This is a sponsored blog post but all opinions are my own. Opinions expressed in this post do not in any way reflect the opinions of Safari Ltd®.
Caroline is at an age where she pays attention a little longer, and wants to be engaged with whatever we are engaged with. She is getting to that impressionable stage where she mimics what she sees, and becomes a little more curious everyday. We want to encourage her playful creativity and imagination as much as possible so she feels comfortable thinking outside of the box when she's older. Finding toys that are intentional and not clutter can be a little difficult. Birthdays and holidays go by and the toys keep piling up, and it can be hard to determine the important ones from the not-so-important. One good thing about this time of year is that most of the play and activity time in the Odom household is held outside, so we set out to find things that Caroline would continue to play with for years and keep her engaged in playtime.
Morgan blew up Caroline's very own first little baby pool in the backyard, and we took our new playmates from Safari Ltd outside to adventure, play, and have fun. The toys from Safari Ltd are so unique in how closely accurate each one is made to the creature it portrays. Safari Ltd sent Caroline 4 new toys from their Sea Life collection which fits perfectly with how much our family loves the beach and the ocean. She got a Giant Pacific Octopus, a Baby Sea Turtle, a Blue Tang, and a Clown Anemonefish. She has had so much fun splashing around with these sea creatures, and it's so hard to refrain from singing "just keep swimming, just keep swimming."
Morgan and I really love how life-like the toys truly are from the hand painted detail on the fish to the coarse feel of the turtle's shell. When we play, we show her how the fish can jump out of the water and how the octopus can slide across the ocean floor. As she gets older, it's going to be fun to hear her try and say Blue Tang or Anemone. But, what will be really cool is when she goes to school she will know more than "oh, that's a fish."
When we go on more trips like our recent one to the Bahamas, I love knowing that Caroline will know what she is looking at when she sees a sea turtle or orange octopus. Even the tentacles on the bottom of the octopus were so detailed, Caroline loved running her fingers over them, and then bit down on the octopus a few times. Maybe this will encourage her to be an adventurous eater as well?.. :)
She loves to hold the octopus with both hands and splash it in the water. As you scroll down in the pictures, you can see the intricate detail of the octopus from its outer layer to the shape of the tentacles. Of course I immediately had to Google it because I needed to see how accurate it was, and I was so shocked! The similarity was so amazing. She will have many "undersea adventures" in the pool, in the bathtub, and at the beach with these toys for a long time.
Before getting in, she likes to throw all of the sea creatures into the pool, I think she likes the splashing, but when she gets in there with them we can tell she's contemplating which one to play and splash around with. The durability of these toys are so awesome too because Caroline is teething right now so of course after a minute or two virtually anything goes into her mouth, and with two teeth coming in on the bottom, sometimes she can bite through stuff, but these toys have held their own. I know they're not meant for teething or chewing but they sure do a good job with keeping her happy in that area too!
As we lined the toys up one by one on the edge of the pool, Caroline would come behind us and knock them down, and we would continue to do this a few times. We made sure she spent time with each toy separately too. We would tell her the name of the animal and then hand it to her in both hands so she was getting that sensory feel at the same time. I believe it's so important to be hands on with your kids in play and creativity. If they don't see you doing it, it's likely they never will. I encourage all parents to look into Safari Ltd for your next toy purchase or birthday gifts for your little ones because they are well worth it. Buy the ones that you and your little one share an interest in so you can have that playtime together.