As a psychotherapist and, more importantly, as a mom, I am always looking for toys that are fun and have a focus on child development.  Don’t get me wrong; I want my kids to play and have fun.  Children grow, learn, and thrive when they are playing and having fun.  But I also see the benefit of choosing well-made toys that take child development into consideration.

There are a lot of poorly made toys on the market today.  There are a lot of dolls that appear dangerously thin and overly made-up targeted for very young girls, and a lot of destructive toys that are geared for very young boys.  I know, boys do tend to gravitate toward monster trucks and (gasp) toys with guns, and girls do love those very pretty blonde dolls.  But that doesn’t mean that their toy collections have to stop there.

I love it when a great new toy hits the market.

Enter Poofin.

Poofin is a toy designed by parents with the simple goal of celebrating what makes children unique.  It is a toy that helps develop self-esteem.  It is a toy that reminds children that their many different interests are what make them special.  It is a toy that celebrates similarities and differences.  It is a toy that builds character.

Poofin is a super soft star shaped pillow with a hole in the center.  The Poofin is very cuddly and makes a great pillow for a long car or airplane ride.  But it doesn’t stop there.  Each child fills their Poofin with charms (small rectangular pillows) that describe their likes and interests.  The Poofin Store has a large variety of pre-printed charms to choose from, and you can upload photos or other images to personalize them even more.  Over time, kids fill their Poofins with these little reminders of what makes them great.

Riley's Poofin and charms

Poofin sent Riley a pink star pillow with a variety of charms:  A personalized charm from a picture that I uploaded, a cat, books, Earth, a brown eye, and paint brushes and paint.  She loved it!  I didn’t tell her it was coming because I wanted to see a genuine reaction.  She ran around the family room exclaiming, “look!  I have my very own pillow with me on it!” and, “these are all of my favorite things!”  Liam wondered where his blue Poofin might be (oops).  Thankfully, the nice moms behind Poofin stuck in a blue racecar charm especially for him.

Riley with her two "favorite" charms

I love the idea of a toy that helps build self-esteem and reminds kids that they are unique.

I also love the idea of a toy that can be used as a comfort item for traveling (or when parents travel and kids need a transitional object).

Riley snuggling with her Poofin

And I love the idea of sending a Poofin along on a play date with another Poofin owner.  It’s a great way for kids to share their own interests and learn from someone with different interests.  It would make an amazing show and tell tool for schools.

And if that’s not enough…you can actually use the charms as a word identification tool for toddlers (although Poofin is recommended for ages 3+).

Poofin is the kind of toy that grows with kids.  While a three year old might enjoy the filling and emptying of the star pillow, a six year old will enjoy sharing it with friends and taking it on sleepovers.

My daughter enjoys her Poofin, and I’m sure yours will too.  The holidays are just around the corner…why not head over to the Poofin Store today?


Disclosure:  I was not compensated for this post.  Poofin sent me a Poofin pillow with seven charms for review.  The opinions expressed in this post are my own.

About Katie

Katie Hurley is a Child, Adolescent, and Family Psychotherapist and Parenting Expert in Los Angeles, CA. She works in private practice in the South Bay area of Los Angeles, writes for PBS Parents, Washington Post Parents, and the Huffington Post. She is the author of "The Happy Kid Handbook: How to Raise Joyful Children in a Stressful World" (Tarcher/Penguin, 2015) and "No More Mean Girls: The Secret to Raising Strong, Confident, and Compassionate Girls" (Penguin Random House, 2018)