While I love any day that a package of homeschooling materials to review comes in the mail, I must admit that it was a particularly joyous day in our household when I opened up a box of items to review that contained TOYS!!! It was like Christmas had arrived at our household...only the mail carrier was the deliverer of the coveted goods rather than Santa and the temperature topped 90 degrees rather than bottoming out below freezing.
The reason for our glee was a box of animal figures from the German manufacturer Schleich. Schleich is a company that produces over 500 quality, realistic figurines that spark a child's imagination and provide hours of creative play. According to the introductory letter I received from the company in the mail, "The 'Schleich way to play' offers an ideal bridge from early learning books to creative play without the need for explanation or instructions. All our toys are natural and accurate copies of the animals, people, historical periods, and fantasy worlds they represent. Each toy mould is precision engineered by a German master craftsman who works on the finest details for up to six weeks. After finishing, the figurines are all painted by hand--meaning each toy is absolutely unique. Most importantly, they are durable and safe while exceeding global safety standards."
As you can infer from the above paragraph, the quality of Schleich toys is outstanding. We have many animal toys in our household, but none of these even begins to compare with the realistic, quality figures that we received from this company. My two children noticed the difference, too. Instead of clopping their plastic figurines through a plastic barnyard, my kids were suddenly transported to the jungle with these toys, and they were growling and pounding their way through the brush and trees that had apparently suddenly sprung up on my living room floor. My three-year-old son especially enjoys integrating these animals into his imaginative play.
My only potential concern with this product is the price. These toys, while not outrageously expensive, are more pricey than most toy animals. As you can see here, they range in price from about $7.00 to almost $100.00. However, I must say that after having these toys in my home, I would most certainly recommend paying the extra few dollars for toys that are this well-crafted.
If you would like to try these toys out for yourself (or your kids!), you can find them in the Kansas City area at speciality toy shops like Zoom and Arsa Toys, and they are also available at Target and Toys "R" Us. You should certainly check them out!
Some of my fellow Crew members have also been playing with Schleich toys! If you want to see their reviews, you can do so here.
Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew I was provided a free copy of this product for my honest evaluation. I was given no other compensation for this review.