The only thing better than a regular stuffed animal? A giant stuffed animal. These jumbo companions are fun for myriad reasons. For one, they serve as a cuddly companion for kids that’s at least twice their size. For another, they provide an imaginary companion that helps your kids grow and learn. For yet another, they dwarf your kids so you can take hilarious photos
But what giant stuffed animals stand head and shoulders over their plush progeny? For that, we reached out to a trio of toy experts: Kathy Gray and Miranda Gray-Burlingame, owners of LARK Toys, which has been named the Best Toy Store in Minnesota for the past 10 years, and Theresa Duncan, co-owner of Villa Villekulla Neighborhood Toy Store on Amelia Island in Florida.
“Although many children have many stuffed friends, plush serves an important and valuable purpose in offering comfort and opportunities for imaginary play,” say Kathy Gray and Miranda Gray-Burlingame. “A signature huge plush friend is certain to create a lasting memory.” Duncan wholeheartedly agrees. Who better than these plush pundits to weigh in on the most awesome plush pals out there today? Here are their picks for best giant stuffed animals for kids.
Best Giant Tiger Stuffed Animal: Melissa & Doug Giant Stuffed Tiger
This kind feline is perfect for guarding a bedroom, or snuggling up next to at sleepy time. “The expression on his very detailed face is sweet enough that this huge tiger isn’t scary at all,” says Duncan. “Melissa and Doug offer very well-priced, affordable plush toys,” add Kathy and Miranda. “The tiger has been a best seller for us.” Plus, he’s probably not as big of a jerk as your average house cat.
Best Giant Stuffed Animal Wolf: Wild Republic Stuffed Wolf
“The little details, like the claws and whiskers, make this wolf very realistic,” says Duncan. “It’s soft enough to snuggle, but fierce enough to scare any monsters lurking under the bed. We like the look of the wolf’s long fur,” add Miranda and Kathy. “It definitely has good play value.” Plus, now, your neighbors will be right when they assume your kids were raised by wolves.
Best Giant Stuffed Animal Giraffe: Melissa & Doug Giant Stuffed Giraffe
“This giraffe is perfect for imaginative play,” says Duncan. “It’s not super cuddly, but it’s very realistic. And at nearly 5 feet tall, it will be a long time before any kid outgrows it.” Add Miranda and Kathy: “This giraffe is another best seller for us: The Melissa and Doug products offer a really great selection of well-made, memorable plush animals.” A word of advice: Just don’t name it Geoffrey – we hear that’s bad luck when it comes to toys. What? Too soon?
Best Giant Stuffed Animal Squid: Wild Republic Squid Stuffed Animal
“Release the Kraken! This one gets bonus points for being super realistic – it has a tiny beak! – while still being totally adorable,” says Duncan. “I’m definitely ordering this one for the store.” “Wild Republic is one of our successful plush vendors,” add Miranda and Kathy, also agreeing that the squid is both adorable and affordable. “It was made even more popular by its appearance in Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium, too.” Hmm. We’ll have to take your word on that.
Best Giant Stuffed Animal Sloth: Wild Republic Giant Sloth
Did you know real sloths only poop once a week? Now you do. “In our busy lives, this fuzzy dude is a great reminder to slow down and enjoy life,” says Duncan. “And really, what’s not to enjoy about cuddling up to this super-soft giant sloth?” According to Miranda and Kathy, the sloth “looks friendly and huggable,” which is everything you want in a giant plush pal.
Best Giant Stuffed Animal Shark: Melissa & Doug Giant Stuffed Shark
Because you shouldn’t get it wet, you won’t have to worry about this fearsome fish devouring pool party guests. But, if it does get angry, you can dive right in for the save. “Not all stuffed animals are for snuggling,” says Duncan. “Lots of kids love to wrestle their giant plushies, and this guy is just the right size for some roughhousing.” It’s definitely a catch you won’t want to throw back.
Best Giant Panda Stuffed Animal: Giant Teddy Life Sized Panda Bear
Just in case you’re not convinced that pandas are adorable, watch this. Duncan sums up the appeal of this behemoth bear in two words. “Giant. Panda,” she says. “It really checks all the boxes. It’s adorable, soft and gigantic. This is the perfect plush for the kid who has everything, including a spare bedroom.” Add Miranda and Kathy. “The size of the panda is amazing. Few things are as impressive as a 6-foot tall plush friend to live in a child’s room.” Plush, he’s a great way to celebrate giant pandas being officially removed from the endangered species list!
Best Giant Stuffed Animal Elephant: Yesbears Stuffed Elephant
“A giant stuffed animal doesn’t have to be realistic to be cute,” asserts Duncan. “This goofy elephant would be perfect to dress up and create characters for. In fact, he’ll probably fit in Dad’s clothes.” “We like how the elephant is very caricatured. It’s definitely cute,” add Miranda and Kathy. And, because elephants never forget a face, you’ll want to be careful not to step on his trunk – you might find your bed covered in peanut shells.
Best Giant Stuffed Animal Snake: Big Plush American Made Giant Stuffed Snake
Duncan admits that this is the only 18-foot snake she’d ever want to cross paths with. “The fact that it’s made in the USA and is so soft and cuddly makes up for its somewhat plain appearance,” she says. “Even though it’s plain, this snake is enormous,” add Miranda and Kathy. “We’ve had plenty of large snakes with appealing patterns and varying lengths in our store.” Wrangle this monster, and you’ll be the best dad in hisss-tory! (Facepalm)
Best Giant Stuffed Animal Kangaroo: Big Plush Kangaroo
For the kid who has boundless energy comes this massive marsupial. “You could have a lively boxing match with this guy, and then cuddle up for a nap,” says Duncan. “This 6-foot kangaroo is sturdy, and could definitely withstand anything even the wildest kid could throw at it.” Miranda and Kathy caution, “Kids do like to try and climb on large stuffed animals. Be careful not to damage the legs so it can keep standing.” And don’t try to climb in its pouch. We know you were thinking it.
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