Make a New Stuffed Friend
George Pig plays with Mr. Dinosaur and Dora plays with Osito. When children pretend with dolls and stuffed animals, they think about feelings and empathy as they hug, feed, and take care of others.
Making their OWN stuffie adds another layer of complexity: children can more closely identify with a stuffed toy of their own creation.
When you and your child play together, use your stuffies to explore emotions. You can pretend that your stuffies are sad or angry. You can encourage your child to think about ways to help them feel better — maybe a tissue or a hug will do the trick!
Parent/Caregiver Tip: Playing with dolls and stuffed animals helps children learn social skills like empathy, plus communication and language skills. So grab a stuffed friend, make up a silly voice, and play!
- old sock, stuffing, yarn, markers
- Let’s turn this old tube sock into a stuffie for you to play and cuddle with.
- Let’s stuff the sock with stuffing (or even another sock) and tie a knot at the end. Let’s use yarn to tie off a portion for the head and body. You can help me decide where to tie the yarn. How many pieces of yarn should we use?
- Let’s use markers to decorate your stuffie. You can draw a face and body if you want to, or just decorate any way you please!
- Your stuffie is ready! Let’s give them a name. Now we can play!
- tube sock, stuffing, yarn, needle and thread, markers or scrap fabric
- Let’s turn this tube sock into a stuffed doll.
- Let’s stuff the sock with stuffing and tie a knot at the end. You can use yarn to tie off a portion for the head and body (and any other parts that you wish) or you can use a needle and thread to sew a face, head, arms, legs, etc.
- Let’s use markers and/or fabric scraps to decorate your stuffed doll. You can draw or sew a face and body. Use the fabric scraps to make clothes. Your doll can be just like you, or something out of your imagination.
- Your doll is finished! Let’s give it a name. Let’s play!