Safari Ltd.

Safari Ltd. began in 1982 with a wide variety of hand-painted collectables and educational information to help educate children about Earth and it’s creatures. Now celebrating our 30th anniversary, Safari Ltd. is so much more than an educational toy. Spice up your next party with an “under the sea” theme, transform a room in to animal oasis, or create a fun cake topper with Safari Ltd. Your options are limitless. Safari Ltd. is the perfect way to add some excitement to your life!

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    Teaching Math with Dinosaurs

    What happens when dinosaurs meet mathematics? You might picture a T-rex chomping on your high school algebra book, but we have something a bit different in mind. Most kids love dinosaurs. Maybe it’s the teeth, or maybe it’s just that dinosaur toys are so cool.

    But let’s be honest, many kids don’t have quite the affinity for math that they do for dinosaurs. Math has no sharp, pointy teeth, and it hardly ever roars. More than most other subjects, math gets challenging pretty early on, and this can cause kids to think they are not good at it. We can help, but you’re gonna need some dinosaurs.

    One early math skill that kids need to master is patterns. Because there are so many different kinds of dinosaurs, yet so many similarities between them, dinosaurs lend themselves to teaching children patterns.

    It works like this. Start by lining up a few dinosaurs in a simple pattern. Then give your child a group of dinosaurs and have him pick the one that comes next. Consider one of these basic patterns:

    • Dinosaurs walking on two legs
    • Dinosaurs walking on four legs
    • Plant Eaters
    • Meat Eaters

    As your child masters simple arrangements, transition to more complex patterns, like ones that alternate or require more attention to detail. Praise your child often as he succeeds at this, letting him know that he is solving difficult math problems. Success breeds success in math. If your child feels that he is doing well, he is more likely to confidently approach a harder problem.

    In the end, your child gains confidence and practice with patterns, all while playing with his favorite dinosaurs. Now if only there were a way for dinos to teach Algebra. 

    Posted on Friday, May 17th 2013

    Dragons, Books, and Imaginative Play

    It’s National Children’s Book Week, a celebration of the many delightful books that encourage children to laugh, learn, and love reading. So what’s the connection between children’s books and a company that promotes the joy of play with realistic replicas?  Imagination. And one of the creatures that inspires some of the most imaginative tales is the dragon—subject of hundreds of children’s books and a centerpiece in our collection of mythical creatures. 


    Dragons can be friendly, like the whimsical dragon in Puff the Magic DragonOr they can can be ferocious fire-breathers, like the ones in Saint George and the Dragon or The Paper Bag Princess. And commonly, they are misunderstood, like the ones in The Reluctant Dragon or My Father’s Dragon. In all cases, dragons capture the attention of children and get imaginations firing. 

    Dragon replicas, like our Mountain Dragon shown above, also capture attention and inspire imaginations. Even more than other animal figures, dragon toys get kids thinking of new possibilities and exciting adventures. Whether they are roaming the backyard or stomping through the playroom, kids and dragon replicas make a delightful combination.

    Between great books and great toys, children can truly discover the frontiers of their imaginations. Do your kids love dragons? What’s their favorite dragon tale? 

    Posted on Tuesday, May 14th 2013

    Playing and Learning with Bugs

    Most children are intrigued by insects. Their quick movements and bright colors attract attention and invite exploration. You can tap into this natural curiosity for a fun time of learning and creative play with our Insects Toob®


    One fun activity kids enjoy is pretending the insect toys are real and playing with them in their natural habitats. Because of the diverse arrangement of bugs in our Toob®, kids can spend an entire afternoon arranging and rearranging the bugs and pretending to make them buzz, fly, jump, and crawl. 

    The realistic bug toys are a treat in your backyard, and they give your children a chance to explore where each type of bug lives. 

    By the end of the day, your kids might know the names of a dozen new insects, plus where they live, and even what they like to eat. 

    The best part? This collection of realistic, hand-painted bugs won’t disappear when the fun is over. Kids may enjoy them again and again, finding new ways to play and explore with their favorite bugs. Now that’s a summer day well spent. 

    Posted on Friday, May 10th 2013

    Ethical and Allergy-Proof Classroom Pets

    In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, we’d like to suggest a fun, educational alternative to the traditional classroom pet: a scale-model, detailed replica from Safari Ltd®. 


    Keeping furry, slimy, or feathered critters in the classroom allows children to see animals up close and gives kids experience with caring for critters. But many classrooms and schools have discovered problems  with keeping animals in the classroom, namely cost, allergies, and long-term care. But with our scale model Incredible Creatures® animal toys, teachers can still give students an up-close look at some unique animals, without the issues that arise with a classroom pet. 

    Buying a live animal is an expensive commitment, and we know classroom budgets are often stretched these days. In fact, many teachers have to spend their own money on a classroom pet or ask parents for donations. When food and veterinarian bills come due, the cost can be prohibitive. An animal replica usually costs less than $10, saving classroom money for other needs.


    Allergy issues prevent many classrooms from having a pet at all. Even cute, furry friends can carry allergens that cause reactions in sensitive students, and some schools have banned classroom pets altogether for this reason. With a toy animal pet, allergy issues are no longer a concern, and even the most sensitive students can pet and play with the class animal. 


    Finally, what is to be done with a friendly classroom pet over extended breaks or during the summer? Many classrooms send the pet home with a caring student, but the Humane Society  recommends against this. A model pet doesn’t need watering or feeding over extended breaks, and you can still send it home with a student if you’d like! 

    Safari Ltd® replicas are lifelike and detailed in color and texture, so children can still get a great idea of what an animal is like. The class can work to create a realistic replica for the creature, just as they would for a living animal. And with dozens of scale model animals to choose from, you can switch between rabbits, fish, frogs, and anything else as often as you wish. 

    Posted on Tuesday, May 7th 2013

    Raising Kids Who Care About the Earth

    How do you teach children to appreciate the world around them? Does it even have to be taught, or are children naturally in awe of it? Maria Montessori, creator of the Montessori Method of education, once said, “The land is where our roots are. The children must be taught to feel and live in harmony with the Earth.”

    We agree. A child doesn’t have to be taught that a lion is majestic, but he does have to be taught that lions are in peril, and that we can do a better job of living in harmony with them and with the rest of our planet. 

    But what’s the best approach for helping kids be more aware of how fragile some of our planet’s ecosystems are? And how do you guide children into an understanding of the positive role they can play in protecting the more vulnerable species of our planet? 

    We believe one key is to expose young children to animals, so they begin to know and love them. From the massive elephant to the tiny bumblebee, animals are unique and amazing, and children naturally connect with this because of their curiosity. As parents, teachers, caregivers, and community members, we can educate children about the creatures that share their world and inspire them to admire and appreciate those creatures. Adding some of these activities into your day can help: 

    • Enjoy animal coloring pages 
    • Read kid-friendly animal books
    • Play with animal toys
    • Pretend to be animals
    • Go to the zoo
    • Take a hike in the woods
    • Make animal noises
    • Study a new animal

    Children who grow up understanding and enjoying animals are more likely to grow into people who are aware of the challenges facing animals around the world. Again, quoting Maria Montessori: “The unknown energy that can help humanity is that which lies hidden in the child.”

    What do you think? What role can children play in saving the world? 

    Posted on Friday, May 3rd 2013

    T-rex Versus Television

    Screen-Free Week began in 1996. Since then, the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood has spearheaded the effort to encourage families to spend a week away from televisions and other screens. The campaign is supported by various educational, environmental, and public health organizations. At Safari Ltd®, we wholeheartedly agree that children need more active play and less passive viewing in their lives. In fact, promoting the Joy of Play is one of our guiding ideals.

    There are plenty of shows kids could watch about dinosaurs, and some of them are quite educational. But they cannot replace the thrill of a child holding a T-rex in his hands, walking it around the room, and roaring at the top of his lungs. In a contest between T-rex and television, Tyrannosaurus wins.

    Thanks to a resurgence in books about magic and mythology, fantasy has made a comeback. And although television offers some engaging fantasy shows, they don’t stand a chance compared to playing with a colorful, lifelike Dragon. Whether it’s flying around the living room or defending treasure, magical stories are created and new scenarios are imagined.

    Television has a rare ability to bring history to life. But watching history recreated on a screen pales in comparison to reenacting history in the backyard. On any given day, she might have the Ancient Roman Army marching into a new city, or Civil War troops skirmishing over a bridge. Lifelike replicas respond to her will and inspire endless play long after a 30-minute television show ends.

    What is the Joy of Play? It’s colorful Fairies flitting about a bedroom. It’s life-size Fish and Crustaceans sharing a bathtub. It’s majestic Dinosaurs marching through a playroom. It’s Shark toys sharing a swimming pool. It is children being children—imagining, wondering, and creating. And it’s more fun than any screen. 

    Posted on Tuesday, April 30th 2013

    Math Activities to Teach Comparing

    How many of you grew up thinking of the greater-than and less-than symbols as crocodile mouths? Thanks to our Incredible Creatures® Crocodile, the next generation of young math students can have an even more interactive and fun experience learning to compare numbers. 


    Because the Crocodile is part of the Incredible Creatures® collection, it is larger and softer than other toys. This makes it easier for small hands to hold and manipulate, or even open and close the mouth to pretend it’s chomping numbers. 

    You might practice math with your children a few different ways with this toy. First, you could place objects (like pennies, cereal pieces, or other toys) in two groups and have the child turn the crocodile towards the group with more. (Make sure she knows the Crocodile wants the biggest bite!) She can even make the mouth “chomp” to choose the group with more. This teaches both counting and comparing numbers. 

    You might also write numbers on a paper or whiteboard and have your child position the Crocodile to snap up the greater number. This reinforces the concepts of greater-than, less-than in a more abstract way, as she must also be able to identify numbers. 


    Early math skills lay a foundation for later math success. The Crocodile-like greater-than and less-than symbols play a role in math all the way into Algebra. Why not introduce the idea early in a way that helps children enjoy their math lessons even more? 

    Posted on Friday, April 26th 2013

    3 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day with Children

    Many children today are disconnected from nature. Although they likely learn more about saving the Earth than previous generations, they tend to spend more time inside, disconnected from the great outdoors they are being taught to save. These three activities help children connect with the Earth and internalize the importance of protecting it. 

    Plant a Flower

    It’s an ideal time of year to plant flowers. You might find a perfect spot outside, or even start flowers in pots inside. Flowers remind children of the beauty of their world. At the same time, flowers produce oxygen and attract bumblebees, two things our planet could use more of! 

    Take a Hike

    A walk through a park, woods, or nature preserve is a wonderful way to help children understand their beautiful planet. They are far more likely to appreciate a huge oak tree when they can see it and touch it and watch squirrels chase each other through the branches. And watching animals in their natural habitats reinforces lessons about conserving resources and saving natural areas. 

    Adopt an Endangered Animal

    Although you can actually sponsor endangered animals through sanctuaries and rescue organizations, this is not feasible for every family. But anyone can choose a favorite endangered animal to study. Teachers and parents can encourage children to pick an endangered animal to learn about, draw pictures of, and generally fall in love with. Focusing on a single animal makes conservation more real for children. 

    Earth Day lasts only a day, but appreciating and protecting the amazing creation around us can be part of life year round. By encouraging children to become active participants in nature, you can help them understand the importance of the small steps they take to keep the Earth beautiful.  

    Posted on Tuesday, April 23rd 2013

    Sorting and Classifying with Safari Ltd® Knights

    Sorting and classifying are important math skills for young children. Even the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics lists it as a standard for children in preschool and early elementary. You can help kids learn to sort with buttons and pictures, or you can really engage them by using their favorite Toobs®.

    Children love toys, and when their toys are connected to learning, they find learning even more enjoyable. But how do you teach sorting with a Toob®? Most any set would work, but we tried it with the Knights and Dragons Toob®.


    You can start by setting the toys out together and having your child sort them into two groups. This is pretty simple with the Knights, as there are 4 each of the red and blue warriors.


    Then you can make it more challenging by having your young learner sort them into different groups. Given some time, a child can work his way through several different ways of classifying all the knight toys. If he gets stuck, give him hints like these:

    Look at what the knights are holding.

    Look at what the knights have on their heads.

    The goal is for your child to sort the toys as many ways as he can and  to explain his reasoning for each group.


    Our Toobs® are ideal for this educational activity because they contain around 12 toys and they have lots of variety, so your child can work on sorting and classifying with objects that he is naturally interested in. Then math time transitions into play time!  

    Posted on Friday, April 19th 2013