Adventures of a Little Schleich Panda
This article is reprinted with permission from Michelle at My Little Red Toy Wagon. You may find other great blogs like this at http://redwagontoys.blogspot.com/
They are cute. They are beautifully detailed. They are pretty inexpensive. But what exactly do you do with them?
I hear these sentiments quite a bit from parents when their children start asking for a Schleich animal. Kids always seem to gravitate to these little gems. Who can blame them? The animals are sized just right for little hands. But the first time my daughter asked for one, even though it was only $2.50, I was hesitant to say yes. I just didn't have the same vision she had. When I looked at the tiny little panda clutched in her chubby toddler hand, all I saw was a figurine to sit on a shelf. Boy, was I wrong!
My daughter saw endless uses. This panda has explored play dough caves and mountains, has helped clear the way for roads made in the sand box, and has saved more little animals from drowning in a sudsy tub than it could ever count. This panda knows how to drive our garbage truck and loves riding on top of a train car as it circles its wooden tracks. It also has traveled to many zoos and museums as a trusted friend who rides along in her pocket. Long waits in lines and car rides have become fun with panda along to play with. This little panda also stands guard on the bedside table each night. Truly, over the past three years, this panda has done everything except sit like a figurine on the shelf.
As you probably have guessed, this panda has been joined by many other Schleich animals over the years. At first, it was just to get baby panda a mom and a dad. But once my eyes were opened by my daughter's creativity, I was more than willing to let my children add to this collection. Some came in Christmas stockings, others in Easter eggs, some even found their way under pillows after a lost tooth. Others have come tied to the top of birthday packages or slipped quietly into a pocket as a little surprise for some job well done. No matter how they got here, they all have been living adventurous lives ever since.
This type of thinking is exactly the difference between adults and children: adults see a figurine, while children see endless possibilities!