What to Do with All Those Stuffed Animals

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 Drowning in stuffed animals? Yeah, me too. What started with two sweet “stuffies” given as baby shower presents just before my daughter was born in May of 2012 has since grown to the ridiculous number of 76 on last count. It’s madness.

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I’m responsible for just one stuffed animal in the pack; Wolf Wolf, a small wolf from the Alamo gift store. My husband, well, he’s bought about 20 so far — along with numerous action figures and Disney princesses — and he refuses to stop. (“I can spoil her if I want,” he says.) The 50-plus others are a motley bunch care of friends, family and coworkers: from stuffed animal bowling sets and claw-machine wins to the predictable Sesame Street characters and Hello (I’m not a) Kitty dolls of all sizes. The list goes on. So what do you do when you have too many stuffed animals? “Just get rid of them,” says my older sister, who after a bed-bug infestation in her home had no choice but to trash stuffed anything: pillows, animals, beddings, etc. But parting with such sentimental gifts can be difficult, especially when they talk and sing so sweetly to you, I mean, your child. (You know who you are, “Peek-a-boo” bear and “Me and my friends…” Scout and Violet.) Okay, so let’s reword that question: What do you do with all those stuffed animals without upsetting your kid — or your partner — and any of the caring people who sent them your way? I did some surfing, consulted a little expert and came up with options that both amuse and reuse the stuffed animals in ways that are pretty darn cool.

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Make a “stuffie pool!”Now that’s a brilliant idea from my 6-year-old niece, Tai, especially if you’re in the drought-ravaged western United States. Fill those plastic pools with those stuffies instead of water, and then let the kids loose.  

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Via MissMalaprop.com

Make a stuffed animal outfit or costume.With Halloween coming soon, why buy a costume when you can “stuff” one? This whimsical number is from Miss Malaprop, who made this dress for Mardi Gras. I do believe a friend of mine made a suit of stuffed animals circa 1997 in art school. And, yes, he was popular with the ladies.  

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Via memine’s flickr

Make stuffed-animal furniture.Teddy-bear sofa, anyone? This was on display at Harrod’s in London. If you know how much Harrod’s bears cost, you know you’re looking at a pretty pricey piece of furniture. Just be careful about losing your kid in it.

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And this one’s my favorite solution: Donate your stuffed animals for Stuffed Animals for Emergencies (SAFE). This wonderful organization welcomes donations of new and used stuffed animals and distributes them to children in need.  See if there’s a chapter near you by clicking HERE. They also accept other kid-related items as well, so don’t stop with those stuffies.

Have more creative stuffed animal ideas? Share them below! 

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