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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    DIY Recycled Magnets

    Guest blogger Joyce from Childhood Beckons shares a DIY Recycled Magnets activity!

    One of my son’s all time favorite books to look through is his Safari Ltd. catalog. And who could blame him? The book is awesome! So when we received the newest version, I immediately began to brainstorm ways to creatively recycle last year’s catalog and extend the fun. One of our favorite ways is to create our own magnets!

    Homemade Magnets:

    Old Catalog

    Scissors

    Lamination

    Magnetic tape

    Go through your catalog and cut out images that would make great magnets. You can do this as a surprise for your child or you could let them take the lead and pick out their favorites. Next, you’ll want to laminate the cutouts for strength and durability. I used my laminating machine, but you could also use self-seal laminating pouches or contact paper. Trim the excess and all that’s left is adding the magnets! I love magnetic tape for this project because you really don’t need a big thick magnet for these and you can customize the size of the magnet for each cut-out. Plus, it’s cheap and easy! You just cut the tape to the size you need, peel off the paper backing, and stick it to your picture. 

    Now you have your own Safari Ltd. magnets! The process is so simple and the finished product is a lot of fun.

    More Ways to Play:

    Chances are, you won’t have to provide any play prompts. Kids love magnets and will surely have their own ways to play. But here’s a few ideas in case you want to change things up or sneak in some guided learning.

    Pair with magnetic letters to practice letter sounds and word-building. This could be picking out initial letter sounds for younger kids or word-building and spelling practice for older kids. 

    Add magnetic numbers for some fun math practice. How many dinosaurs are there? How many penguins? Count, add, and subtract!

    Use as storytelling prompts. This is a fun activity to do any time, but it could also make a really great boredom busting activity while you make dinner. Set your kids up at the refrigerator with a few of their magnets and ask them to tell you a story. They’ll love being close to you and you can listen to their imaginations at work as you cook.

    Practice sorting and classification. Ask your kids to sort the magnets into groups. You can let them come up with their own ways of grouping the items or ask them to classify the magnets in a specific way. (Example- Mammal or reptile? Herbivore or carnivore?)

    Magnets aren’t just for the fridge! Use cookie sheets for portable play.

    About Joyce:

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    Joyce is the mom behind Childhood Beckons, where she encourages parents to focus on their families and the childhood that beckons them. Her motto is “Childhood is calling my son to play and explore. And childhood is calling me to help him on his journey.” She enjoys discovering creative ways to play and learn and passing along her family’s favorites. You can find Joyce on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest.

    Posted on Thursday, May 2nd 2013

    Why Kids, Parents, and Educators Love Safari Ltd®

    In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, guest blogger Joyce from Childhood Beckons asked her friends what they love about Safari Ltd®! Here is what she found:

    I can still remember the day I discovered Safari Ltd. I happened upon a few of their life cycle sets and was instantly hooked as I imagined all of the ways we could learn through play. And that was only the beginning. It’s no surprise that my family adores Safari Ltd. and we are not alone!

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    Kids, Parents, and Educators Love Safari Ltd.

    "I love Safari Ltd. TOOBS and replicas because of the lifelike details and interest they add to Montessori-inspired activities. Young children are drawn to small objects, and Safari Ltd. miniatures can make any subject more interesting. Even as an adult, I had lots of fun using TOOBS to create Montessori-Inspired Dinosaur Activities.”- Deb from Living Montessori Now

    "I love that the Safari Ltd. replicas and TOOB figures capture my child’s imagination, and are some of his favorite toys. My son has spent hours engrossed in pretend play using these toys. I am especially happy with his choice of toy because Safari Ltd. products are educational, safe, and come from a company committed to helping the environment."- Carolyn from The Pleasantest Thing

    "I love Safari Ltd. TOOBS and replicas because they are inexpensive yet well made. The pieces are true to life and perfect for small world play. They leave plenty of room for imagination through open ended play."- Allison from Train Up A Child

    "Colin and Owen play constantly with their Safari “Castle Guys,” especially the knights and horses!"- Melissa from Fireflies and Mud Pies

    "He says his favorite is the Caiman. He likes them because ‘they are so small that I can take them everywhere.’ He likes collecting them. He has the dino toob, river animals toob, and the zoo babies. He likes playing with them in the bathtub and outside, and he pretends that they are eating weeds."- Sarah and 6yo son from Frugal Fun For Boys

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    "My son likes the ‘Caribou boo’ (arctic toob) and the ‘happy feet’ (penguin toob). He carries them around, makes them dance, and stuffs them into his pocket. I don’t know if there is any greater praise from a little boy than it gets stuffed into his pocket. Isn’t that where all the favorite toys go, right? Mommy likes that they are educational and affordable. The small life like looking animals provide a fun hands on learning experience for an active boy not content to sit and look at pictures. They’ve been very useful in our at home speech therapy." Michelle at Having Fun at Chelle’s House

    "My kids love the Toob figures. I find that playing with the figures inspires them to ask about the animals, their habitats, and what they eat and so forth. We then read books or look for information on the internet to answer their questions."- Julie from Creekside Learning 

    "I absolutely love the Toobs, but I think my daughter said it best. ‘Lovey’ is 4, and she said ‘I love them because I can pretend to be anywhere on an adventure with them.’ We have been learning about the continents this year, and using the Toobs has really helped the kids make some concrete connections between the animals of a continent and the continent. I share a little about one of our Toob activities (and why I love them) in this post: Panda Small World Play”- Shaunna from Fantastic Fun and Learning

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    "My son plays with the coral reef animals in the bathroom sink almost every day. He loves that the set came with animals, plants and a diver. I love to hear his pretend play talk as he explores his coral reef habitat."- JDaniel4’sMom

    "I love the detail they put into their toys - and the TOOB characters are sized just right for small world play."- MaryAnne from Mama Smiles

    "As a mom and teacher, I love how durable the Safari Ltd. products are. The TOOBS allow us to have many different figures to create play and learning activities around. We recently did a fun activity with the People at Work TOOB. My son is fascinated by all the different jobs in our community, so these figures were perfect. Bear loves all of the products we have, but he says his favorite is the small, pocket-sized catalog we recently received. He totes it around in his bag, lol.”- Andie from Crayon Freckles 

    About Joyce:

    Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

    Joyce is the mom behind Childhood Beckons, where she encourages parents to focus on their families and the childhood that beckons them. Her motto is “Childhood is calling my son to play and explore. And childhood is calling me to help him on his journey.” She enjoys discovering creative ways to play and learn and passing along her family’s favorites. You can find Joyce on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest.

    Posted on Thursday, February 14th 2013

    Sculpting for Kiddos!

    We’re always looking for ways to incorporate toys and the arts. One opportunity to combine the two together is to use your child’s toys as a model for sculpting!

    Whether you use professional clay or kid-friendly play dough, this activity is sure to be a blast. You can start with simpler objects to sculpt, like our Safari Ltd® Incredible Creatures® Pufferfish or Monterey Bay Aquarium® Gray Whale, and slowly work your way up to more detailed items, like one of our many dragons. You can also have your child mold out his or her very own fossils, like the Tyrannosaurus rex Tooth or Dino Footprint.

    This is an easy activity that combines creativity, imagination and the arts all into one. Get those brains thinking and let the fun begin!

    Posted on Monday, November 26th 2012

    CONVERT Your Child Into a Math Lover

    Math conversion can be tricky, and to a youngster often boring. An easy way to bring in a little fun is, as usual, to incorporate your child’s toys!

    All you need is a ruler, like our super cool Optics & More Solar System Ruler, with inches and centimeters. To start, you can explain to your child that 1 inch is the same thing as 2.54 centimeters. How cool is it that you can describe how long, tall, or wide something is in either inches or centimeters, and people will understand either way!?

    Show your child the ruler and have him or her count the numbered centimeters that are within the 1 inch to demonstrate what you mean by 1 inch and 2.54 centimeters being the same thing.

    Next, grab a few of your child’s favorite toys that he or she can measure. (We might be biased, but Safari Ltd® replicas are a pretty solid choice.) Explain to your child that you are going to measure the replica in inches, and then convert that measurement into centimeters. After you measure the replica in inches, ask your child to guess the amount of centimeters it measures first. You can even teach estimation by saying that an inch is between 2 and 3 times the amount of a centimeter, so they can multiply by whole numbers if they haven’t learned decimals yet.

    After they estimate, you can bring the ruler out and see for yourselves what the correct measurement is.

    Is there a math concept particularly difficult or boring for your kiddo?

    Posted on Friday, November 16th 2012

    Teaching Kids About Voting

    Believe it or not, Election Day 2012 has officially arrived. While we, as adults, may not think twice about what it means to vote, a child could have difficulty understanding it. There are plenty of fun ways to teach a kiddo about what voting means in the United States.

     


    A good place to start is to tell the story of America’s beginnings. Our Safari Ltd® American Revolutionary War Continental and British Army TOOBS® are an excellent introduction to this historical concept. Explain how Commander-in-Chief George Washington, who is included in the Continental Army TOOB®, was a trusted general who led the American troops to victory during the American Revolutionary war. This victory established freedom for America. After explaining how America fought for freedom from Britain, discuss how the Constitution came about and how Washington was elected in 1789 as the first President of the United States. For additional information (in five different languages!) on each replica in these TOOBS®, check out our educational information on our website.

    By fulfilling their civic duty to vote, Americans today honor those soldiers who fought for the United States’ freedom. Today, voters across the country exercise their right to vote and have freedom to select who they want to be their next leader – this is why on Election Day in November, people across the nation visit voting booths to help make the decision.

    Add some fun to this lesson by practicing voting in your very own home! For example, when deciding what to eat for dinner, take a vote from your family members. If you are a teacher, you can have your class take a vote on whether they would rather have a reading assignment or writing assignment. Or even create an election polling place in your classroom by isolating a desk or table, copying paper ballots, and selecting a fun topic to vote on (like what should snack time be for that day). Another idea is to have a play date with your friends and their children, where everyone votes on whether to play games such as duck-duck-goose or red light, green light. The options here are endless!

     

    Has your child or student asked you about the election process? 

    Posted on Tuesday, November 6th 2012

    Last-Minute Halloween Costume Inspiration

    Halloween is finally upon us! We already shared with you our idea to pass out toys instead of candy, but if you’re struggling to find a fun costume for the big day tomorrow we’re here to provide you with a little insight that is sure to spark light in your child’s eyes. 

    The idea is simple: Pick out of one of your child’s toys and model your costume after it! Your child will love the idea of his or her toy “coming to life,” and you’ll be relieved of the stress of solving the “what do I wear” conundrum.

     

    At the Safari Ltd® Halloween Party last week, our Graphic Designer Dary did this very thing and brought Days of Old® Medea the Witch to life right inside our office! We thought she looked pretty legit.

     

    Sticking to the “classic” characters will be easiest since it’s a little last minute, or you can stick to costumes that can be created mostly from home. For example, to go as Pirate Boatswain Benjamin Jeffrey you can simply roll up some khaki pants, roll up the sleeves and tuck in a button down shirt in a neutral color, draw on a beard and mustache with eyeliner, and wrap a red shirt or towel around your head. You can carry around the toy for added effect and comparison.

    Have you already decided what to be for Halloween? Share with us!

    Posted on Tuesday, October 30th 2012

    Teaching Your Child Abstract Colors

    Colors are one of the first things a child likely learns. While pink, blue and yellow are easy to grasp, colors like fuchsia and turquoise may be more difficult to explain. A tangible, fun way to help your child understand abstract colors is using his or her toys!

    We recommend using a TOOB® since there are up to 12 replicas in each, but this strategy can work with any toy lying around the house. One that we think works particularly well is the Coral Reef TOOB®.

     

    With this TOOB® you can discuss lime green, yellow gold, coral, rose, forest green, royal blue, aqua and more. Your child will enjoy learning the colors (if for no other reason than receiving a toy) and each time your child plays with the replica you can prompt him or her to tell you the color to keep it an ongoing lesson.

     

    How have you taught your child colors?

    Posted on Friday, October 26th 2012

    Trick-or-Toy

    Halloween is almost upon us! Guys and ghouls (see what we did there?) all around will be dressing up in costume to partake in tons of fun and games. While it’s safe to indulge in an occasional sweet, the various events your child goes to throughout October can really add up between classroom parties, friends’ parties, local neighborhood parties, and Halloween night itself.

    So instead of enabling this sugar high your kids are about to get, we offer you a solution that takes out all the unhealthy without removing the fun. In fact, we’d like to think it adds to it! Instead of giving out candy, invest in a Safari Ltd® Bulk Bag of replicas to disperse instead!

    If you’d like to stick to the Halloween theme, we have everything from Glow-in-the-Dark Insects to Dino Skulls, but any figure would be a joy for a child to receive. Bulk bags contain 48 replicas, which are sure to be enough for most neighborhood Trick-or-Treaters since each child will get one instead of the traditional handful of candy. Beyond that, it can be a fun change for a child who may be tired of receiving the traditional chocolate bar or chewy candy.

    What do you all think? Do you have any special Trick-or-Treating plans this Halloween?

    Posted on Thursday, October 18th 2012

    Hot Pufferfi—I Mean Potato

    If you are a parent you probably are always trying to think of ways to spice up games for your child. One classic game you may have taught your child is Hot Potato, which is perfect for parties or family bonding time. One easy way you can jazz it up is by replacing the potato with none other than a Safari Ltd® replica!

    We introduce you to: Hot Pufferfish. The rules of Hot Potato remain the same. Players form a circle and pass around the Pufferfish while music is played. When the music stops, the person holding the Pufferfish is out and sits outside the circle. The last person out is the winner – and the new owner of the fun Pufferfish!

    If you’d like, you can even go grab some of our very small but cute Good Luck Minis® Pufferfish as a “condolence” prize to those who get out first. Since right now the Good Luck Minis® Pufferfish are only sold in bulk online, you can call your local neighborhood toy store to see if they carry them.

    Happy playing – hope you don’t get burned!

    Posted on Tuesday, October 16th 2012

    Cock-a-Doodle Doodle with Safari Ltd®

    Nurturing the arts is so important when raising your child, but your kiddo may need a little inspiration to get his or her creative juices flowing. Therefore we introduce you to Cock-a-Doodle Doodle: a way of getting your child to draw without the stress of knowing where to start.

    To coincide with the (cute) title of this post, we’ll use our Down on the Farm TOOB®  as an example. Start by surprising your child with the TOOB®  as a gift and exclaim you are going to play a fun game where you arrange the different figures to reflect a “scene.” After you have fun depicting a “day in the life” of a farmer, challenge your child to draw it on a piece of paper to hang on your refrigerator, bulletin board, desk or wherever you showcase your child’s work in your home.

    Encourage your child to get creative along the way, and laugh together as he or she draws an oversized rooster or a pink horse. Use this as a fun bonding activity and a way to incorporate that “just because” gift into a learning activity.

    Happy doodling!

    Posted on Friday, October 12th 2012