I’m STUFFED: Early learning activities for children


Check out these early learning activities for your little ones!



You get a stuffed animal!

You get a stuffed animal!

You get a stuffed animal! 

(In my Oprah Winfrey voice. 🙂 )


Oh, the joys of cute button eyes, custom fur colors, and heart eyes when our little ones meet these forever friends for the first time. Apparently, no one, and I mean absolutely no one, can refuse the cupid darts they throw our way. Grandparents must get two-for-ones with every purchase and tuck away a little stuffy for rainy days. Aunts and uncles seem to love mission impossible vibes because someone always show up with the largest one they can find. I must admit neither of my baby showers would have been complete without the new crew on the block showing up to live their best lives, holding up the corner wall on the floor next to the baby crib.


If you are as concerned as my friend Woody and I that playtime is scarce with lots of stuffed friends too … well, fret no more because you’ve got a friend in me! Our house is in no shortage of furry friends, and they surely deserve some time in the game. I walked by my son’s room the other day, I thought I heard Catboy yell out, “put me in the game, coach!”




a row of stuffed animals on a table
Alphabet written on what you have at home. Remember it’s all about making use of what you have on hand. Copy paper, old envelopes … your choice.



So here are some sure ways to give some play time and possibly rekindle a spark between them and your little ones.


ALL of these examples can be modified for any age, skill, and child.



Game 1: Letter and sound recognition

Write letters on a post-it or blank piece of paper. Give each stuffy friend a letter. Call out the letter name and or sound to help with the recognition of letters and sounds. You could even say you’re thinking of a picture name (ex:dog). The child would choose the stuffy friend whose beginning sound matches that letter. 



Game 2: Counting 

Assign a number to each of the friends. Tell your child that the stuffy can only eat that quantity to avoid a belly ache. Set out your child’s favorite snack, and it’s a playdate! Identifying numbers and quantifying. It can easily be modified for addition and subtraction as well.





Game 3: Matching 

Clean laundry take off. Place socks from the laundry on one foot of each stuffed animal. Put them all into a laundry basket, toss them up into the air, and have your little one match the socks to its mate. You could integrate shapes, colors, things that go together; the possibilities are endless.


Watch one or two of those furry friends make it off the bench and back into rotation. 


If all else fails, we can all meet up at midnight to carpool and do a mass drop-off at Andy’s house. 🙂



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Trynai was born and raised in St. Louis and has graciously embraced her need to use GPS to get around daily, due to being born without any since of direction. She lives in Unincorporated St. Louis County with her husband and her two Jungle Explorers. (Of course they proudly named themselves:) She appreciates the natural landscapes, windy roads and hidden gems that are tucked away and waiting to be explored and for their stories to be told. Trynai is an Early childhood educator turned homeschool mom and entrepreneur. She gains complete joy in serving families. Trynai loves to encourage moms and intentionally works to empower them. She aids them in creating deeper connections within their home and with their children. She’s extremely passionate about sharing ways to cultivate a child’s natural way of learning through individualized activities and morning invitations while using everyday, budget friendly materials. Trynai is also a homeschooling mom and shares her journey in hopes to create a safe space for teachers and parents to nature the joy of learning in small children. You can find her and the Jungle Explorers discovering all the family friendly places that St. Louis has to offer! Everything from cafes, to trails and libraries and museums. They will take their latest read-aloud anywhere and find a space to create memories on purpose.


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