Educational Play the Schleich Way
Free Educational Play and Development Brochure
Schleich have been working closely with renowned Child Psychologist Dr Amanda Gummer to create a free to download 16 page brochure designed to be a guide to the best in imaginative play and development. Children can learn so much through play and the best part is they don’t even realise they are learning, they just think they’re having a great time. With each of my Beans I have taken them to play sessions set up by the local Children’s Centre or playgroups and they really help children to development imagination, self confidence and language skills but if you don’t have access to these type of groups it is easy to set it up yourself at home.
Balanced Play Diet
There are four different types of ‘play’ which are essential to a child’s Balanced Play Diet; Social Play, Creative Play, Active Play and Free Play. Just like we all need a healthy balanced diet in order for bodies to grow strong and healthy, a child needs a Balanced Play Diet in order for them to develop essential life skills. With children aged 3 to 14 years we know the importance of limiting screen time otherwise they become withdrawn and lack the ability to socialise properly, they become irritable and ‘hard work’ so for that reason we only allow them to have a screen between 7.30am and 8.00 am in a morning and from 5pm to 6.30pm in an evening. Since limiting this time we have noticed a BIG difference in their social skills.
Likewise, we also try to encourage some social play so that they learn to share and interact with others, this is a time that I find particularly interesting when I hear one telling the other “your tiger has to do this now and then my giraffe will run away” – it becomes clear to see who the alpha child is within our house. Points awarded for guessing which one! In many game play situations we find the difference in ages of the children can cause friction but the moment you introduce role play, they completely level out and play together well. They play games like; Zoos, Pirates, Paleontologists, Explorers . . . you name it! The Schleich models are incredibly lifelike which makes game-play even more fun and convincing but each child has their favourite sets.
Beanie Boy loves the dinosaurs and is very good at remembering the names of them, way better than I ever could. The attention to detail on Schleich figures is hands down the best I have seen on models ever, each one is handpainted and made to last. Testament to this are the two smaller dinosaurs seen here, we have been looking for them since last Summer but couldn’t find them anywhere. Then when we were sorting the toys outside in the garden to start getting it ready for the children to play out over half term, we found them in the bark area behind the garage. They had been outside since last Summer, in all weathers and still look like new. You will often find Beanie Boy’s toys make their way into the garden because he loves Active Play, he loves to be outdoors and will always have a handful of figures with him. He uses other toys, boxes, garden furniture and plants to create territories for the animals or new ‘worlds’ for the models to live in and will keep himself amused for hours at a time.
Now I haven’t done this one in a long time but when Beanie Boy was very little we had lots of fun doing painting with the feet of his Scheich Dinosaurs to create fun dino print artwork. In fact it wasn’t until I read the Schleich brochure that I even remembered we had done it, just a fun and simple game that kept him entertained for ages. Providing you use water based paints the paint will was right off and no harm will come to the models.
Jelly Bean has a lot of free play time when the Beans are at school, he’s a child on his own who knows exactly what he wants to do. When it is just JB and I at home he loves to be in ‘the little lounge’ as he calls it (the Playroom) and will often tell me “you go and do stuff Mummy” which means he wants to be left to play by himself. He never fails to surprise me as he will change his toys almost daily but will stick with one playset for the majority of the day and he talks non-stop to his toys. I think being the youngest he likes this quiet time to himself and the opportunity to play without someone stealing something from him. When he decides he has had enough he will come and ask me to play with him or to do crafts.
When Little Bean and Beanie Boy were younger I used to set up ‘Invitations to Play’ so I would get them out a set of toys and let them play but I felt this didn’t give them the option to use their imagination so much so I took a step back. It was then that I started to see their own tastes and thought processes coming through. If you take the time to stand back and watch every now and then rather than grabbing the opportunity to get some chores done whilst they are busy playing you will see how amazing your children are.
A Schleich Model for everyone
We have had Schleich figures and playsets in our family since Curly was a little boy. We bought a Castle made from Balsa Wood at a car boot which Nanny turned into the most amazing castle you have ever seen with her modelling skills. Then over time we added to the castle with Knights, Kings, Queens, Horses, Ghosts and Ghouls from the Schleich range. Curly has always had a keen interest in Castles, Knights, History and Wars so this was the perfect playset for him as he would re-enact wars that he had read about or from what we were learning when we visited Castles as a family. We still have all of his playset at Nanny’s house for when the children visit Nanny and Grandad. They are still as good today as they were the day we bought them over 10 years ago after many a battle, rampage and war.
Little Bean loves all of the mythical creatures and virtually any animal that has been featured on Deadly 60. What she doesn’t know about Deadly Animals isn’t worth knowing, she is like a sponge soaking up all the information and she uses her knowledge in her play. After her recent birthday celebrations where she went horse-riding with friends she has been reading up on horses and will focus much of her play on horses. I even bought her the two smaller Schleich horses to stand on the top of her birthday cake because they reminded her of Na-Na and Tinkerbell whom she rode at the stables. She asked lots of questions when she was riding and has put that information to good use with her trio of horses when playing at home.
Role playing is a great way not only for your children to learn about the world around them but also a great way for you to learn about your children and I would highly recommend using Schleich for his kind of game play because there are so many to choose from and you can pick the exact one you want without having to buy a full set. They are perfect pocket money toys and will be in the family for years to come.
DISCLAIMER: We were gifted some Schleich models for the purpose of this post however many of these are our own. All words, opinions and images are our own and may not be copied without my permission. I have not been instructed what to write.