As a student of child and educational psychology, I understand the importance of dramatic play for the social and emotional well-being of a child, in addition to the educational value it can bring. Have you ever watched a child play house? Do you notice how the mom or the dad in the pretend family sound awfully familiar? Kids use this type of play as a way to better understand themselves and how they feel and process the world around them. It helps them become incredibly self-aware, and provides a safe space to process feelings and emotions that can otherwise be hard to express.Parents can help children learn to engage in mature make-believe play by setting up the environment so that children can play, and by becoming their child’s play partner and mentor. In order to do this, it has been suggested to avoid toys that “do the thinking” for the child. Push-button toys that talk and dance around encourage children to play in very specific way, whereas, toys that children can use to create many different scenarios, such as basic plastic animals figures or a simple baby doll can evoke dramatic play.
The Schleich portable barn is perfect for encouraging imaginative and creative pretend play. The barn is incredibly well-constructed and of very high quality. One of my biggest issues with kid’s toys are how cheaply some of them are made. Often, the quality of the materials are poor, or the toy is not durable, unable to withstand the test of time (and little hands). I appreciate that the barn comes apart easily and can be put back together by my son (4). My daughter actually knocked this off of the table and a slat of the roof came off…I panicked thinking that it was broken, rather was incredibly relieved to see that I could easily re-assemble it! The barn is constructed of a combination of wood and plastic, and the colors, while bright, are nicely done and have a neutral tone (also unlike many other children’s toys). In addition, the barn comes with a couple of small animals, a bale of hay, a crate with apples, and a pitchfork and broom. My daughter loves to play with the animals while my son appreciates scooping up hay with the broom and sweeping the barn clean. The handle at the top of the barn makes it not only portable but also turns the barn into a carrying case for extra animals and accessories.
My kids, aged 2 and 4, have been playing with this for two weeks and can’t get enough of it. I have witnessed their imagination and pretend play evolve, and have seen them act out real-life scenarios through their play. I generally like to discuss pros and cons of a toy when reviewing it, however, for this review, I have nothing negative to say! To see my Periscope review of this product, click below! BUT as a correction, I incorrectly called this the big red barn, the name is actually the portable barn…whoops! 😳
Recommended Ages: 3 and up
The baby likes it too 😉
Disclaimer: I received these products for free with the hopes I would mention them on my blog. All opinions are my own.