As part of their “Educational Play The Schleich Way’ campaign, Schleich has created a 16-page brochure that is designed to be a guide to the best imaginative play and development. It aims to bring parents important information on educational play the Schleich way with plenty of hints and tips on how to get the best from your child’s playtime and how to incorporate Schleich products into that play.
It is split into six sections and covers a variety of topics including balanced play, encouraging imagination, discovering the Schleich world of play, co-operative play, early language skills and out and about play.
Each section features useful information, comments from child psychologist Amanda Gummer and either game ideas or hints and tips for a specific area of play.
I’ve found the hints and tips on a balanced play diet particularly helpful. As parents we all hear about how important a balanced and healthy diet is to our children, but we don’t ever hear about a balanced play diet, which according to the brochure, is just as important to a child’s development. While I always try to give the boys as much variety as possible when it comes to activities and playtime, it’s hard to know exactly what you should be offering them and I’ve enjoyed being able to refer to the guide for advice on active play, creative play, social play and free play – the 4 ingredients of a balanced play diet.
The guide also has some brilliant game ideas; from parachute play and group songs that encourage teamwork and cooperative play to a game of i-spy that stimulates their mind when out and about. One of the boys’ favourite games is “What’s The Animal?” which involves me taking one of their Schleich animals out of the toy box and then pretending to be that animal in the hope that they can guess what I am.
They also enjoy playing zookeepers by building a pretend zoo and setting up different habitats for all of the animals. It’s a great way for them to use their imagination whilst also learning how to care for animals, what they like to eat etc. We have quite the collection of Schleich products now, so we also use this game as an opportunity to match up the baby animals with the mummy animals.
Imaginative and creative play is such an important way for children to learn about the world as it ensures they can express themselves through play both verbally and non-verbally. Schleich toys are positioned in a playground within a child’s imagination, where everything is possible. They provide children with an opportunity to act out a particular story themselves, mixing different play worlds and animals to create their very own adventures. There’s no rules or limits or instructions – children are free to create all kinds of pretend and make-believe scenarios.
Schleich’s values are built around education and play, and that’s evident both in this brochure and in their products, all of which are developed with the assistance of parents, teachers and children. The quality of Schleich products is head and shoulders above others in the market (in my personal opinion) – The figurines are designed specifically for small hands, so are sturdy and durable while being as realistic and natural as possible.
The Schleich Farm World Collection of figures and playsets provide an early introduction into the world of nature around them and encourage play by engaging children’s curiosities about farm animals and their habitats. The collection is a favourite amongst children with much-loved animal figures that can be added to larger farm buildings and equipment.
The Schleich Wild Life Collection gives children the opportunity to explore the savannah, dive into a fascinating underwater world, explore the arctic, discover the many species of the jungle or enjoy a fascinating forest walk.
You can find out more information about Schleich and view the full collection of products on their website here.