I have used Sylvanian Family in class for many years to promote language skills during small world play. I was delighted to have the opportunity to update and introduce a new aspect of the family.
The children had the chance to play with the school which they thoroughly enjoyed. I spent time with the children setting up and putting together the school building, some attachments were tricky to piece together, however overall the children were able to assist me. They particularly liked putting the stickers in and around the different parts of the school. The figures come with school clothes and bags; these clothes provide opportunities for the children to really challenge their fine motor skills, as they manipulated the clothes to fit.
The detail of the school buildings provided the children with a realistic backdrop of a school environment. The attention to detail is impressive and the quality of the school building is robust and durable – a must in a class of 30 children!!! During play the children have to engage in dialogue with each other. This is a very important part of how children’s language skills develop. In this ‘small world’ play the children have to use their own experiences and stories familiar to them. Children have to engage in a story line with others, listening and responding to each other.
The children in my class really enjoyed playing with the Sylvanian school; it allowed them to be imaginative and consolidated some aspects of their communication skills, such as introducing a storyline into their play. The Sylvanian School also allows adults to take part in play/storyline with the children, extending and challenging the language skills further. The Sylvanian Family is a very valuable resource in my class; I love the language skills it encourages during play and the children love the characters and props that allow them to be imaginative. I would highly recommend this toy for both girls and boys.
Report by Mrs Lisa Jacobson