I don't believe all toys need to be educational. However before I order or when my children are playing with something, I will ask myself, what does this toy bring, what does this toy offer my child?
It's no secret that my children love Playmobil. I feel there is real value in the type of play that Playmobil sets offer.
I have found playing with Playmobil promotes;
- role play
- social and environmental awareness
- imaginative play
- fine motor skills and coordination
- development of storylines and storytelling
- character development (in stories)
- knowledge of and learning about roles of people within our community (firefighter, police, ship captains)
- problem-solving skills
- language development, specifically conversational language
- independent and engaged play
- sharing and cooperation - when being used by more than one child
- potential to learn about different cultures and geographical locations.
Although these are not open-ended toys, items like the ship can be any ship, we like to pretend this one is a research vessel just like the RRS Sir David Attenborough. Or it could be the Steve Irwin (Sea Shepherd) or just a fun cruise ship sailing the Pacific Ocean... or the Indian Ocean! There are learning opportunities everywhere.
I love Playmobil because it is so detailed. The opening doors, the chairs, the cups and glasses, bags that open, the binoculars, the snorkels, the animals and the people. It engages my children like nothing else (perhaps Lego) does. It is because of the details that my children will play with Playmobil for hours and develop complex storylines!
This set is the Playmobil Cruise Ship, it is so entertaining. The size of the ship blew Otis (6 yrs) away and there is so much in the pack, so many animals and characters to play with. If your child loves the ocean or sea creatures, this would be a wonderful gift idea.
Our Playmobil Cruise Ship with all the accessories is c/o Parent Direct. You can see more pictures of our cruise ship here. Parent Direct has a large range of Playmobil. Otis adores the Adventure Tree House which we highly recommend. We have also given the Playmobil Space Shuttle as gifts and it has been well received (if your child loves space have a look at the Space Rocket with Base Station). These make excellent Christmas gifts as they have so many parts and features, they just keep on giving!