Kids & Parenting

What is too old for stuffed animals

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Stuffed animal
Stuffed animals can remind you of happy childhood memories
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What is too old for stuffed animals and when should you put away the plush toys

Childhood is a time for innocence, fun and play - lots and lots of playing. Playtime can consist of outdoor pursuits like sports such as basketball, softball catch or badminton. Other games such as tag, dodge-ball and hide-and-seek are also hugely popular with younger kids. In addition to outdoor games, many children enjoy playing indoors, whether it be with building blocks or board-games.

In addition to these play games, most kids will have toys and many plush toys at a young age. Stuffed animals are not only cute, they can be incredibly fun for kids to play with. In fact, many plush characters even take on the role of a close and loving friend -- similar to the toy cowboy Woody in the Toy Story movies where Andy, the little boy, bonds with his toys.

Although plush characters really don't talk or move on their own, kids have fun by developing a persona for the toy during play-times. For instance, they use their own voice to not only make an animal sound, but also to make it talk and seemingly come to life.

Unfortunately, kids eventually grow up and there will come a time when the toys and play games are just a thing of the past.

Yet, many young and grown adults still hold on to their plushies and childhood toys. Consider the following tips below when debating just how old is too old for stuffed animals with friends and family.

Comfortable memories

It's not uncommon to see a grown woman's bedroom adorned with stuffed animals lined up on the bed. Nor is it uncommon to see a teenager or adult of either sex keeping a plush toy with them for good luck.

In these instances, the stuffed animal can represent feelings of comfort, security and rekindle memories of fun and youthful innocence. It may be argued that grown adults need to let go of childhood possessions such as plush toys as they hinder them from moving into adulthood.

However, there is no question that you can have a soft toy and still be an adult and maintain regular adult responsibilities. Having a toy animal at home can simply help to reconnect you with your childhood and help you to smile when you need it most.

Level of dependency

It's important to maintain a connection with happy times and things in your life past. For many people, this may included plush toys which are warm, fuzzy - and cute. If you find yourself wondering what is too old for stuffed animals however, consider your level of need and dependence on them.

People who need to curl up at night with a stuffed animal instead of a real person may be too dependent on their toy and actually be stuck in the past. This can prevent them from developing real-life, personal relationships. When times get tough or even when times are happy, it's not necessarily healthy to be spending that time with a soft toy for too long. Although the toy can provide some comfort during alone time, it's more important to be around friends and family for verbal interaction, support and physical touch such as hugs.

Cool school

The transition period from being a toddler to a school-age child will bring up many changes in kids' lives. Many kids will still have their stuffed animals out to play with all through grade school.

Although school-age children may be considered too old for stuffed animal play-time, this is usually because when entering the school system, kids start to make real friends and play more games with them. Other kids will start to read more on their own, or spend time with Mom and Dad at home for family bonding. It's important for children to grow developmentally, become more social, and take on more adult-like responsibilities as they get older. Still, they can do this while having their stuffed animal friends at home. At this point in their life, the plushie will be used less for playing and serve more as a friendly childhood adornment.

It's evident that there really is no specific timeline that makes a person too old for stuffed animals. Human beings are diverse and unique individuals and every person has different needs. As a result, you may lose your plush toys at a young age or keep them with you for many, many years.

As long as you are following your heart and maintaining a healthy social life with friends and family, keeping stuffed animals around can be warmly comforting.

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