January 14, 2022
Weighted animal toys for kids
Over the past few months, we at OT Warehouse have researched and analysed the exploding popularity of weighted toys across the country.
In this article, we put the spotlight purely and simply on Australia’s number one most popular weighted toy: the weighted elephant!
Now you may have some questions: a weighted elephant?!
Why is that Australia’s most popular weighted toy?
Where can I find them, and how do I choose one?
How do I keep it in tip-top shape?
Never fear, we’ve got all the answers for you in one place.
Read on as we unpack all the information about weighted elephants, helping you make the right choice when buying yours!
Weighted elephants are exactly what they sound like: a plush elephant toy that’s weighted!
Weighted toys have exploded in popularity because not only are they soft, loveable toys but they bring with them a wide range of benefits for people of all ages and abilities.
Weighted elephants are a great friend and cuddle companion for everyone!
Weighted elephants are based on an occupational therapy technique called Deep Pressure Simulation (DPS) or Deep Pressure Therapy (DPT). find out more about deep Pressure therapy here.
DPS is meant to replicate the calming effect that squeezing, or hugs can have on the body, providing proprioceptive input into the whole body.
Proprioceptive input, colloquially called “the 6th sense,” directly affects the central nervous system and calms the body down.
DPS (and its proprioceptive input) has many benefits including being able to improve sleep and decrease anxiety.
It can help in reducing many symptoms associated with autism and sensory processing disorder.
Weighted elephants are Australia’s most popular weighted toy, doubling the sales of other weighted animals, for a number of reasons.
First and foremost, these toys are soft, snuggly, and cute — who doesn’t love a cuddly elephant and our largest land animal on the planet?
Children with sensory issues will adore the soft fur and plush varieties available, that are gorgeous to touch and feel on the skin.
The perfect companion to carry in the school bag when times are stressful or when one needs a lap buddy.
Second, weighted elephants come in a variety of styles, sizes and weights, meaning you can find a product for anyone and everyone in the family.
You are also able to accurately match the size and weight of your toy to the purpose of your toy.
This is very important when shop for your weighted elephant.
If the purpose of your weighted toy is to provide reassurance and ease anxiety in the school classroom or at day care, then opting for a smaller, more portable size is the best choice.
There are many smaller sizes available along with a selection of different weights in small or large sizes.
These are ideal for sneaking into their school bag where the child can place it on their lap when needed.
If portability is not a concern and the purpose of your toy is to provide a “sleeping buddy” for your child to assist them with sleeping independently at night, then there are 7kg “bed mate” elephants which make great sleeping companions.
These big, heavy and soft land animals are awesome at simulating another “person” in the bed and will have your child drifting off to sleep in no time.
Finally, weighted elephants are a fun and easy way to combine elements of play with the incredible list of benefits these toys hold.
Many are portable and hand-held, so they can accompany you from the playground to the classroom, and anywhere in between.
Many are not so portable but will love lying next to you on the bean bag, couch or in bed.
A weighted elephant product for all the family
One of the best features of weighted elephants is that almost anyone can use them!
Although the phrase “elephant toy” may make you think of kids or children, these products are good for the whole family.
The only people who should not use a weighted elephant toy are babies or individuals with limited mobility; users must be able to remove the elephant toy from their own body.
For the ideal weight and size, it is always best to speak to an Occupational Therapist who can better advise you on the size and weight to match your child’s body strength and sensory needs.
Toys with many features
Weighted elephants come with a variety of features including varying fabrics, weights, and fillings.
Children love the fabric
In terms of fabric, elephant toys can be soft and snuggly, or can be a little more textured.
Some elephant toys also have sensory-friendly fabrics and decor like sequins, beads or dimpled and ribbed fabric.
Huge weight range to suit all purposes
Weighted elephant toys also vary in the weights themselves, ranging from 500 g up to 7 kg or more.
This enables them to be used for many different purposes as some are light enough to be portable and carried around, whilst options are available for those who require large or heavy weight.
Range of fillings
Filling type is another feature of weighted elephant toys.
Fillings can vary from poly pellets, stainless steel pellets, or glass beads, to more homemade materials like beans or rice.
Considerations when buying these toys for the family
Weighted elephant toys are fun and easy to use, along with being a great method for self-regulation.
You can cuddle them, squeeze them, fidget with them — really anything you want!
Large range of weights available
As mentioned in the section above, most weighted elephant toys weigh anywhere from 500g to 4kg, with the heaviest option being the large 7kg “bed mate" toy.
Weights vary depending on manufacturer, filling type, and size of the toy itself.
Choosing your weight is easy – just head online and browse the huge range of weighted toys now available.
The list of toys and various weights is growing by the day due to their increasing popularity.
Safety is important when choosing your product
Although people of all ages can use weighted elephant toys, there are specific safety instructions and considerations for children.
An individual child’s body size, strength and mobility along with their sensory needs are all factors to consider when purchasing the ideal toy.
Due to these important safety considerations and personal preferences an Occupational Therapist should be consulted before purchasing a toy if your child has specific issues.
All weighted objects must be able to be easily removed by the user, so babies and children with limited mobility are not good candidates for using these toys.
Care instructions for your cuddly elephant
Most weighted elephants come with specific care instructions.
As a general rule polyester toys should not be put in the washing machine or tumble dryer.
Spot clean (or hand wash) your weighted elephant gently with a mild detergent if it gets dirty and try to avoid taking it near water.
Do not put your toy in the washing machine or dryer!
Think when buying your fur friend
There are a few things to consider when purchasing a weighted elephant:
The information you learned in the above sections of this article should help inform some of these decisions, but the rest is up to personal choice!
Buying your products is easy
There are many online vendors that sell weighted elephant toys, many of which can be found through a simple internet search.
Online stores allow you to choose from many different elephants along with other animals if you prefer.
These stores will also have many different weight options, making it easy to find a toy to suit your needs.
We encourage you to browse items and choose a product that fits your needs the best.
In this article, we compiled and shared information about weighted elephant toys, from the benefits of weighted toys to the materials and fillings available, as well as things you should consider when you’re purchasing your very first weighted elephant. see our range
Weighted elephant toys are a great purchase for you or anyone in your life that can benefit from their wide range of uses, and we can’t wait to see which cuddly companion you bring home!
Weighted toy elephants are soft, plush toys that have had weights sewn into them. With good quality weighted toys the weights are usually sewn into inner liners and are unable to be removed. Some weighted toys are available with removable weight inserts which are placed inside pouches on the toy.
Weighted toy elephants can provide deep pressure touch therapy (DPTT) to their users. DPTT has a number of benefits including calming children with sensory issues, alleviating anxiety in stressful situations, increasing and maintaining focus, and even assisting individuals with sleep issues.
Weighted toy elephants range in weight from 500 grams right up to large 7 kg "bed mate" toy elephants which are often used as sleeping buddies and to help children achieve independent sleep at night.
When choosing the ideal weight for your child, consider your child's body size and weight, along with their physical strength and any other sensory issues they might have before choosing the perfect toy. It is best to speak to an Occupational Therapist when deciding on the ideal weight and size of your weighted toy elephant.
Yes there is! Thankfully there is now a huge range of weighted toys available online including weighted sloths, tigers, cats, dogs, koalas, snakes, dolphins and many more!. And if you are opting for common household pets such as cats or dogs then you really are spoilt for choice and can browse through the many different breeds on offer to match your pet at home.