Wednesday, 7 April 2021

Finding their way through play with the Playmobil 1.2.3 Play System {AD - Review}

  * AD - The items featured have been gifted for an honest review. *

*All thoughts and opinions expressed are entirely my own. *

Children are constantly learning, from babies they learn the basics on movement, their body, environments, food, eating and so much more. When they become toddlers they suddenly become more aware of their own feelings as well as the entire world around them. They start to explore that world not only outside but through their play too. Throughout toddlerhood and into early childhood they will mimic and learn through play, as a parent it isn't always easy to know what children need and at what stages their play will adapt and grow. Which is why I am really excited to be sharing the PLAYMOBILⓇ 1.2.3 play system with you. 

PLAYMOBILⓇ is an award winning, classic range of small world toys that is celebrating it's 30th birthday this year. It's known all around the world and has an extensive collections of small world toys that allow children to play, create and imagine all kinds of adventures. They can become pirates, princesses, astronauts, deep sea divers and so much more. The PLAYMOBILⓇ toy system is built to be perfect for children aged 4 to 12 years. To celebrate their birthday they are adding to their selection with the new additions to the PLAYMOBILⓇ 1.2.3 play system which is for toddlers and pre-school aged children from 1 1/2 to 4 years. 

The PLAYMOBILⓇ 1.2.3 play system is designed to not only help smaller children learn through play and discover the world around them, but also to help parents understand the different stages of early play easier. The new range includes the classic PLAYMOBILⓇ style toys and sets with 3 specific stages. Each stage of play is matched with toys and sets that are suitable for children starting to use small world play and is designed to aid in children's development in the first years of life . As you move up through the stages into new sets they will build upon those used in the stage before, by stage 3 your child will have created a whole small world they can play with and explore.

PLAYMOBILⓇ 1.2.3 Stage 1 - Easy Start

The first stage in the PLAYMOBILⓇ 1.2.3 play system is called Easy Start, this stage includes beginner sets of one simple figure and one object or animal that goes with them. We received the police Offier with Dog set you can see above. The aims of learning in this stage centre around language skills, learning new names, sounds and how to recognise those things both in play and in the real world. As you can see the stage one set also includes more information on this 1.2.3 play system and it's stages on the back which will help introduce and guide parents to how the system works as a whole.

Avery doesn't talk yet, he's quite behind when it comes to language skills, however that didn't matter all that much when it came to exploring the Early Start set. He immediately picked up both the Police Offier and the dog to explore each before facing them towards one another and making a whole selection of sounds. 

After a short period of time his play changed and he moved the figures around, knocking the dog into the Police Officer figure to push him over and laughing while he made the dogs face touch the figures stomach area. He was playing with the figures how we see owners play with their dogs on the grass when we take picnics at the park. He was exploring this connection we had seen through his play!

PLAYMOBILⓇ Stage 2 - First Challenge 

The second stage in the PLAYMOBILⓇ 1.2.3 play system is called First Challenge, this stage still uses the new language skills from the Easy Start stage but builds on them to include some fine motor skills. Through this stage children will be learning about functions and cause and effect while starting to understand how the toys can move or play in new ways. We received the Dog Train Car Set in the First Challenge stage. This set includes a woman figure, a little girl figure and a dog car with a pull ring that attaches to the dog car.

You can see the box shows the symbol from the previous set along with the addition of a fine motor skills symbol. These symbols carry throughout the whole range and mean that you know what skills your child needs to be working on or already have for this First Challenge stage of play. The back of the box is similar to the Easy Start stage and shows the idea behind each stage and what they help children to achieve with those sets. 

Avery was smitten from the beginning with the little dog car, he was fascinated by it's shape and the fact it moved! He very quickly got to work exploring how all the pieces of the set could fit together, move or be used. I think this set is around where Avery's play is currently set, even with the language skill delay. He was happily sat exploring the toys individually and together. He also enjoyed making the car move at different speeds and in different directions which was exploring cause and effect. However he didn't ty to change the play in any way other than seeing if the woman figure would fit inside the ring to pull the car along. There isn't much interaction between the figures or many sounds used.


PLAYMOBILⓇ Stage 3 - Little Expert

The final stage in the PLAYMOBILⓇ 1.2.3 play system is called Little Expert, this stage focuses on more complex play with more functions, cause and effect explorations as well as social skills being used more to begin their first role playing. We received the My Take Along Preschool set which is a carry along set with a preschool building that has a swing, stairs, slide and merry-go-round that attach on. The set also includes two chairs, a sofa, a table, 2 building blocks, a preschool teacher, a boy figure and a girl figure. The set has many moving parts, places where figures can move like the slide or up the stairs that add a new element of figure movement and play to this skill set. Preparing for when they are ready to use the set as whole role playing toy.

Just like with the previous boxes in the PLAYMOBILⓇ 1.2.3 play system you can see the symbols that show what children will work on and learn through playing with the My Take Along Preschool set. This Little Expert stage of toys will use the same language and fine motor skills from the previous stages but will build upon those for more complex play and also add on social skills as they start to create their own role playing games with the set. 

As with the previous sets the same guide to each of the the three stages in the PLAYMOBILⓇ 1.2.3 play system is on the back. This set also shows you two other play sets that would work well with the My Take Along Preschool from different stages in the range. This gives you ideas on ways to add on to this set or where to progress up to this set with similar toys in the earlier stage.

Now this set is the final stage in the 1.2.3 play system which is past where Avery is, as I mentioned he is around the First Challenge stage. It didn't stop him from exploring the set a little before deciding that he loved the slide. He didn't really branch out from using the figures on the slide, he did use lots of sounds and make each figure take their turn before adding in the Dog Train Car from the previous set and making them all take turns again. 

Scarlet on the other hand, dove straight in to this preschool set, she loved using all the features of the My Take Along Prechool. After a quick exploration of what each part did and how it worked together with the figures or other pieces from the set she was ready to play. She began just how any day at preschool does, at the door ready to say good morning. She made good use of the opening and locking door to let one figure at a time come inside and be greeted by the teacher figure before going off to play in different ways inside. This very closely mirrors how her own mornings go when she is at nursery. Over a long period of time she just happily played all through the day, right up to when the day ended and they all exited out the door before it was locked behind them. 

My overall thoughts on PLAYMOBILⓇ 1.2.3

As a parent I am very impressed with the whole range, it takes the same fun PLAYMOBILⓇ toys that my eldest child plays with now and allows both the younger two children to learn and play with the same type of toys. The whole play system has been well thought out with each piece selected for a specific purpose and for the right stage of learning. 

Previously I would have seen these toys as one whole set with additional sets that add onto the bigger piece. Which is understandable, as for older children this is how many toy systems work. However the unique guidance added by the new packaging in the PLAYMOBILⓇ 1.2.3 play system is invaluable. I now know the purpose seen by the creators in how the whole play system should be used to help develop the skills of toddlers and preschool children. 

Th addition of numbers, stages and how each will match up to skills our small children are learning in a huge resource for parents entering into small world play with their first, second or even third or fourth child. Not only is this system great for parents, it is perfect for anyone who is buying gifts for children they know. Being able to give a family member a toy with a system using stages and numbers means that they don't have to worry about if the toys is good for the child's stage of development. They can find the number that matches that stage in the PLAYMOBILⓇ 1.2.3 play system and choose from that range of play sets available. 

Which in turn brings me onto the pricing of the range, I was impressed with just how well priced the whole PLAYMOBILⓇ 1.2.3 play system is. Each stage has a similar price braket across that stage for all the sets. This means there is something available for all budgets from smaller sets, that can be used even after a child progresses onto the other stages, up to more from the Little Expert stage for bigger events like birthday's and Christmas gifts.

The Easy Start range which we had the Police Officer with Dog set is £4.99, the bigger sets in this stage can go up to £9.99.

The First Challenge range has a slightly more varied price, the Dog Train Car set is £9.99 but the range can go up to £19.99 for the bigger sets included in this stage. 

The Little Expert range also has a varied price range beginning at £24.99 up to £49.99. The My Take Along Preschool is £39.99.

There is a selection of additional sets available to match the real world based play in the sets we received. However there is also a range of water based play sets in the PLAYMOBILⓇ 1.2.3 play system along with a fantasy Fairy based range available to expand their interests and role play experiences.

The whole PLAYMOBILⓇ 1.2.3 Play System is available on the PLAYMOBILⓇ website and at most toy stores. 

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