded with them.”
“My kid just likes that one soft toy and can stay with it forever.. But then all others are so damn cute. I don’t feel like giving them away..”
“What will a boy do with these soft toys?.. they are just not meant for him.”
Well, have any of these statements crossed your mind ever. I am sure some time or other one of these must have crossed your mind. As much as we may not like to accumulate soft toys in our house, but the fact remains that where there are kids, there are soft toys.. These stuffed cute cuddly creatures simply find way in our house invariable of whether we invite (buy) them or not.
So the question is what to do with them? They certainly occupy a huge space in our house and if they are not being used by our kids then what are we supposed to do with them? Sometimes they are gifted by closest of family members and friends and you simply cant dispose them off.
Well, I myself was in that space once. And that made me ponder upon what can I do to use these toys in the best possible way so that not just my child likes them but I am also able to introduce some concepts to her in a fun way. (Let me warn my readers that I have this small insect inside me of teaching my child new things in creative and fun way. so beware I may keep sharing these ways every now and then 😉). So we started playing these fun games together and made full use of our soft cuddly toys.
- Colour Colour – Do you remember the age old game which we used to play, especially outdoors. ‘Colour Colour which colour do you want?’ I still get a smile on my face thinking of this fun, engaging game. So I decided to play this game indoors with my girl. I took a big toy basket and stuffed all her soft toys in that basket. The basket was then kept in another room. Reason for keeping the basket in another room is simple – kids have loads of energy which they love to burn by running around. So if you place the basket in a separate room, every time they run to collect the toy, they will enjoy the game more and believe me there will be lots of giggles and laughter sound in your entire household. So keep the basket in separate room. Hold hand and sing a song while making a circle. “ Colour Colour which colour do you want Mr. alligator” and then its your turn to say I want a toy in green / yellow/ red whichever colour you want to announce. Set the time limit of counts till 10. Kids would love to run to other room and fetch a toy of the colour announced by you. Repeat the game as many times as the child desires.
- Puzzle game – Guess who am I – Place all the soft toys in a toy basket. Hide them behind you. Pick one toy at a time but do not show it to your child. Describe the characteristics of the toy you are hiding. For eg. for Lion say “Its known as the king of the jungle. It roars (make the roar sound for extra fun effect).” If your child guesses the animal / toy correctly (which most of the times she will be able to), she will get to keep that toy with her. For elder kids reverse roles. They are the one who would be asking puzzles to you. This will enhance their thinking and descriptive sentence framing skills. Play as long as child desires to.
- Name Tags / I-card – Have you noticed that your pre-schooler loves her I-card a lot. Even if they cannot read, still they can make out whether it’s their I-card or not. So in this game keep some toys (say 5 or 6) at a time across the room and make name tags of these toys BEAR, DOG, CAT, MOUSE, DOLL. Etc. Now hand over one tag at a time to the child. The child is required to read the name tag and run on the other side of the room where the toys are kept and place the name tag / I-card around the neck of the toy. Yes, now may ask what if my child cannot read. Help her through clues. Say what does the name starts with – “Letter D” then say which animal you think in the row has a name starting with letter D. DOG… Bingo.. She gets the idea and trust me they will soon be reading those names on their own.
(for making name tags I always use woollen threads and cardboard of those surf excel boxes 😉)
- Story time – My personal favourite with soft toys. Enact stories which they know or make new stories with these cute cuddly creatures. Bring them alive. Make their sounds. Enact them Eg. You can be rabbit holding a rabbit and your child can be Tortoise. Let him hold the tortoise. Enact the story ‘Rabbit and the Tortoise’ and enjoy the giggles and laughter once again. Enact as many stories as the child desires. (eg. Goldilocks and three Bears; Monkey Puzzle; Lion and the Mouse, etc etc)
- Hide and Seek – Again an age old game. We generally thought it needs lots of players to really enjoy it. So here we have lots of players. Hide at least 7-8 toys inside the house at separate places while your child closes his eyes and counts. Now sit and relax, while she tries to seek each one of them. Reverse roles at times so that the kid gets a chance to hide the toys and have fun while you (pretend to) struggle to find these hiding players.
These are just few fun ways to keep them engaged with soft toys and ensure that they are learning while playing. Please feel free to add some more fun ways to enjoy with these soft toys and share in comments.
Important note: Precautions to be taken with soft toys
- Check the eyes and nose – they should be properly glued.
- Child should be off the stage where he puts toys inside his mouth.
- These toys should be washable and should be washed regularly with a good detergent and dried well.
- Any strings or other choking hazard stuff should be removed before handing over the toy to the child.
- Ensure child does not sleep with soft toys in his bed or crib.
So go ahead become kids with your kids once again and have loads of fun. Don’t forget to share your experiences after trying these fun games with your little munchkins… 😊