My Friend Huggles Brings Cheerfulness to Haiti!

Big Dolls Making a Big Difference. 

Haiti project photo

This summer, two students at the School of Physical and Occupational Therapy at McGill University found a way to bring My Friend Huggles to people who need them.

With the help of the Institute for Health and Social Policy, they travelled all the way to Haiti to support an ongoing training program that is one of the most important initiatives to train rehabilitation providers. Haiti is the poorest country in the Western hemisphere with 80% of its population of 10 million living in great poverty (PAHO 1998). Haiti also has the lowest level of healthcare spending in the Western hemisphere.

My Friend Huggles dolls allowed them to help teach treatment techniques, so that kids could have access to the healthcare they need. Moreover, the Kira dolls brought a smile to many kids in the rehabilitation room while they were there for therapy.

A little smile goes a long way.

My Friend Huggles can make someone’s day.

Enter your chance to WIN a Kira doll! Click HERE!

Picking a toy that has longevity, advice from a Mom that has seen them all.

What do you look for in a toy or doll purchase? Which are the toys that are not merely dust collectors but have the potential to become family heirlooms? My children are now twelve and fourteen and I can assure you the products that moved through my house were numerous. Blocks, cups, trains, trucks, cars, planes, animal sets, people, babies, puppets, plastic food and the list could go on. Endless amounts of stuff. Numerous gifts, purchases, all given with the hope that the money spent would be of value and contribute to my son or daughters life. Continually I hunted for items that would entertain my kids, make them happy, make them feel, provide them with skills and make them think. All the stuff we sign up for right? All the things we vow to do as good parents. Well, looking back I find myself wondering if somewhere along the line we’ve lost the simplicity of what a child needs and wants. I write this, because of all the items my husband and I purchased, the simplest toy had longevity above all others.

To this day a life-size monkey graces our family’s memory chest. Denny, as we called him, was carried everywhere for several years, was the constant companion our boy watched TV with and was the friend that was snuggled up beside him in bed for eight years. Still now, when I see that monkey I can see my son’s sweet little face asleep beside him, his small arms wrapped tightly around his neck – for this visual Mom, irreplaceable, reoccurring memories. So I ask again, what do you look for in a toy or doll purchase and which are the toys that have the potential to become family heirlooms? This Mom can recommend you look for a life-size, plush, cuddly companion for your son or daughter. My son had his monkey; I only wish My Friend Huggles life-sized, plush dolls were around when my daughter was little.

A Huggles Mom

Our My Friend Huggles doll has been a constant sidekick for our daughter with ASD

Our My Friend Huggles doll has been a constant sidekick for our daughter with ASDMy daughters’ rec’d their Huggles this past Christmas from Santa. It was a big hit with both girls! I recommended to Santa that Huggles would be a great addition to their ever-growing collection of toys. They do not flash or have loud music coming from interior speakers (thank goodness), they won’t teach the girls to count, read or do multiplication tables. They do however offer an opportunity for our girls to have a friend with them wherever they go. My girls just love their Huggles. They’ve napped, had lunch and of course, had tea parties with them. They have also opened up new opportunities for me and my husband to help teach and encourage good values such as fairness, sharing and kindness using their Bia Huggles.

I was so impressed with these Huggles; I purchased them for some of my friends at work to give to their children. One of my friends has a child with a serious medical condition and visits the local children’s hospital often for tests and procedures. I have heard that her Huggle, Rubi has been a constant companion on her frequent medical trips and stays, always by her side.

I also purchased a Sofia for a friend with a child on the autism spectrum, not unlike one of my own children. Many times kids on the autism spectrum have difficulty socializing with their peers. Our Huggle has been a constant sidekick for my daughter with ASD and a great conversation starter for her when she meets new children.

We are very grateful for a toy that is not only cute and lovable, but allows us another venue to teach our girls values that are evermore lacking in today’s society. I will continue to give Huggles to friends and family members with young children. It is a concept that I am supportive of and a gift I feel good giving.

Ana, A Huggles Mom!


Music Teaches Young Children Many Things

Rubi's bongoLittle children love music and can learn so much from a simple beat or pattern. Whether you simply let your child drum pots, bang spoons, or you purchase items like Rubi’s bogo, it’s important to give them musical time. They learn agility, numbers, repetition, memorization, expression of self…and the list goes on—let your little one make some noise!

Are you looking for fun educational toys for kids and for children with special needs?

Our huggable life-sized dolls are soft, plush and colourful—excellent for children with special needs. Each is themed to a character value such as honesty, fairness, gratitude, kindness, generosity, cheerfulness, courage and confidence. Through a combination of meaningful play and self-awareness we encourage multisensory learning: auditory through our original theme song “Friends Forever” and catchy “Friends jingle” which plays during our on-line animation on our website, visual through our animated web pages and photographic blog posts, and kinesthetic through the sheer size of our large dolls (little ones can improve gross motor skills through imaginary play and fine motor skills while dressing and redressing our large dolls in toddler sized clothing). At My Friend Huggles we recognize that the greatest child development is achieved when all three styles of learning are available.

We will be at the Nurnberg Toy Fair (Hall C-39), January 30-February 4, 2013 and at the New York Toy Fair (Booth #1255, 3rd. bevel – Hall 3d) February 10-13, 2013, please come by!