SoftimalsMy Softimals Safari Set was a hit with a 3 year-old and his little brother. My older friend immediately started to build the vehicles, which required some adult help when it came to pushing the wheels on. He was delighted to start rolling the jeep but realized he needed a driver, Safari Sam to assemble, with a body, head and hat.  Smooth, firm but pliable construction pieces stay snugly together for play and can be easily separated as the story changes. We had fun pushing heads onto the animal bodies, creating a zebra, cow and giraffe to go along for the ride. Soon my friend was exploring with his menagerie, “I gonna take him to a farm,” as he drove the jeep behind the box! After he fed the animals pretend hay and grass he declared, “It’s bedtime for him.” What a wonderful day the softimals had experienced in the hands of a creative preschooler. By the way, his little brother loved to grip the animals and a few made their way into his mouth too. Softimals can generate pretend play which builds oral language,  impacting later reading and writing skills.

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