My husband and I often talk about great memories we have from our childhood. Often, toys and games we played with are the topic of discussion.
The holiday season tends to make us talk about toys and games more so than other times during the year. I guess it’s because when we think about the holidays, we think about the Sears Wish catalog. If you are close to my age, chances are you remember that catalog. It was one of the greatest days in most children’s lives when that catalog arrived in the mail. I personally would pour myself over it for hours at a time, carefully go through each and every page (in the toy section, of course), making up my ultimate wish list for Santa. Oh how I miss those days.
I grew up in a time long before video games, and toys that were robot-like with a lot of “bells and whistles.” Back in my day, we used our imaginations and creativity to play and have fun.
I grew up in the country. I often had to play by myself. I would use my imagination and create my own toys and my own “playrooms” (often in the woods behind my house, or in “forts”). One thing I used to do was make my own Barbie clothes and furniture using scraps of fabric and recycled things I found around my home.
Sadly, kids these days are losing the ability to utilize their imaginations. A lot of toys and games these days do the work for kids (meaning, they don’t need to use their imaginations).
A lot of kids these days are engrossed in video games. I have a first grader at school that will sneak onto a game site on his school issued Chrome book when he’s suppose to be on his online class and/or doing school work. His father says that he’s addicted to video games. But he’s only six years old! That is crazy!
Surely there are some toys out there that will take kids away from the screens and spend more time being creative and engaging in imaginative play?
SmartFelt Toys is one such toy. With SmartFelt Toys Award Winning felt playsets, your child (grandchild) will have a lot of fun while learning and improving their early language, vocabulary, matching and fine motor skills. Thankfully, no screens required!
SmartFelt Toys takes the concept of sensory learning to the next level by creating interactive, reversible 3D felt play structures geared towards early language and vocabulary development. The research-based designs take into account textures, colors, and visual aids that are vital to sensory play for a child’s brain development. For instance, each piece addresses an early language concept such as big/small, long/short, inside/outside and under/over.
The sets are best for children ages 3+ (Pre-K and up).
SmartFelt Toys is the winner of two Oppenheim Toy Portfolio awards (the Gold Seal and Special Needs Adaptable Product (SNAP) Seal),
Other SmartFelt Toys features:
- SmartFelt Toys can be played with flat or can easily be assembled into a reversible 3D play structure.
- With 30+ tactile felt pieces that stick on 8 colorful panels, children can decorate a SmartFelt house or fill a barnyard with animals.
- Children can put pieces on the outside of the set, as well as the inside and on the roof.
- Each set comes with an insert that gives parents an overview of the concepts that can be learned while playing with SmartFelt and features a pictorial story that kids can follow along with too.
- The set folds into itself for easy storage and travel.
SmartFelt Toys were developed by Los Angeles based Speech and Language Pathologist Yvonne Johansen, SmartFelt Toys came out of a need where children could use their imaginations and play, while developing their communication.
SmartFelt Toys is #1 in the hearts of educational professionals and families across the globe.
I was sent both sets and the seasonal set to review.
I was very surprised by the size of the play sets. I was thinking they were much smaller than they actually are (I don’t know why).
Each set comes with A LOT of felt pieces that can be used to create different play scenarios. The pieces can also be used with all the sets (they are not confined to just one of the sets).
The accessory pieces have a lot of detail to them.
The colors are better in real life (they seem a bit washed out in my photos).
I love that the house and barn offer children the opportunity to use the roof area as a top floor.
I look at this as playing with a doll house, but in felt form.
SmartFelt Toys is NOT a “girly” toy. Boys can enjoy these toys just as much as girls can.
You can turn the play sets from a 3D form to a flat playing field simply by pulling apart the Velcro pieces. I would think it would be easy enough for most children to do (younger ones might need help turning the play sets from flat to 3D).
The play house/barn come apart to fold flat. As for the felt accessory pieces, I put them in a freezer size Ziploc bag.
The house comes with pre-printed images on the INSIDE of the house. I’m still on the fence whether or not I like that. Part of me would like it blank so kids can created their own rooms. Another part of me thinks this is a great way to teach kids matching skills. It can also lend it’s self to imagination because kids are not forced to apply the felt pieces to every room if they don’t want to.
I love the seasonal accessory pack. I think it’s adorable!
Overall, I think SmartFelt Toys are wonderful toys for children. I like them A LOT more than I do video games which are mindless and destroying children’s imagination.
As a parent, I would rather my child play with these toys. If I was a child, I know I would have had hours of fun playing with the SmartFelt Toys sets.
If you are interested in learning more, visit SmartFeltToys.com. The brand can also be found on social media. All of those links are found on the bottom of their website.
What do you think about these amazing toys? Do they look like something your child/grandchild might like?
*I received free product samples to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.