I write here on the blog about the importance of play in a child’s world. Play is one of the most critical elements of early development and “play” is what kids enjoy naturally. The benefits of play-based learning are well established. Play encourages language and conversation which is an important foundation for literacy. It also helps build confidence and important social skills. And play develops and fosters imagination, creativity and self-expression. Essential life skills are learned through play, and that this cannot be undervalued. Most importantly, play is fun. And kids need a lot of it.
I am a big advocate of play-based learning in preschool and at home. And my favourite kind is the free, “unstructured” (read: unsupervised) play. I love observing my kids immersed in imaginative play, acting out their own narrative. Role playing “mums and dads” is their favourite game and can be quite, er, “revealing”. When my kids were very young I tired of floor play easily. Puzzles were not my thing and let’s face it, stacking up cups and knocking them down again wears thin pretty quickly (for the parents, that is)!
My favourite type of play is the creative, imaginative kind and I don’t mind joining in a bit of role-playing and improvisation. This could be a hangover from my drama days perhaps, or unfulfilled dream of being a Play School presenter (especially now Eddie Perfect has joined the team!).
When Miss J turned five recently we gave her something to stimulate imaginative play. We gave her A Sylvanian Families Cottage starter kit, with a selection of bunnies and furniture. Well what a hit is has been! She tore that present open so quickly and she’s been playing with it daily ever since. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy that she can happily play with her Sylvanian Families for lengthy periods of time without my involvement. Big tick. Massive tick! She’s happy role-playing alone and she’s also happy when her sisters join in. It is as equally loved by Miss 3 and Miss 6.
The collectable toy range of woodland animals including families of rabbits, cats, bears and hedgehogs is now being embraced by a second generation of Australian families, appreciating its key themes of Nature, Family and Love. Sylvanian Families is celebrating their 30th birthday and there are a wealth of ways for lovers of the nostalgic toy brand to join the festivities. From striving for the mantle of being their ‘Biggest Fan’ to adding to your collection with new toys or catching up with your favourite characters in store, there are many great ways to mark the 30th milestone. To celebrate the special year, Sylvanian Families has announced a major national competition to unearth their Biggest Fan – from children to adults who have amassed a prized collection. To enter the Biggest Fan competition visit the Sylvanian Families Australia Facebook page
Sylvanian Families allows for hours of endless creative possibilities and it’s sure to be a big hit this Christmas among parents looking to educate through playtime.
Exclusive NASD Giveaway
As part of their 30th Birthday celebrations, Sylvanian Families is giving away a Cosy Cottage Starter Home valued at $50. The Cosy Cottage is the ideal starter home for your Sylvanian Families. The first floor of the cottage can be removed to extend to the ground floor which can be filled with furniture to create a cosy home. The Set includes Freya Chocolate Rabbit, a bed, table and chairs, oven, sink and accessories. Suitable from 3 yrs+
Simply comment below in 50 words or less what you love about the Sylvanian Families range, or why you would love to introduce your kids to Sylvanian Families. Competition closes 11 November at midnight.
Conditions of entry:
- Answer the competition question below in the comments section.
- Like the NASD Facebook page.
- One entry per person.
- Open to Australian residents only.