Before having children I had a dream about how I wanted to bring them up. Inspired greatly by SouleMama I dreamed of long days with them playing outside in all weathers, ignoring anything with an electronic screen in favour of spending hours and hours lost in games of their own imaginations. The reality is a little bit different, but I do still try to take things back to the simpler way of doing things and to encourage Little Miss C in particular to just let her imagination lead her play whenever it can.
I’m always on the look out for products and brands that work in this way – especially looking for toys that are created to really support a child’s learning and play, whilst also being environmentally friendly. When I was introduced to Fafu I found myself sat at my computer screen shouting “Yes, yes. This is what I want!” The kids thought I was bonkers, but hey what’s new?
Take a look at this and you’ll see exactly what I mean.
Fafu are a small company who really do take the business of play seriously whilst also injecting loads of fun. The team behind Fafu sound fascinating, and with Tom’s 40 years’ experience of working with children, and his work on early brain development, it makes sense as to why their product are so completely spot on. And if you just look at his profile photo of him on a swing you just know that this guy is serious fun to play with.
So what do Fafu produce? Firstly there is the most amazing range of costumes for children. Rather than being prescriptive fairy, princess or superhero costumes though these brightly coloured items are designed for children to decide what they want them to be. They can easily create skirts, cloaks, tails, tents, hats, trumpets, wings and so much more. And the bold colours mean that they work perfectly for families where you have boys and girls.
We were sent the Iminda Leikur Creative Play Costume set to review and from the second LMC opened the bag with it in (it all comes in a handy zip up bag for easy storage – a genius idea in itself) she loved it. Possibly the only slight problem we had is that she instantly insisted on taking off all her clothes to put the costume on. Maybe it’s all the natural materials (organic cotton, silk and wool made by Fafu’s fair trade producer in Nepal) but she just seems to need it all next to her skin rather than on top of her normal clothes. Needless to say whilst this is wonderful, and is a sure sign of her totally embracing her imagination in play, it’s not very helpful when you’re trying to take photographs for a review blog post! So, apologies for the lack of photos in this post – including a semi-naked four year old didn’t exactly seem like the right thing to do.
This costume set includes silk wings, a cape/poncho, a cone hat, two silk scarves and a pair of ribbon bracelets and LMC has worn it in so many different combinations over the last month or so. She’s been a queen, a superhero, a frog and a pixie to name but a few. At first she was puzzled and confused and kept asking me how she was supposed to wear or use things and what they were supposed to be. It was almost as if she couldn’t quite get her head around the idea of it not being a costume to dress up a a prescribed thing or role. Once she’d relaxed into this idea of it being what she wanted it to be she was much happier.
As if the costumes aren’t marvellous enough there is also a Fafunian Wood range which I am quite simply lusting after right now.
The outdoor kitchen and adventure castle are brilliant for the kids, but my favourite has to be the Arts and Crafts Centre.
I need this in my life! How brilliant would it be to have all the kids arts and crafts materials in one place and accessible to them so easily. I may have to get saving for this one. And then possibly redesign the whole house around fitting it in!
Disclaimer: We were sent the Fafu Iminda Leikur Creative Play Costume to review. All views are our own. We were not asked to write about the Fafunia Wood range, but wanted to as it looks so fantastic.
Fafunia Wood images used from the Fafu website.