5 Clever New Uses for Stuffed Animals

If your family has one too many adorable stuffed animals collecting dust on a book shelf or two, don’t despair. Today Mighty Mommy shares five clever ways to make great use of your stuffed animal collection.

Cheryl Butler,
June 27, 2016
Episode #384

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When you have kids, you have “stuff.” It’s just part of the equation. Without mentioning the hundreds of incidentals that families collect along the way, there are some items that hold much more meaning than the must-haves, such as extra blankies, one too many lego sets, and cute little outfits that they outgrow in between diaper changes. There are favorite bedtime books, that perfect stroller, and of course, those delightful furry friends that bring so much comfort and joy—no—not a puppy or sweet little kitten—I’m talking about those special stuffed animals that our kids become attached to and simply can’t live without.

Did you have a favorite plush pal that you were utterly fond of? I sure did. Mine was a beautiful, blue bear who I lovingly named “Boo Blue Bear.” I would take that teddy bear everywhere I could—to the playground, my nana’s house, the grocery store, and always with me in the car. I never wanted to be without him. Of course, I didn’t just have “Boo Blue Bear,” I practically had a little zoo of stuffed animals. Once I started collecting them, I wasn’t about to part with them. Believe me, my mother tried to persuade me to pair down, donate them, say good-bye to the ones who had fluff popping out of the seams—but I always rationalized (at the ripe old age of six) as to why I absolutely could not live without them.

I was the oldest of five kids, so you can imagine how many stuffed animals ended up in my childhood home. My mother was a trooper and only when we weren’t looking (I learned from the best!) did she manage to figure out how to ditch (I mean donate) a few at a time.

If your family has one too many adorable stuffed animals collecting dust on a book shelf or two, don’t despair. Today Mighty Mommy shares five clever ways to make great use of your stuffed collection that are sure to bring a smile to your entire family’s faces.

Tip #1:  Decorate for Holidays and Special Occasions

You can imagine that with eight kids, we’ve collected countless stuffed animals through the years. Once my kids began to outgrow their favorite furry pals, I just didn’t have the heart to make them part with all of them (although I didn't forget how my mother cared for all ours!), so I decided to keep a small handful that I use strictly for decorating. During the Christmas holiday season, I take out several and doll them up with fun Santa hats and red velvet scarves and plop them on cute sleighs or arrange them in book shelves or on the mantle. They are quite festive and always add a warm and cozy touch during the holidays.

Tip #2:  Donate to Project Smile

We live in New England, so I was so happy to learn about Project Smile, a federally tax exempt non-profit organization which donates stuffed animals, coloring books/crayons, and children's reading books for police officers, fire fighters, and paramedics to give to children. The goal of Project Smile is to provide all emergency responders throughout New England, and eventually throughout the nation, with a continual supply of comfort items to help ease the pain and fear of traumatized children.

Very few police officers or firefighters have anything to give to a child. Please help PROJECT SMILE reach its goal of collecting enough stuffed animals for every emergency responder in New England to always have one to give to a hurting child. Since October 2003, Project Smile has donated more than 36,000 stuffed animals and works with 195 police and fire departments, both locally and throughout New England. This is such a great way to get your kids involved in the wonderful concept of giving back to those who are less fortunate.


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