From an early age, children gain comfort from cuddling and playing with soft toys. Whether an old teddy bear with an eye missing or a homemade rag doll, a soft cuddly toy can become part of a child's world - a close companion.
Soft toys encourage a child to show affection and to bond. They provide a sense of security and help alleviate anxiety. They are always around when a child needs comfort.
We've selected our favorite toy animals that kids will love. Some have interactive features that add personality to the toy.
Happy Penguin Plush Toy
Nice to play with and lovely to cuddle - the10-inch Happy Penguin from Wild Republic is an interactive clapping penguin. This little feller claps and sings to the kids' song 'If you're happy and you know it.'
Happy Penguin has two play modes - an interactive clapping game and a sing and clap-along with the kids' session.
The high-quality plush is surface washable and comes with three trial AA batteries, so you'll need to buy a set of full-strength batteries as well.
Recommended ages: 1.5 to 5 years.
Melissa & Doug Burrow Bunny Rabbit
Made with premium polyester fabric materials, this lop-eared plush bunny rabbit from Melissa and Doug is a cuddly, huggable furry friend any kid would love.
There are many ways kids can play with stuffed toys, and this nine-inch, extra soft, long-eared furry bunny is ready for hours of playtime fun and storytime cuddles at bedtime.
Kids can also have a Jumbo-sized Burrow Bunny that is twenty-one inches tall.
Recommended ages: 3 years and up.
Battat Blue Plush Elephant
At 12 inches tall Ellie-Berry, the blue plush elephant, is the perfect size for kids to cuddle. She has an extra soft blue coat, bright paws, and patterned ears and can be a kid's loyal friend.
She's machine washable so can be played indoors and outside and is a great travel companion.
Recommended age: 2 years and up.
Little Live Scruff-a-Luvs Rescue Pet
Scruff-a-Luvs are waiting to be rescued and adopted. Kids will need to transform the scruffy ball of fur in the box into a fluffy adorable rescue pet to play with and love.
Kids can rescue a Little Live Pets puppy, kitten, or pony, adopt a Scruff-a-luvs family consisting of a mom and three kids or rescue a lion, monkey, or parrot jungle animal. These are three different toys.
Kids will need to wash and groom the Scruff-a-Luvs toy they choose, with the heart comb and hair clip, so they become fluffy adorable friends.
Recommended age range: 2 to 15 years.
Boppi The Booty Shaking Llama
Boppi, the Booty Shaking Llama, was tipped as one of last Christmas's most-wanted toys. Boppi dances to three songs, twerks and spins, and rotates a full 360 degrees.
Available in white or purple, she'll get everyone dancing and laughing.
Batteries are included, but don't forget to get spare spares.
Age range 3 years and up.
FurReal Cubby Bear
Cubby is a curious bear with an adorable face who will respond to over a hundred sound and movement combinations.
Kids will like to hold Cubby bear - he'll hug them back. When they feed him, he'll make eating sounds. He has many facial expressions as he moves his head, eyes, nose, mouth, and ears.
Cubby's arms can move, and he makes a lot of fun sounds. He loves to be fed, given a treat, or have his fur combed using a neat 3-in-1 toy.
Cubby has a friend called Plum. She's a curious Panda cub and has similar characteristics.
Cubby and Plum are very cuddly interactive bears that kids will love.
Recommended ages 4 years and up.
Aurora Fat Cats Collection
Made in super soft plush, these 9.5 inches plump cats by Aurora have sparkly eyes and are perfect cuddle partners.
Kids can choose between Butterball Tabby and Dumpling Tabby (gray & white) both shown here, Muffins Tuxedo (black & white), and Munchy Calico (tan/black & white).
For ages 3 years and up.
Gund Sawyer Teddy Bear
Traditional looks and a cute expression make the Gund Sawyer Teddy an adorable companion for kids over one year old. Teddy has a super-soft, premium plush material finish that is durable and huggable.
Teddies can get a bit messy when kids play with them, so parents will be pleased that this one has a washable surface, so a wipe with a wet cloth then left to dry will clean the teddy quickly.
Recommended for ages one and over.
Folkmanis Toy Animal Puppets
I've included some puppets in this post because these Folkmanis toy animal puppets have whole bodies and not the more normal sleeve section that many glove puppets have. They look like an everyday plush or soft toy, and kids can hug and cuddle them or animate them as puppets whenever they wish.
Folkmanis have a broad and exciting range of animal puppets to choose from - Snowy Owl, Piglet, Baby Sloth, Mouse, Squirrel, and Octopus are just a few. You can check them all out HERE!
Recommended ages: 3 years and up.