Plush Animal Lover’s Day is celebrated on October 28 every year. It’s the annual appreciation day for every stuffed animal where owners give them the extra love and care they deserve. Make no mistake, today is not just for kids — it’s also for the kids at heart. From toddlers, and adults, to plushie collectors, this holiday is dedicated to celebrating your favorite childhood friend, confidant, memory keeper, and playmate. As simple as it may seem, every stuffed toy has countless stories for many people. From their earliest childhood recollection to a pleasant memory, plushies are meaningful mementos to individuals who collect and treasure them.
History of Plush Animal Lover's Day
Stuffed animals didn’t start as toys in ancient history. However, records show that creating an animal replica has always been a staple in many cultures. From carved and chiseled animals made out of wood to paintings of aristocratic families’ favorite pets, the desire to immortalize a beloved animal has long existed in history. But the true origin of a stuffed animal dated back to the 1880s during the Roman times when rag dolls in animal shapes were in fashion. These dolls were made out of old fabric scraps filled with straw and designed for poor children who couldn’t afford wooden dolls.
Modern stuffed toys were first produced in 1880 by Margarete Steiff. She started making stuffed elephants as pincushions. She began manufacturing them the moment she noticed that children loved them. Within 6 years, she had already sold more than 5,000 stuffed animals. In 1890, her company started producing other stuffed animals like dogs, pigs, and cats that she designed herself.
The moment when stuffed animals truly entered the zeitgeist was when American President Theodore ‘Teddy’ Roosevelt went on a hunting trip but spared a bearcub from being shot. This moment was drawn by “The Washington Post” as a cartoon for their editorial section. This was made even more popular when a shop owner called Morris Michtom replicated the cartoon by creating a stuffed bear animal he later called ‘Teddy Bear.’ Later that year, Margarete Steiff started producing Teddy Bears as well.
The popularity of stuffed animals continued in the 20th century as companies started mass-producing plushies — from Grund and Mattel, Disney, to Warner Bros. By then, stuffed animals have become a childhood staple that continues even up to this day.
The origin of the Plush Animal Lover’s Day remains unclear, but others consider it a response to the Teddy Bear’s Picnic Day celebrated on July 10. The only difference is Plush Animal Lover’s Day is for all types of stuffed animals.
Plush Animal Lover's Day timeline
Margarete Steiff produces stuffed elephants in the form of pincushions which are popular with children.
Steiff begins creating stuffed dogs, cats, and pigs.
Morris Michtom creates the ‘Teddy Bear’ based on U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt's editorial cartoon of him sparing a bear cub from a hunting trip.
After the World War, the market for baby boom soars, and the demand for stuffed animals skyrockets.
Companies start creating fictional characters as plushies in the likes of “Winnie the Pooh,” “Strawberry Shortcake,” and “Care Bear.”
Plush Animal Lover's Day FAQs
What is another word for stuffed animals?
Stuffed animals are often called ‘cuddle toys,’ ‘plush toys,’ or ‘stuffies.’
When is a child allowed to sleep with a stuffed animal?
Doctors don’t recommend that babies sleep with stuffed toys until they’re 12 months old.
Who came up with the Teddy Bear’s Picnic Day?
Collectibles dealer Royal Selangor came up with the Teddy Bear’s Picnic Day in the 1980s.
Plush Animal Lover's Day Activities
Share photos on social media
Snap a photo of you and your plush animal and post it on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. Use the hashtag #PlushAnimalLoversDay and check out some of the other stuffed animals from plush lovers all over the world.
Take them to the spa
Taking them to the spa means cleaning and air drying your stuffed animals. You don’t want them to collect dirt that could wear out or discolor the fabric. A simple hand wash and air dry will do.
Buy a new stuffed toy to your collection
There’s no such thing as too many plush animals. If you’ve been wanting to add one to your collection, today’s the day to do that.
5 Facts About Plush Animals
The first patented stuffed animal
The first patented stuffed animal was “Peter Rabbit'' from Beatrix Potter’s stories.
Stuffed with a variety of materials
Throughout the years, plush animals have evolved from being stuffed with beans, plastic pellets, wool, and straw, to cotton.
A gesture of comfort
Giving someone a stuffed animal as a gift is an expression of affection, care, and love.
“Winnie” and the Hollywood Walk of Fame
“Winnie the Pooh” is the only stuffed animal icon that has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
The most expensive stuffed toy
The most expensive stuffed animal is ‘Steiff Louis Vuitton Teddy Bear’ valued at $2.1 million.
Why We Love Plush Animal Lover's Day
It reminds us of our childhood
Stuffed animals bring back fond memories of when we were kids. From being every child’s first playmate to being the first gift given by their parents, plush animals hold a special place in everyone’s hearts.
They’re comfort/transitional objects
Stuffed animals act as comfort and transitional objects to both kids and adults. According to licensed therapist Margaret Van Ackeren, plush animals offer a sense of security and reduced anxiety levels when going through a rough patch in life.
Stuffed animals improve mental health
According to Dr. Aniko Dunn, stuffed animals are recommended in psychotherapy. They support people with P.T.S.D. and bipolar disorders to help them build back their impaired emotional attachments.
Plush Animal Lover's Day dates