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Stuffies Help Children With Emotional Development

Stuffie Emotional Support Partners
connect bridges between children’s hearts and minds?

Think about your own comfort item as a child. Was it a blankie or a stuffie or both?

by Jodee Kulp

Emotional Development of a child provides confidence and strength as an adult. Healthy positive relationships without trauma allow children to develop compassion, empathy, and an understanding of right and wrong. They learn to trust.

Stuffies are filled with what Furry the Penguin calls “Stuffun-La-Muffins.”

Stuffies provide unbiased consistency by simply being available as a silent emotional support partner.

Emotional Support Partners are important in the development of children and actually help build skills in emotions, language, social skills and belief in the impossible.

Here are 4 ways a beloved Stuffie helps a child develop emotionally.


  1. Stuffie touch is powerful and cuddling with a soft Stuffies give children the touch of a friend. Children cuddle into the warmth and softness. Healthy soft touch provides a sense of peace.
  2. Stuffies are calming. Stuffies can help children calm and soothe when life is hard. Stuffies can help distract from a painful experience or give a child courage to face a procedure. They can also become the training wheels to love a pet or as Furry did to connect with other children.
  3. Stuffies help self-soothe. Stuffies help a child self-soothe without the help of mom or dad or grandparents. Stuffies are a source of stress relief. Stuffies give emotional well being when life can be scary, strange or just new.
  4. Stuffied encourage development of empathy and compassion. Stuffies are loveable and children connect to them.


  1. Stuffies whisper nice things to children and help them work out unsolved problems by speaking the problem aloud plus children whisper nice things back to Stuffies. They practice positive and loving speech.
  2. Stuffies listen. Stuffies know how to remain quiet when a child is talking and not step on their thoughts or words. You can tell a story to a stuffie and they pay attention to every word.
  3. Stuffies are available. Stuffies never ignore a child when a child needs comfort. Stuffies do not take time to watch a sports show, talk on the phone, play video games or look at their cell phones. Unless Stuffies are pretending they are usually not busy with laundry, or work, or cleaning.
  4. Stuffies understand what you are saying. Stuffies know and understand the language of each special child.


  1. Stuffies understand acceptance. Stuffies help children test emotions. Sometimes we are kissed, pulled, and dropped. Stuffies are positive and they help increase the positive.
  2. Stuffies practice life skills. Stuffies are fed and put to bed. Stuffies play doctor and dentist, they ride buses, and trains, and go to school. They help build the responsibility of caring for another thing, remembering to pick it up and keeping track of a Stuffie so you do not lose your friend. Stuffies usually need care and attention daily especially in the early morning and going to bed times.
  3. Stuffies go places. Stuffies become the transitional object that allows a child to feel safe and connected in new or more challenging environments (doctors, hospitals, visiting others). Stuffies feed imaginations and are great at pretending.
  4. Stuffies are friends. Stuffies are friends that love you just for being you in all your good behavior and behavior others may not understand. Stuffies are often a child’s first playmate or the playmate available when friends return home.


  1. Stuffies provide possibilities. We can’t tell you why or how, but when a Stuffie becomes REAL to a child it increases – confidence, courage, and creativity.
  2. Stuffies create goal setting. Children learn to plan new events with stuffies. They can practice their events and then be more confident when working toward the goal. Stuffies encourage children to try new things.
  3. Stuffies reach inside. Somehow a Stuffie reaches the kindness of the heart of a child and from that kindness of Stuffun-la-Muffins – the child’s lovely heart emotions for nurturing another also grow.
  4. Stuffies are conversation starters. Stuffies help children say things they may be afraid to say alone and in Furry the Penguin’s case, started a whole Kindergarten talking with a a little boy who did not have words in school.
Visit Furry The Penguin Shoppe
Click photo to purchase.

Furry The Penguin
is a Member of the Aurora
Sweet and Softer Collection.

9.5″ PERKY PENGUIN –“Mac named him, FURRY”
Silky soft and sweet to the touch!


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1. Let Us Start At The Beginning

Furry’s shared reading guided lessons are a sequence of interactive discussions, games, worksheets, and other activities to guide early learners through different concepts and skills as they learn and gain skills.

Chapter 1 – Let Us Start at The Beginning

Chapter 1 Introduces:

The cast of characters

  • One stuffed penguin, who does not yet have a name.
  • The “Littles” who are the children.
  • The “Stuffies” who are the stuffed animals who live in the Penguin Kindergarten Classroom.
  • A particular stuffie penguin is introducing the many kinds of penguins and their differences. To learn more about Penguins visit Defenders of the Wilderness or Google Penguins.

Life skills concepts

Time to talk together 

What is your name?

  • First name?
  • Middle name?
  • Last name?
  • Nickname? Do you like your nickname?

Learn together and dig deeper.

Talk with your child about how unique the child’s name is and if you know how they got their name. You can share that it is good people and animals and things have names, or we would have to say, “Hey you!” and no one would know which you, you are. Or for an animal we would call out, “Hello dog!” and that would not work too well either. And as for things, it never works very well to say, “I need that.” It is better to be more specific. Specific means you are telling more about something, so you know who is talking to or about who and what you really need instead of what you really do not want.

A long time ago, people only had only first names.

Then people had names with their jobs. So for example, John Cooper would be John who is the cooper or barrel maker who lives in my village which is a small town. A barrel maker was an important job. Before we had electricity and refrigerators and running water people kept dried food and liquids in barrels. The barrels kept the small animals from eating the food.

Often last names were added was with Son or Daughter. So Sam Benson would be Sam who is the son of Ben. And Amy Johnsdaughter would be Amy who is John’s daughter. Son is said differently in different countries, and you can learn more here. 

Sometimes it was a description of the person like John Small because he was a small size man, Susan Little because she was a tiny woman, or Tom Black because he had black hair.

In Native American/First Nations/Indigenous cultures names are often earned and a person’s name may change during a lifetime.  The name is a sacred gift and has special meaning to the person receiving the name. The name may mark an event or achievement; it may be a special animal.

Together Time

More Chapter 1 Discussion

  • Who are some of the Kindergarten Stuffies?
    • What are their names?
      (Penguin, Pony, Giraffe, Donkey, Cow, Bat, Mouse, Dog, Puppy, Poodle, Rooster, Goose, Chick, Duck, Owl, Pig, Lamb, Lion, Raccoon, Hedgehog, Fox, Tiger, Elephant, Zebra, Monkey, Cat, Bear, Rabbit, Dinosaur, Squirrel)
  • What is a secret?
    • What does “spill the beans” mean?
      (Information you know that is not to be told to others without permission)
  • What does it mean to exaggerate?
    • (To make something seem larger, more important, better, or worse than it really is)
    • Do you think zig-trillion-billion-million is a real number?

Animal skills concepts –
Learn more about penguins

Just for fun

Shared reading

Furry encourages ALL children to participate in “shared reading”.

  • Level 1: Non-verbal children.
  • Level 2: Pre-readers
  • Level 3: Early readers
  • Level 4: Reading together

Get Your Move On

Waddle Waddle
(Download curriculum Chapter One for words)

“Flap, Flap!”
“Flap, Flap!”
“Waddle, Waddle. “Waddle, Waddle”
“Flap, Flap, Flap”
That’s how penguins move.

“Flap, Flap!”
“Clap, Clap!”
“Waddle, Waddle. Waddle, Waddle”
“Flap, Clap, Flap”
That’s how penguins move.

“Flap, Flap!”
“Huddle, Huddle!”
“Waddle, Waddle. Huddle, Huddle”
“Wrap, Flap, Wrap”
That’s how penguins move.

“Flap, Flap!”
“Clap, Clap!”
“Wrap, Wrap!”
“Waddle, Waddle. Silly Sliding”
“Flap, Flip, Slip”
Penguins on the move.

More with Furry
(FREE worksheets in our curriculum)

  • Draw
  • Color
  • Write
  • Tell
  • Show
  • Make

More Penguin Lesson Plans

We encourage you to have FUN with Furry: The Little Penguins That Could – Grow and Learn with your family.

For more ideas download our FREE CURRICULUM e-book.


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Snuggle Down Cuddle Up – Red Shoes Rock Challenge

Starting the first day of any month, or any day you want to begin, Furry and Mac challenge your family to a “Snuggle Down, Cuddle Up” Challenge of one month of bedtime reading. We offer a whole bunch of FREE ideas for each chapter of Furry: The Little Penguins That Could to help children grow and families enjoy time together.

We want you and your children to cherish this time together of memory making.

Reading is a tradition that will follow your children through adulthood and these cherished moments are gifted to your future grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Table of Contents

Just click the chapter to discover fun ideas for your family

Chapter 1 Let Us Start at the Beginning…… 6

Chapter 2 About Stuffies………………………..16

Chapter 3 Stuffie Jobs……………………………23

Chapter 4 I Forgot………………………………….34

Chapter 5 More About Stuffies…………………39

Chapter 6 Let’s Begin……………………………..43

Chapter 7 The Day to be Remembered……..47

Chapter 8 Ready-Set-Go!………………………..53

Chapter 9 The New Boy and the Kids………. 60

Chapter 10 A Letter from a Boy…………………64

Chapter 11 “Snack” Penguin…………………….75

Chapter 12 Sleepover Penguin…………………..81

Chapter 13 Twin Penguins…………………………88

Chapter 14 Hello, New Penguin………………….92

Chapter 15 Furry & Mac…………………………… 97

Chapter 16 Furry & School……………………… 103

Chapter 17 A Roomful of Stuffies…………….. 107

Chapter 18 Stuffie Support……………………… 110

Chapter 19 School Days Red Shoe Days……118

Chapter 20 Stuffy? No School…………………. 127

Chapter 21 Mom Hatches a Plan!………………137

Chapter 22 The Christmas Miracle……………. 143

Chapter 23 Snow Piles are Growing………….. 153

Chapter 24 Birthday Surprise……………………. 165

Chapter 25 Thank You Thank You……………… 173

Chapter 26 Mac’s Back……………………………. 176

Chapter 27 Kindergarten Circus Graduation.. 188

Chapter 28 Penguin Classroom Wisdom……. 193

Chapter 29 First Grade Here We Come………. 197

Resources………………………………………………. 205

Red Shoes……………………………………………… 207

Yes, we can! Together we can do it……………. 208

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Be A Friend – Acceptance and Inclusion

School is starting and we are filling backpacks and getting into a routine of starting our day with our children.

School has already started for some.  Right now it is a good time to have a discussion with our kids about how to be a friend. It is especially important in having discussions about how to be a friend to children with special needs.

We need to teach ACCEPTANCE of what it means to be a good friend.
If we start teaching FRIENDSHIP maybe, just maybe we can stop bullying.

For kids with disabilities, school is scary and often very lonely.  Your child and your lessons can make a difference for those children and help them start the school year on the right foot or wheel whatever the mode of transportation.  In every classroom in our country or the world, there are children who have differences, visible and invisible disabilities, or with social struggles.  We all have Differing Abilities as we are all Unique. We all have strengths and purpose to bring to our classrooms, schools and the world.


Teaching about Friendship with those who have Differing Abilities

Acceptance, Understanding, Inclusion, and Caring.

AAcceptance that we all have differences. Everybody Matters
CCare about including Everyone.
CCompassion to reach out for someone who is sitting alone or struggles with having a friend. Be Understanding.
EEmpower your Friend.  Speak up for your friend if someone is teasing or not including someone.
PPatience and Kindness.
TTalk to your friend about what they like and talk clearly and ask them questions. Teach by being a good example.
AAbility find your friends ability and find out the interests you share in common and just play. Ask questions if you are wondering.
NNotice what a friend does well and where they have a challenge, then find ways to help your friend.  See a need, fill a need.
CCreate a friendship with someone who needs a friend and invite them to your birthday party or to do an activity outside of school.
E Everyone needs a friend! Help your friend to be included with Everyone. Invite others to play or do an activity at lunch or the playground. No one should ever be sitting alone.

“Furry The Little Penguins That Could” 

When we teach our kids to CARE,


we are all EMPOWERED.


We will have better schools, caring communities and a KINDER WORLD.

These are important skills our children will have for life.

And maybe, just maybe EVERYONE will have a FRIEND.



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Stuffed Animal Sleep Overs Encourage Reading

Did you know Stuffies can help children learn to read?

Stuffies do not care about difficulty sounding out words or missing a word or getting frustrated. They are designed to listen quietly.

One way parents have discovered to help children learning to read is take a stuffie to the library and leave it for a sleepover.  The stuffie job is exploring the library to look and read and listen to books specially picked for the child. Pictures are taken of the Stuffie reading favorite books so when

Children take their toys to a library for the night and drop them off before going home.

The animals then ‘search’ for books they want to read in the children’s absence – staff and volunteers take staged photos of the animals exploring the library and reading together.

The next day, the children collect their stuffed animals and the photos of what they did during the night.

They’re also given the books their animals ‘chose’ to read.


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Grand Opening of Furry the Penguin

Red Shoes Rock International Campaign to Start the Conversation about FASD

Meet Mac, an amazing boy with an incredible storyLet’s Start The Conversation —
FASD is REAL. And so am I. And so is Furry The Penguin.

Mac is off and running, or should we include, teetering, tottering, wobbling and rolling, with Furry. Last year, Mac and Red Shoes Rock, reached over 1/2 million people through Facebook, Twitter, InstaGram, Tumbler and Snap Chat. We reached 63 counties in 45 language – MAC WANTS TO REACH THE WHOLE WORLD.

His big buddy, RJ Formanek started the movement of Red Shoes Rock in 2013 and we are forever grateful. This is a world-wide effort.

Hello, my name is Mac and I am now eight years old. For the past five years, I have been putting on my RED SHOES and running to build awareness for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). Some people still do not believe FASD it is real. I promise you it is REALY REAL! And I am sure if you take time to get to know me you will learn A LOT about FASD and how it changes a person’s life. FASD is more prevalent that autism.

Thankfully, we are no longer hidden or hopeless. Furry and I are going to make sure of that. I also live with autism and some other challenges (over 100 of them, just to let you know).

I am still Mac. And normal to me is JUST LIKE I AM!

Furry The Penguin Shoppe is Now Open

Check out my friends here. You will meet adults, children and their families. Kind comments are appreciated. In Kindergarten, we worked on Manners!

Now you can your own Furry, penguin gear and his little friends that join us on our International Red Shoes Rock campaign. And ta’da’ this could be day we OPEN OUR STORE to share our new book Furry: The Little Penguins That Could. 

We had planned on opening on July 15, but as would be expected Squirrel and Monkey came in and messed everything up. So we are busy cleaning up their mess. 

Full curriculum coming in September 2018.
Meanwhile you can enjoy our “FREE” CAN DO FUN PAGES.

  • Coloring Sheet
  • Dot to Dot
  • Maze
  • My Ideas