Painlessly Purge Your Plush

This one's a "keeper"
One of the best bits of parent-to-parent advice I ever received came from my sister-in-law.  “Beware of stuffed animals” she told me, and it’s true.

I blame the Margery Williams, author of The Velveteen Rabbit. There is, of course, nothing wrong with the book at all. It’s one of the great children’s books of all time – and it’s very comforting to those of us who have had our ears “loved” off.  But that rabbit casts a long shadow. It is an iron law of nature that anytime a well-meaning friend or relative – particularly one who does not have children and has never experienced an avalanche of plush first hand – stands in the expensive Manhattan toy boutique and  thinks “What special gift should I give to little Alex/Ben/Sophie?” the answer will be fluffy and stuffed.

It may be an adorable Folkmanis Puppet, or something off beat like a velvet armadillo. It may be a beanie baby or an Ugly Doll or the traditional teddy bear. Whatever it is, dear parent, there will come a time when it will have lots of company. Fluffy chicks, hand knit bunnies; puppies and big cats will litter your child’s bed jostling for the top spot at the pillow.

“Do children ever play with these?” one of our members asks.  Well, some kids do, but not as much as you might think. Do any of these ever become “lovies”, those legendary transitional objects?  Perhaps, but not every child wants a “lovie” and with 42 potential lovies to choose from, it may become difficult to truly love any of them.

So, how does one avoid becoming one of the subjects of Animal Planet’s new series, FAKE  Animal Hoarders!  Give them away. It’s easier than you think. 

 --Sneak them our one by one, do a midnight raid on the pile at the end of the bed.

--Appeal to your child’s better nature.  Have them help select the ones to donate by holding up two stuffed animals and having them choose which one stays and which one goes (this is also a great way to pick and choose which ones you want to stay by pairing the yucky ones with their favorites).

--Just toss them in a bag  - sometimes they’re just not that into them.

When you’ve collected your animals take them to any of the organizations listed here on the Park Slope Parents Website. You’ll also find our guide to cleaning those stuffed animals which your child genuinely loves so that they can enjoy them for years to come.

If it all has to go RIGHT NOW,  you can also take them to Animal Kind Animal Kind Veterinary Practice on 7th Ave between 10th and 11th Streets. They are accepting donations of new and in-decent-condition stuffed toys until January 14th

For other stuff, like used clothing, eyeglasses, furniture, etc. check out the these PSP recomendations.

And next time you need to buy a gift, beware the stuffed animal


Nancy McDermott