Sometimes in our quest to give our kids the best education we can, we forget that curriculum is more than books, math manipulatives, and answer books. I was reminded of this when I received a box of Schleich figures in the mail.
Schleich is a German company that prides itself on their hand painted, durable, molded figures. The catalog divides the 500+ available figurines into:
World of Nature
- Farm Life
World of History
- Prehistoric Animals (each of these comes with a booklet of information)
- The World of Knights
- The World of American Indians
World of Fantasy
- The Smurfs (yes, the blue ones from your childhood)
|Schleich figures I received (ignore the green patch --that's a homemade saddle)|
All the figures we received were from The World of Nature. This includes a gnu, a gnu calf, a horse, a Dartmoor Pony, an okapi, an elephant, a donkey, and a piglet. These figures, while plastic, are a heavy plastic that reminds me of a hard rubber. The figurines feel solid in your hands, and are balanced to easily stand up. And unlike cheaper figurines, the eyes are painted in the right place and the markings on the animals are very realistic, including the silver horseshoes on the Dartmoor pony.
|Silver horseshoes on Dartmoor Pony|
These could easily be played with and inspire the right questions, like "Where does this animal live," or "What is it closely related to," instead of "Why won't this darn animal stand up," or "Why is its eyes crooked," or "Does that color combination really occur in nature?"
I really liked the quality of these animals, and although my kids have mostly outgrown the farm animals, Dragonette was thrilled to see an okapi, a favorite animal of hers that it seems no one else has ever heard of. My kids were very interested in the Bayala group of figures in the catalog, and I loved seeing the Smurfs, which were a favorite in my house growing up. So I guess you could say there is a figurine available for all ages in this catalog.
While you can see the full catalog on line, you cannot buy directly from the company. You can search for a local retailer (for instance, Target and Toys "R" Us) or you can buy them on line (Amazon and a variety of toy stores).
This product is a great way to spark some imagination in your kids, something that is just as important as multiplication tables and parts of speech.