Stuffed animals allow children to safely play out many social interactions which otherwise might not seem, or be, safe.
This is my rationale for having stuffed animals, having many of them, and having them longer than really was necessary.
My favorite was a pink pig given to me when I was eight, years before Sesame Street’s Miss Piggy hogged the limelight. Mine wasn’t a Miss at all. It was a little generic pig I noticed in a display in a ladies’ store, not a toy store. I think it was a prop.
I executed my first tactical maneuver to get what I wanted from Mom and I wanted the pig. My plan was forthright. I begged for it every day for about 2 months before Christmas. When not begging, I looked pouty so Mom could tell I was thinking about my little pig. I even got around to insinuating helpful things I might do for Mom IF I GOT MY PIG. I was cautious not to promise, just insinuate. Finally, and this might have put it over the top, I told Dad how much I wanted my pig.
I think analysts of young behaviors might label this obsessive, which sounds bad, especially considering I scoured our closets every day before Christmas to find out if Mom had my pig bought and hidden in the house.