|At last, a practical use for all those|
Have the player stand at the net, no racquet needed. Coach then lightly tosses the stuffed animals at the player. The intention is for the stuffed animals to make contact (hit) the player, so take it easy. Ideally this will help them relax and realize if they do get hit by a foam ball, it likely will not hurt.
I have done this by gently tossing foam balls at players, even other types of balls, and it is very effective if done right. But I love the stuffed animals idea for very young players. Mark claims they love it and guarantees a case of the giggles.