We’ve featured the most adorably cute and cuddly collection of handcrafted stuffed animals that are sure to put a smile on you and your little one’s face. With a vast selection of stuffed toys, you can make anything from a puppy dog, cat, panda, tiger, dinosaur or a mythical creature like a dragon or unicorn. Making your own personalised stuffed animal plush toy allows you to select your own textiles, fabrics, colours and style, and make a truly special toy. Whether you create a favourite animal, or fun character, you can create a stuffed animal toy that reflects your child’s interests, personality and style that can become a treasured family heirloom.
Elephant Plush Toy
Make the sweetest crochet Elephant Plush Toy with flowers on its head thanks to Ekaterina Chirkova. The list of required materials, pattern, detailed instructions to make the soft and cuddly elephant plush, photographs and video tutorials are available for purchase on Ravelry.
Be inspired by the creativity of this magical Unicorn Plush Toy with unique color changing hair created by Maqaroon on YouTube. For this project, you’ll need polyester stuffing, fluffy socks, felting wool, beads, extra strong hairspray, UV color changing pigment and some sewing and felting needles.
Puppy Dog Plush Toy
Create this adorable Puppy Dog Plushie made by Maqaroon on YouTube. For the puppy plushie project, you’ll need polyester stuffing, fluffy socks in beige and cream colours, needle and thread to match the sock, beads or buttons for eyes, brown felt for the nose and embroidery thread to create the puppy’s mouth.
Make a super sweet Panda Plush Toy created by Maqaroon on YouTube. For the panda plushie project, you’ll need polyester stuffing, fluffy socks in black and white, needle and thread to match the sock, beads or buttons for eyes, black felt to create the panda’s mouth and some rosy pink paint for your panda’s sweet cheeks.
The gorgeous Giraffe Plush Toy can be yours thanks to Ekaterina Chirkova. The list of required materials, pattern, detailed crochet instructions to make the soft and cuddly elephant plush, photographs and video tutorials are available for purchase on Ravelry.
Black Cat Plush
Make a super cute Black Cat Plush Toy created by Maqaroon on YouTube. For the cat plush project, you’ll need polyester stuffing, two black socks, needle and thread to match the sock, black beads or buttons for the cat’s eyes, pink embroidery thread to create the panda’s mouth and some ribbon and a bell decoration for the cat’s collar.
Tiger Crochet Plush
Crochet your own Tiger Plush Toy with this video created by Ksenia Venediktova on YouTube. To make the tiger plush project, you’ll need sciccors, black, orange and white plush yarn, filling, black cotton yarn, plastic eyes, plastic nose, and white and orange thread.
Elephant Stuffed Animal
Sew your own Elephant Plush Toy with this video created by ShannonFabrics on YouTube. Affectionately named Ellie Elephant, this sew-at-home elephant stuffed animal was designed by Funky Friends Factory. Ellie the Elephant looks and feels wonderful sewn with minky plush fabrics in classic elephant hues.
Monkey Felt Plush
Make your own cheeky little Monkey Felt Plush Toy with this pattern from Bauldemalinka on Etsy. With step by step instructions, pictures and full size pattern pieces, you can hand sew your own little monkey plushy.
Stuffed animals are not just a soft, cute and cuddly toys for children to play with, but can engage and entertain children too. Role playing your child’s stuffed animals to tell stories can help to make kid’s books like ‘The Animals would not Sleep!’, ‘The Velveteen Rabbit’, ‘Hooray for Amanda & her Alligator!’, ‘Lionheart’ or ‘Corduroy’ come to life.
Sharing a story with a cuddly stuffed animal, teddy bear or doll can help to encourage your child’s reading and develop communication and vocabulary skills. A much loved stuffed animal or soft toy could be the perfect learning companion for children to practice their reading and storytelling skills. And if your child has an interest in the animal kingdom, then children’s books that feature a stuffed animals theme are the perfect book to entertain them.
We’ve compiled a selection of some our favorite story books for children featuring soft and cuddly soft toys and stuffed animals. Children can experience story time together with their favourite toy and take them along on their imaginative adventures as they turn the pages of these stuffed toy theme children’s books.
Written by Mem Fox and illustrated by Lauren Stringer
A boy and his favorite stuffed animals share their days with one another in this cozy bedtime picture book from Mem Fox.
There was once a boy who loved bedtime.
What could be more wonderful than sharing bedtime with beloved friends? The little boy in this gentle and fun story loves to talk to his stuffed animals each evening and share with them all the things that happened to him that day—and to hear about their days, too.
From bestselling author Mem Fox and award-winning illustrator Lauren Stinger, here is a celebration of imagination, play, friendship, and coziness certain to touch a chord with young children everywhere.
Written by Sara Levine and illustrated by Marta Alvarez Miguens
Celebrate diversity, math, and the power of storytelling! It’s bedtime for Marco and his stuffed animals, but the animals have other ideas. When Marco tries to put them away, they fly, swim, and slither right out of their bins! Can Marco sort the animals so everyone is happy? A playful exploration of sorting and classifying that combines math with empathy. The perfect bedtime book, featuring Latinx characters and a note about scientific classification.
Written by Tom Lichtenheld and illustrated by Julie Rowan-Zoch
A beloved teddy can bear it no longer and plots his escape from his owner’s suffocating affections in this laugh-out-loud picture book from New York Times best-selling creator of Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site and Steam Train Dream Train fame, Tom Lichtenheld.
Louis the bear has had enough. From day one, life has been one indignity after another. If he’s not being used as a hankie, he’s being hung out to dry—literally. (No one likes clothespins used on their ears!) This teddy is sneaking away just as soon as he can. Then again, no use running off in the rain . . .or during a show-and-tell routine. Maybe Louis has something to lose, after all.
This fresh and funny take on a teddy bear come to life is a salty and sweet, grumpy and tender, sly tribute to the ties that bind.
Written by Margery Williams and illustrated by Gareth Llewhellin
A timeless classic that has been treasured for generations—this edition features the original story with heartwarming illustrations. Once you are Real you can’t become unreal again. It lasts for always. At first a brand-new toy, now a threadbare and discarded nursery relic, the velveteen rabbit is saved from peril by a magic fairy who whisks him away to the idyllic world of Rabbitland. There, he becomes “”Real,”” a cherished childhood companion who will be loved for eternity. This wondrous tale of the velveteen rabbit has delighted readers of all ages with its story of transformation and redemption through a child’s unwavering love.
Having a stuffed alligator for a best friend can be surprising. Sometimes Amanda surprises her alligator with books. Sometimes Alligator surprises Amanda by eating them. But what happens when Amanda brings home a special—and not entirely welcome—surprise? The result might be unexpected indeed. Beloved author-illustrator Mo Willems has created a funny and tender portrait of friendship that readers of any age will love.
Don Freeman’s classic character, Corduroy, is even more popular today then he was when he first came on the scene in 1968. This story of a small teddy bear waiting on a department store shelf for a child’s friendship has appealed to young readers generation after generation.
Get transported to a lush, vibrant jungle in this gorgeously illustrated picture book about facing your fears.
Richard hears something in his room before bedtime. Is it a monster? He doesn’t wait to find out and sets off running through the streets, over the hills, through the forest, and into the fields until he finds himself in a magical jungle. With the help of his stuffed lion Lionheart, Richard finds the courage he needs to face his fears.
Leo isn’t just a stuffed toy, he is Henry’s best friend and brother. He is as real as a tree, a cloud, the sun, the moon, the stars, and the wind. But when the two are accidentally separated, no one in Henry’s family believes Leo is real enough to find his way home. With beautiful mixed-media paintings, the Caldecott Honor–winning artist Pamela Zagarenski explores the transcendent nature of friendship and love.
Written by Robie Harris and illustrated by Tor Freeman
This charming story details the beautiful friendship between a boy and his plush toy turtle.
Turtle and Me is a charming story about the adventures a little boy has with his cuddly toy turtle. Over the years, Turtle gets covered in spaghetti, splattered by mud, chewed by a puppy, and much more—but the boy still loves him. Turtle has become his security blanket, as well as his best friend. But one day Turtle suffers a horrible rip that the boy can’t repair. The boy decides he doesn’t need his old chewed up, sewn up, taped up, ripped up ragggedy turtle anymore. But when he tries to sleep at night, he begins to think otherwise!
When a young girl brings her beloved stuffed fox to the playground, much to her astonishment, a real fox takes off with it! The girl chases the fox into the woods with her friend, the boy, following close behind, but soon the two children lose track of the fox. Wandering deeper and deeper into the forest, they come across a tall hedge with an archway. What do they find on the other side? A marvelous village of miniature stone cottages, tiny treehouses, and, most extraordinary of all, woodland creatures of every shape and size. But where is the little fox? And how will they find him?
Paige loves cuddling with Gramma and all of Gramma’s pets in the Old Blue Chair. And when Gramma makes her Bun Bun Button, an adorable homemade stuffed bunny with a button nose, this special time becomes even more cozy. Then a balloon carries the little bunny away. Bun Bun braves honking geese and a wide night sky, until luck – or love – magically brings her back home to the little girl who loves her.
This heartwarming story celebrates the special bond between grandparents and grandchildren, and is perfect for children who imagine their toys have secret adventures when no one’s watching.
Written by Andrea Posner-Sanchez and illustrated by RH Disney
Bubble Monkey doesn’t know the proper way to wipe or blow her nose, so bubble solution is getting on all the other toys. Luckily, Doc McStuffins is there to teach a lesson in hygiene! Little boys and girls will love this Little Golden Book retelling an episode from the popular Disney Junior series Doc McStuffins.
Stuffed animals, soft toys, teddy bears, dolls, pacifiers and security blankets are all comfort objects that offer emotional support and can do more than just help young children fall asleep.
Here we’ll explore how these soft and cuddly friends are so essential for a child’s development.
What is a Transitional Object?
A comfort object, also called a transitional object can be a stuffed animal, soft toy, teddy bear, doll or security blanket. It’s an item that is used to provide psychological comfort, during new or uncomfortable situations or at bedtime for children. These huggable, snuggly toys are often given nicknames and are used to soothe the child during a transitional phase and can often become a child’s best friend.
The Role in Child Development
In childhood development these transitional objects take the place of the mother-child bond. Comforting items can give the child a sense of security and peace of mind when the mother is not around. These comforting objects essentially become an emotional support system, offering reassurance to a child facing separation anxiety or an uncertain situation. Meeting a new babysitter, going to daycare or preschool, sleeping in a new bed and other new experiences are all common situations whereby a transitional object can help comfort and soothe the child.
Dr. Donald Woods Winnicott was a pediatrician and psychoanalyst that coined the term ‘transitional object’ in 1953. Dr. Winnicott wanted parents and caregivers to understand how truly meaningful comfort objects were to a child and their development. The doctor drew attention to the importance of a child choosing their own transitional object, and explained that a comfort object represents a connection between the mother or primary caregiver and the external world.
The use of a transitional object may seem insignificant in a child’s play, but is a really an important tool in child development.
Practical Tips for Using a Comfort Object
A comfort or transitional object can be used with children as early as 4-6 months of age or as late as 2-3 years of age.
You can encourage a healthy relationship with your child’s chosen comfort object by placing it near your child whenever they are feeling upset or anxious.
When your child begins to turn to the comfort object for a sense of security and comfort, remember that it’s a healthy move towards independence. Your child is learning that they can feel safe in the world even when the parent or caregiver isn’t around. Some see the child clinging to a comfort object as a sign of weakness or insecurity, but in reality it’s a healthy sign of independence and emotional development.
If it’s possible, own two of your child’s comfort object. If the item needs washing, you have another clean one available to comfort your little one. Similarly, if it gets lost or misplaced, you have a spare on hand to ease the pain.
Never take away a child’s comfort object as a form of punishment if they misbehave. This will only cause the child more anxiety.
Don’t be concerned if your child keeps their comfort object longer than you expect necessary. Adults all over the world hold onto their childhood toys, dolls, stuffed animals and security blankets. A Build-A-Bear Workshop study in 2017 revealed that four in ten Americans still sleep with a teddy bear at night.
Comfort Objects in Pop Culture
The security blanket became popular with the character, Linus van Pelt, who carried around his ‘security and happiness blanket’ in the Peanuts comic strip featuring Charlie Brown and Lucy, created by Charles M. Schultz.
Comfort objects have appeared regularly in children’s entertainment over the years. Igglepiggle is a blue teddy bear like creature from the preschool children’s television In the Night Garden that carries around a red blanket wherever he goes. Peppa Pig‘s little brother, George, often seeks comfort from his dinosaur toy in his possession, called ‘Mr. Dinosaur’.
Sesame Street’s autistic character, Julia, loves her stuffed toy named Fluffster and is often comforted by the bunny rabbit doll, especially when she’s feeling anxious or upset. In the Sesame Street film, The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland, Elmo loves his fuzzy blue blanket more than anything, and when it’s stolen he sets out on an epic adventure to retrieve his cherished blanket.
In the movie, The Producers, Leo Bloom keeps himself calm from panic attacks, carrying his childhood blue blanket everywhere he goes.
As you can see comfort objects are widely used in society and serve an important purpose in the development of children.
Big Ted is the loveable yellow teddy bear we all know and love that’s been a part of Play School from the beginning. Big Ted has a big heart and loves giving extra special big bear cuddles.
Big’s Ted’s Big Adventure ventures into the Animal Kingdom to get up close with some preschoolers’ most treasured animals. Big Ted is visiting the zoo with Zindzi and Michelle and looking forward to meeting some special animals. The furry yellow bear will learn about the animals and add their photo to his photo album.
Join Big Ted on his big adventure and watch our favourites from the fun series starring the popular Play School toy.
Big Ted and his friend Michelle go on another big adventure to the Zoo. This animal has long flat feet, some furry ears and a grey tail – it’s a kangaroo! Big Ted and Michelle are spending time with the Kangaroos; a mother kangaroo is carrying a baby joey in her pouch.
Big Ted and his friend Michelle go on another big adventure to the Zoo. This animal can stand up on two legs, has a long stripey body and a pointy noise – it’s a meerkat! This time they meet a mob of very friendly and curious Meerkats!
Big Ted and his friend Zindzi go on another big adventure to the Zoo. This animal has a furry white coat, big paws for swimming and a black nose – it’s a polar bear. Big Ted and Zindzi are hiding food for the polar bears, including a little cub called Henry who is only one year old!
Big Ted and his friend Zindzi go on a big adventure to the Zoo. This animal has knobbly knees, a long curved neck and a big hairy hump – it’s a camel! Big Ted and Zindzi meet a herd of friendly camels and go on an exciting camel ride.
Big Ted and his friend Michelle go on another big adventure to the Zoo. This animal has a stripy bushy tail, light pointy ears, and very furry paws – it’s a red panda! Big Ted and Michelle are meeting Red Pandas, who are great climbers and love to spend time in the tree tops.
Big Ted and his friend Zindzi venture to the zoo to meet giant tortoises. This animal has thick scaley legs, a long stretchy neck and a giant brown shell – it’s a giant tortoise! Giant tortoises are some of the oldest animals on earth!