Disclosure: When Safari Ltd asked if I would be interested in reviewing their product on my blog I was excited because I was already a fan. They sent me their Penguin TOOB free of charge, but all opinions expressed in this post are my own and were not influenced by receiving this product. This post also includes an affiliate link to Amazon for your convenience.
I was already familiar with Safari Ltd because last Easter I bought some of their TOOBS to fill Jake's Easter eggs with miniature toy replicas of airplanes and animals. Thus began our love affair with Safari Ltd. Since then we have added to our collection the Dragon and Coral Reef TOOBS. Check out our dragons and their magic painted rocks here.
I knew Jake, who adores penguins, would love any type of small world I made him, but it was hard deciding what to do. At first I thought about making a penguin ice castle (not out of ice, although how amazing would that be), but then I saw this awesome dinosaur world and sensory bin by my blogging friend Shaunna at Fantastic Fun & Learning. I was inspired to create a penguin small world and sensory bin using our Step 2 water table.
Here are the play areas I created and the items I used:
Icy Counting Sea: The younger penguins are learning to count (just like Jake), and they practice by jumping from one floating piece of ice to the next. When they are not busy counting, they like to pretend the pieces of ice are boats.
- Craft styrofoam
- Colored cut out foam circles with numbers on them
- Straws for pushing the ice around
Beach Relaxation Zone: This area is where the penguins come to unwind and warm their feet after a swim in the icy counting sea.
- Small pebbles
- Large glass gems
- Plastic teaspoon for playing bury the penguin
Glacier Ridge Hangout: This bi-level glacier serves as a lookout point over all of penguin world. The most popular place to be is atop one of the large crystal ice circles.
- Craft styrofoam circles glued together
- Small glass gems
- Large glass gems
One of the things that Jake and I love most about these Safari Ltd penguins is that they stand upright without falling over. Jake had fun standing them up on the "ice" and saying that they were on boats. I also love that two of the penguins were designed to look like they are lying down or swimming. Do you spy Mr. Tuxedo in the picture above about to take a dive into the sea?
Jake has been asking to play with our penguins every day since his introduction to penguin world. When the penguins are ready for a nap, we put them in the diaper wipes container that I turned into DIY confetti covered storage . . . you can find the tutorial here. To see more great ideas for imaginative play, make sure you stop by the Safari Ltd Facebook page and Pinterest page.