I saw the beanie babies used as a reinforcement/teaching tool for reading decoding strategies in the younger grade. I knew that many of my kids still needed reminders with "flipping the sounds" or getting mouths ready when they attempted to decode multisyllabic words. What I didn't know is if my third graders would use the stuffed animals or just laugh at them! Let me tell you, third graders are NOT too old for them. My kids used them and referred to them all year! One of their favs was "chunky monkey". Our class monkey was used not only to help them read but also to attempt spellings of unknown words. I think by this age, kids get what they are intended for and can apply the strategies they represent more effectively. So let them be the kids they are and get yourself a set of beanie babies!
6 hours ago