In a world where young imaginations are saturated with online and electronic entertainment it is refreshing for parents and other caregivers to realize that there are still options for play and imagination which harness the power of love, family and friendship. Sylvanian Families allow children to explore those values in a way that is both safe and wholesome – and allows them the craft their own stories. The characters in Sylvanian Families are fluffy and personality-filled animal based creations that live in the world of Sylvania (their home is based on the word ‘Sylvan’ -‘Of the Forest’).
The Sylvanian concept had its birth in Japan in 1985. But has now captured the imagination of children from over 50 countries across the globe. In Japan there are themed restaurants and even a theme park which celebrate the uniqueness of these small loveable creations.
The appeal of Sylvanian Families is that each of the characters is more than a cute and cuddly toy. Each has a unique personality. They have their birthdays and shine with an individuality that provides solid and fertile ground for a child to explore a world of storytelling and imagination. The setting of Sylvania is perfect to explore that world. there are bubbling brooks, meadowlands, woods and green spaces that beg for an exploration – even if it is in the imagination. Not only are children encouraged to use that imagination but also to explore the concepts of social interaction and emotional intelligence.
Each Sylvanian family resides in a unique dwelling. These are available in a number of playsets and are incredibly detailed. These sets can be supplemented by a wide array of accessories, including outfits and furniture. The village of Sylvania has everything that a child’s imagination requires (including shops) to explore how families and friends can express their care for one another – and the value of kindness and love in a world that has become increasingly complicated- and even a little scary for the younger members of the family.
The world of Sylvania is not one that is static. Families can subscribe to the Fan Club which adds significant value to the Sylvanian experience. A quarterly magazine is provided, as well as birthday cards.
However, it is the Sylvanian Families themselves (and the world that they inhabit) which remain the attraction for both parents and the younger generation. The sheer number of different families and their members allow the collection to grow with the imagination of the child. However, it is not only children who can immerse themselves in the world of Sylvania. The sheer cuteness and collectibility of the many unique characters has attracted many adults to the world of Sylvania.
If there is one word that could be applied to Sylvanian Families it is ‘wholesome’.In a world where parents are increasingly worried about their children being dumbed down by electronic entertainment and where imagination seems to be an increasingly rare commodity, Sylvanian Families is a breath of fresh air and is world that can be enjoyed by the entire family. The messages of care and love are part of that world – and those are messages that every child should be encouraged to experience.