Educational Play the Schleich Way

I was recently contacted and asked to review a 16 page brochure which Schleich has created, the guide is designed to give parents ideas to help them get the best out of their child’s playtime, focusing on imaginative play and development. You will know that as a family we are fans of Schleich animals from the review I wrote on their new farm life products. Therefore I was very interested to see what the guide had to say as I have completely brought into the idea of play based learning and try to build it into Monkey’s daily routine.

Educational Playthe Schleich Way

The benefits of imaginative play are extensive:

  • Creates opportunities for exploration– it allows them to practice what they see/how they perceive adults interacting and helps them to learn how the world works
  • Creative thinking – as they play they make up their own storylines and games and if playing in a group or pair it encourages negotiation and cooperation
  • Helps with language development – both through role playing but also through parental involvement
  • Gives them self esteem – to control their own play, which in turn leads to feelings of confidence and security
  • Helps develop emotional intelligence – via social cues, recognise and regulate emotions and the taking of turns

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The guide has been endorsed by Dr Amanda Gummer with her comments throughout the brochure. Amanda is a renowned child psychologist and has over 20 years experience working with children and families. I am really impressed with the guide which is free, you can download your own copy by clicking on the badge above or on my sidebar opposite.

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It touches on..

  • The importance of unscheduled play time and suggests different types of play which your child should engage in
  • Ways to entice them away from the digital world with actual ideas you could suggest for miniature world play – something which I struggle with.
  • Social development and how to help children play cooperatively with group game ideas
  • How to encourage language skills through play and what to look for when choosing toys
  • Suggestions for play when you are out and about i.e. queuing at the post office or in the car

Naturally Schleich animals can help with all of the above. Monkey will often loose himself in small world play and had always had a fascination with animals since he was tiny. Where possible I encourage him to play with his, with a selection of fabric scraps to mimic their natural habitats or create a more true to life farm environment. Or where possible outside with different play materials such as ice and sand.

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I have always thought the quality of the Schleich animals to be be first rate. I know they are more expensive than some other cheaper options, but the are extremely lifelike, actually stand up (how annoying is it when you get a plastic animal that doesn’t?) and prices start from £2.99. We have started a tradition of buying a couple of the animals when we visit a zoo or similar which also has the added bonus of not bringing home various gift shop tat. Building a collection over time teaches patience as well, we would quite often buy a Daddy, Mummy and baby version of a particular animal. (Although now I am going to need to buy the additional baby!). I want toys which will stand up to a little bit of rough play after all Monkey is a boy and still look like they should when Kipper is old enough to play with them too. As a quality brand I know that Schleich will deliver on these requirements.

You can see the full range of Schleich toys on their website and they can be purchased from your local branch of Smyths along with other high street retailers. I will definitely be using some of the ideas from the guide and I really encourage you to have a look. On the back page of the guide you will find details on how to enter to win £100 worth of Schleich toys by answering a simple question. The competition is open until 31st December 2016, I’ve entered I hope you do to. Good Luck.

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We were provided with some animals and a copy of the guide for the purpose of this review all opinions are my own.

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30 Comments

  1. Over Heaven's Hill

    I’ve never heard of schleich. Your review is great i’d consider looking into these, thanks so much #bloggerclubuk

  2. Rambles, Rants, Writings

    I’m certainly going to read the guide! I love the way that educational based play instils confidence in children and I have a four-year-old myself who enjoys this type of play (youngest of three). I had never actually heard of the Schleich brand but I’m going to check-out the guide now, because it sounds great for us! Thank-you for this insightful post – it’s fab! Janet, #BloggerClubUK

  3. threedifferentdinners

    Toy animals are brilliant for play and conversation. Shy children will often respond better to a toy cow or a penguin puppet asking them a question than they would to a proper grown up person. I love these Schleich animals – really great quality! #BloggerClubUK

  4. Midge Peacock

    They are fab toys and love that the guide is free! Small world toys like animals are so good for little people’s development and add a cardboard box and some pens and you can keep them entertained for hours! Also funny how some pre-schoolers are reluctant to draw on paper but ask them to decorate a box for the cows to live in and they’ll be there for ages! #BloggerClubUk

  5. scamperandtwirl

    This is great and well timed for us, I was thinking how I’d like to get some more animals for my daughter to play with. Maybe this would be a good idea now she is starting to be dragged into iPads and Disney (aargh!)

    Perhaps I’ll look through the catalogue with her and we can choose some. Trying to create the natural habitats is a great idea too! #BloggerClubUK

  6. Lucy (@Lucy_at_home)

    I am a big fan of development through play. When my daughter was younger (nursery age), she and I would make her toys ‘talk’ and I would find out all kinds of things about her thoughts and feelings of the real world as she acted them out with her toys. I also think it’s an excellent idea to build up a collection when you go to different places! I might suggest that for future visits! #BloggerClubUK

    P.S. I don’t know if it’s just me but I don’t seem to be able to download the booklet?

  7. Becky, Cuddle Fairy

    We really enjoy schleich toys. They last the best of any animal toys we have bought & they are so realistic. Monkey has a lovely set up there, my boys would love to join him for a play! #BloggerClubUK

  8. Hayley McLean

    Ah we love Schleich toys! My 3 year old is very into small world play, and I love to incorporate things like sand and “mud” into the mix – I was a nursery nurse before having kids so we used to do a lot of those activities and I have a reserve of ideas to use with my own! #bloggerclubuk

  9. randommusings29

    Imaginative play is so important and a great way for children to learn and explore their environment. I remember reading your review on the animals, they are fab quality 🙂
    Debbie

  10. josandelson

    i’m sure i’ve seen these at our toyshop and had a little play with them myself. Used to enjoy creating fun displays like you’ve done with them. Love the giraffes in the grass – look like they’re having a good time and thinking hope mrs Mudpie isn’t coming to weed the jungle anytime soon 😉 Jo

  11. occupation:(m)other

    Oh I love this – my mother in law started buying my son Schleich animals and we continued with a mini lot in his stocking. I’ve always like the idea of a collection a nd a collection to be added to over time. And I agree these are such fantastic quality. I haven’t been particularly imaginative with using them for play yet – I love the ideas of the different textures. I have downloaded the guide, thank you for a really useful post! #BloggerClubUK

  12. DomesticatedMomster

    I remember buying my son a dinosaur box that came with all kinds of ways to set up an entire exhibit of dinosaurs and their habitat. It survived all 3 kids and we are just not getting down to the last few pieces of it surviving. These days we have been playing a lot of Alphabet Go Fish (my 5 year old is having problems with letter recognition) and BINGO (my son became obsessed with the game in kindergarten) but ironically it’s fun and teaches numbers so score! Glad to see you back and doing well and enjoying that new bundle of joy! Thanks so much for hostessing #bloggerclubuk :))

  13. ShoeboxofM

    I do like Schleich toys but they are a bit out of our range so we have some cheaper animals. Like you say they don’t stand up and some of them look…off.

    Thanks for the tip on play. I tried to convince the cubs that rather than watching Dinosaur Train they make their own using the train tracks and the dinosaurs they had.

    After a little resistance they joined in even if it was to have the T-Rex stomp everything!

    #BloggerClubUK

  14. Petite Library

    Great post, it’s so interesting getting different takes on play, I totally agree, incorporating unschedule play into daily life is really important. And building on your child’s imagination at any opportunity! #BloggerClubUK

  15. Clare Thomson

    My kids have had hours of fun with Schleich. It’s a wonderful product. My youngest son in particular loves the animals but we’ve also used lots of the fantasy characters too. I couldn’t recommend them more highly. They’re now both 10 and 12 and incredibly imaginative both in their play and in their story writing. #BloggerClubUK

  16. Fionnuala Zinnecker

    We love Schleich toys in our house. They are very popular here in Germany. My middle boy called them “sneak animals” because in German the verb “schleichen” means “to sneak”, hence the noun “Scheich” must translate as “sneak”.
    ##BloggerClubUK

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