In school we love Happy Land. It is really durable and has many different community scenarios. I was able to set up a ‘small world’ environment, which consisted of a family home, school, police & shops.
There are characters that match each scenario. These characters are realistic, versatile & diverse. The children are able to use the features of the characters to initiate dialogue when engaging in small world play. Combining the communities encourages the children to draw on the language they use at home & with adult intervention children are able to extend their language skills when playing with these toys. When children play with Happy Land they are continually developing their negotiation skills, taking turns in conversation and more importantly following and engaging in a storyline. These speaking & listening skills are the early steps to good overall literacy skills.
I highly recommend Happy Land for educational play. It encourages many areas of learning and the children really enjoy playing with it. It develops language & communication skills, personal & social skills (turn taking) and knowledge & understanding skills as the child make sense of their world through small world play.
Happyland toys can be purchased online and instore from the Early Learning Centre.
By Mrs Lisa Jacobson.