A very important part of my parenting is teaching my children to be kind, caring and compassionate people. I emphasise the importance of looking after one another, protecting our planet and being respectful to the creatures we share our planet with. I strongly believe that the best way to teach children is through setting a good example. At Christmas we always perform an act of charity, we make our garden inviting for wildlife throughout the year, we recently adopted a turtle from WWF and we are signed up to a Volunteer scheme helping families who are going through a difficult time.
As much as I teach the boys about kindness and compassion, it is important for them to explore ideas for themselves through play. Then last week Fisher Price sent me some research that shows children as young as three are restricted in their development because they are spending too much time in front of a screen. I have researched and written about the effects caused by babies and toddlers watching too much TV previously, so I was very interested in the new research commissioned by Fisher Price.
Following on from this research, Fisher Price have released a new range of Little People toys that aim to encourage children to engage in lessons of kindness, sharing and caring for others through play. The characters that are part of this new Little People range are a lot like children, with their own personalities and quirks. Fisher Price hope that the new range will help encourage the development of children’s emotional intelligence by enabling them to learn about themselves, their emotions and others by acting out social situations in their play.
We were sent the new Fisher Price Little People Caring for Animals Farm, which is part of this new range to test out. The boys couldn’t wait to get the box open and spent no time at all is setting up their own little farm scene.
The Caring for Animals Farm set is really easy to set up, with very little assembly. The set has a number of different parts to it for children to explore. There are four stable areas for animals to sleep in and attached to the divide between two of these is a ‘blanket’, which children can use to tuck the animals in at night. There is also a nest area for a chicken and her chicks, a corn crop tower which can be rotated, a hayloft, a metal bell and some feed for the animals. The set comes with the farm building, farmer, horse, cows, pigs and chicken.
Both of the boys have loved playing with this set and exploring all of the features. There are two buttons on the farm building, one hatches the eggs and the other lights up the wall light and activates sounds. Monkey in particular loved the songs that played when he pushed the button and Bear enjoyed ringing the bell to let the animals know is was time for dinner.
It was interesting watching the boys move the ‘feed’ to different stables so all of the animals could eat and then they tucked the cows in for the night but wrapping them in the blanket. Bear then made sure all the doors were shut on the stables before he put the farmer to bed. Once everyone was in bed, Monkey waved them all goodnight before ringing the bell and starting the scene all over again.
The idea behind the set is to encourage children to share and become aware of caring for the animals. Because there are so many different elements to this set, the boys found it very easy to share and actually played out the scene together. I always make a conscious effort to show them how to be caring for animals, so it was really lovely to see them acting these lessons through play.
The Fisher Price Little People, Caring for Animals Farm set is such a lovely toy and one I’d really recommend for toddler and pre-schoolers.
The Fisher Price Little People, Caring for Animals Farm set is for children aged 12m+ and retails at £34.99.
*Note: The Fisher Price Little People, Caring for Animals Farm set was sent to me in return for an honest review.