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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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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