If you have a toddler or preschooler, they probably have grown attached to one particular stuffed animal or blanket. These often well-worn “lovies” become such important touchstones, that we often recommend you have a backup. With my younger son, we spent hours scouring toy and gift stores for exactly the same Simba doll that sadly went missing at the park. Even at two, he knew the difference.
I’m always curious about how this relationship develops. With our older son Adam, we even have a photo of the first encounter. From the moment he hugged his first Gund Snuffles at his first birthday party, it was love. Even though he couldn’t talk yet, this particular bear became his constant companion and eventually would become the Mama bear to a family of smaller Snuffles. The original bear’s nose was so thread bare that we had to do a midnight exchange. (My mother was afraid that he would literally bite off his nose! ) Even as he got much older and welcomed a new brother–who of course had to have his own family of bears–this lovey remained in an honored position.
One of the great pleasures of the evening was to eavesdrop on the elaborate stories both boys would weave about their polar bears. They each had silly names, their own language and as a nod to the world they live in, they had their own Polar Bear TV Network–with lots of different programs.
Of course I still highly recommend Gund’s Snuffles. He is an institution in our house. A nearby children’s store always had a wonderful display of snuffles during the holidays..and since my kids rarely went to toy stores, it was extremely special for them to actually go buy a new bear to add to their growing family.
Here are some other choices that may invite such relationships:
1. North American Bear’s Collection of Flatsos. Take your pick, there are pink Elephants, Blue Hippos, Green Frogs…each come in a variety of sizes and are fantastically floppy and deliciously huggable.
2. Kids Preferred Asthma Friendly Puppy Dog is also very sweet and huggable.
3. Blabla dolls. I’m in love with this collection of dolls and animals. Pricey but very special.
4. Joobles. Deliciously soft and friendly…happily gender neutral.