They're Born With It
Children instinctively love animals. It seems they are born with an affection for and affiliation with animals and, unless they've been hurt or taught that they shouldn't touch them, children will naturally bond with them. It's little wonder then, that animals are some of children's favorite play things, and that most toys are made in the shape or semblance of animals. How many toy dogs in any number of incarnations does one see in a toy store? Even toy snakes are popular - no longer depicted as the evil serpent, they also have found a place in the guise of cuddly worms.
Toy Animals - The Coveted Prize
For generations, plastic toy animals were prizes in boxes of cereal and collections of prehistoric animals gathered from the cereal boxes were treasured by youngsters everywhere. Gifts given to babies when they are born, when they have birthdays, on special occasions and holidays are often toy animals in one form or another. Stuffed toy animals are a favorite baby toy, and parents are now making sure they are organic and eco-friendly before they buy them.
Many of the fast food places give away toy animals, especially endangered species or toy rainforest animals, in a bid to raise awareness of the ecological damage that has been done. Using toy animals to educate young children on the need to take care of our earth and the inhabitants of it is currently a big teaching method.
Teaching Children About Animals
When our children are toddlers they become acquainted with the various places animals are found, and the types of animals that live in those places. They learn the sounds the animals make and what they look like, so when they see one, they know exactly what the animal is and what sound it makes. Toy farm animals are regulars in the toy boxes of children everywhere. Children learn that cows say "moo" and chickens "cluck". They play with their animals and make the sounds they have learned. Old MacDonald's Farm is still a tune played and taught to children from the time they are very tiny.
From the Farm to the Forest, Animals Reign
Beside farm animals, children often play with toy zoo animals. They may not be able to make all of the sounds heard in a zoo, but they can identify the animals and call them by name. This happens as a result of learning about these animals through the use of toy zoo animals and other toy animals in play. We teach our children about ecology and caring for animals that run in the wild by introducing them to toy wild animals. Wolves, tigers, elephants and deer are all animals found in the wild of one country or another. Very often children's story books and movies are made using many of these animals as characters. When our children learn about them through the toy animals provided, they have ready identification with what they see in books and movies.
Schleich, The Top Name in Quality Animal Toys
Schleich figurines are beautiful hand-painted animal toys that have been part of millions of children's lives as they've grown up over the decades. Schleich animals are realistic and very detailed, allowing children to see what the animal would really look like - only much smaller than the real thing. Schleich has created a number of different "worlds" for their animal toys. There's the farm, the African safari, prehistoric animals and fantasy animals from the world of Bayala. The toy animals are small enough for an infant to clutch yet interesting enough for toddlers and preschoolers to enjoy pretending they are on safari in Africa or zoo keeper in a big zoo.
No matter what material the toy animal is made from, it's a given that many children will receive one this year - for a holiday, a birthday, a special occasion, or just because someone loves them.