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Stuffies Help Children With Emotional Development

Cuddle Up Challenge

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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Free: Furry Inclusion Valentines

Mackie has his valentines ready for his classroom party. Taking the characters from the story, we made coloring cards with color crayons for his classmates.

Glue Stick
Double Sided Tape
Colored Cardstock or Construction Paper
Hole Punch
Coloring crayon packages
Envelopes- 4.75 in x 6.5 in.

There are four different Valentines on a sheet and a teacher card sheet in the download.

Cut 4.75 inch x 6.5 inch colored cardstock/construction paper backs.
Apply glue to the back sides and center on the colored paper backs.
Use a hole punch to punch two holes if wanted and tie with ribbon.
Have your child sign the back of the valentines before putting on the crayons.

Search Etsy for Children’s Name Stamps

Mackie struggles with writing his name. We purchased a stamp with his name on it for him to be able to “write” his name like his classmates.

Cut apart the Valentines list and glue the names

For kids who struggle writing the names on the Valentines, cut the list into strips and glue them to the envelopes. Accommodation and setting up our kids to be able to do their Valentines for their friends means we have to think out of the box.

Furry has Valentines for his friends!

We even found Valentines for Furry to give the classmates at the Target Dollar Spot. Furry Stretchy Penguins!

Safe treats for everyone!

His teacher reached out to check to see what Mac could have for the party and she is making sure he is included and not left out due to his complex food allergies and intolerances. Due to Mac’s shortened school day, the party is moved to the morning so Mac can be there with his friends. A parent checked in to see what treats he can have and I found Black Forest Organic Valentines Gummy Bears that are dye-free and gluten-free for his friends to put with his Valentines!

Now all that is left is for Mom to make gluten-free Crispie Bars for the classmates and Mac. Planning ahead we are making sure that everyone has a great Valentines Party.

Happy Valentines Day from Mac, Furry and the Friends at the Little School That Could!

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Educate the Teacher About Your Child: A Back-to-School Introduction Letters-free download

Writing a “Dear Teacher” letter is an important tool to start the school year.

I learned early on that writing a letter to Becca’s teacher was an important tool to help her with starting school.  I continued the tradition with writing Mac’s Dear Teacher Letter at the start of the school year.  A simple version of the letter is contained within Furry and Macs story.

Back-to-school introduction letters

I found this valuable resource from
Download your FREE Back-to-school Introduction Letters.

“Writing a back-to-school introduction letter to your child’s teacher can help get the school year off to a good start. It’s also a great way to start building a positive relationship.

You can use the letter to share important facts about your child and the strategies that have worked in the past. For example, you can call out any accommodations your child may use.

Involving your child can help him build self-awareness, too. Tell him, “Your new teacher may not know the same things about you as last year’s teacher. Let’s write a letter to give her an idea of what you like to do, what you do well and where you may need some extra help.” (Filling out a self-awareness worksheet can get your child thinking about it.)

Use these back-to-school-introduction letters as guides. There’s one for older kids and one for younger ones. You can use the one for older kids to gather information to write a more traditional letter if you and your child prefer that approach.”

I hope you have a great school year!

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The Night Before School Starts (Trauma Informed)

Trauma Edition

It Was The Night Before School Started
By Ann Yurcek

 It was the Night before school started

And all through the house,
Not one person was sleeping not even the mouse.

The children were anxious and worried with fright.
While Mom was all worried things wouldn’t go right.

The backpacks were packed and set out with care.
While visions of morning haunted Mom with a scare.

Her children were anxious and for them school was tough

Would the teacher understand or makes things too rough?

For children of trauma, school can be drama.

Or was it school can be drama for children of trauma

School is anxiety and too much change.

They cannot learn when all is not arranged.

When everything’s new the children are blue.
Mom checked her list for fidgets and chewls?

The IEP papers were approved but Mom has her doubt.
Would the school help her children or cause them to act out.

While Tommy cannot sit still, and Sally can’t read,

Mom knows that they have different kinds of needs.

Would her children find empathy and understanding

Or would they be bullied and met with demanding?

Mom woke up the children and into the pack I went,
to help the children was the job I was sent.

Mom kissed the children and hugged them goodbye,
The children put on their courage and tried not to cry.

One foot in front of another, off the children, went.
To be met by a smile that was heaven sent.

Each school can make a difference for those who are left out.
With trauma-informed teachers and accepting students with FRIENDSHIP throughout!

Everybody Matters.

Wishing everyone a productive and calm school year!

©2018 Furry The Penguin

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Telepresence Robot Buddies for Home Based Students

“BUDDY DOUBLE ROBOT” can provide a telepresence into a classroom for children who must remain home due to illness, injury, or disability. This “Buddy Double” can move through the classroom and record learning experiences providing in classroom participation when you cannot be in class.

In addition, studies show that humanoid robots can act as peers and help give autistic children the social skills they need…

For children like Mac, Stuffies can become Emotional Support Partner and for some children, Robots as buddies in a similar way.

Maja Matari,a professor of computer science, neuroscience, and pediatrics at the University of Southern California, who has done several studies on humanoid robots and how they can act as peers and help give autistic children the social skills they need states, “Something very special happens when you put a machine and person together.”

Plus, Double saves schools money.



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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