Although this was created for a swap on Swap-Bot, my daughters have asked me to make elephants for them for Christmas. I'm going to do this plus create a couple more stuffies (like a giraffe and a zebra...or other animals that live in Africa since that is a homeschool unit study that I'm wrapping up with them now).
The girls enjoy playing and bringing to life what they learn...so stuffies that are small like this one would be fun for them to play with and the perfect size for their little hands.
It's important that the girls have all-natural toys to play with. This one is made with 100% wool felt and is stuffed with wool from sheep I use to raise. I embroidered it using cotton floss.
The rich, sensory input the girls receive when they play with toys made from natural materials is so much better for them than playing with plastic toys...or toys that have questionable materials in them.
Last year, there was a huge issue with toys that contained lead. After that, I began making more of the girls' toys by hand. Not only does this give them safe things to play with, but - if they take care of their toys - they are things they can pass along to their children.
The girls and I talk a lot about family heirlooms, and passing things along to their children. I feel a greater need, perhaps, to create a sense of "legacy" and give them heirlooms because they are both adopted from China.
Although they do not have antiques or family heirlooms from their biological parents (who are unknown in both cases), they will have a selection of items that are gifted to them throughout the year...particularly on their Adoption Day Celebration, birthdays, and Christmas.
November marks the Adoption Day Celebrations for Sophia (11/26/01) and Olivia (11/17/03); both their birthdays (Sophia's is in December and Olivia's is in January); and Christmas. A lot of special days in a period of three months!