Imaginative Learning is our Standard
Play and beyond…
Safari Ltd. champions education and learning through imaginative play.
Back to school time can be an emotional time filled with excitement, anticipation, nervousness, and nostalgia. As we rush to pull out backpacks and cross off supply checklist, let’s not lose sight of the grand adventures and promise that the new school year brings.
Watching our own children growing up and preparing to head out each day, we are reminded of all of the other kiddos strolling into the new year...more than anything, we long for them all to have joyful educational opportunities and experiences. As long time supporters of playful learning, we keep our eyes on the goal of supporting educational practices that are hands-on, engaging, and as joyful as possible to help children thrive.
From our humble beginning in 1982, spanning several decades and multiple generations, our family-owned and operated company has used the power of play to ignite imaginations and educate children on nature and the importance of conservation. Our high-quality and scientifically accurate toys are classic and timeless, designed for creativity, playful learning, and powered by imagination.
In an effort to spread more joy and learning, we’ve begun to expand our product offerings to include toys from other like-minded companies. We have chosen simple and beautifully crafted toys that boost creative play and learning as well as bonding and connection.
We want to support your efforts towards helping children to not only learn, but to thrive! Anyone that spends time watching children engaged in play will see that it involves engaging grand experimentation that leads to more learning than we can ever imagine or possibly measure.
When “learning through play”, there is no specific goal. True play is open-ended, led by the child, and imaginative; this type of play naturally promotes developmental skills (creativity, fine motor, gross motor, social skills, communication skills, etc.).
“Playing to learn”, on the other hand, involves playful activities, but has targeted skills. When children are playing to learn, they will be playing and having fun, but the play will involve more structured activities that are often facilitated by an adult. Both are brilliant ways for kids to learn and are encouraged for building lasting lifelong skills.
In our ongoing efforts to support education efforts, we proudly offer highly-detailed and realistic figurines that amplify educational experiences by exposing children to mini lifelike animals, objects, and landmarks that they may not have access to in real life. Exposure and education about something often leads to increased empathy and respect for that animal, person/group, or place. Expanded empathy and respect will empower our children to be conscientious global citizens and will lead to a vastly improved world. The joy generated through the power of imaginative play combined with understanding and empathy creates an awesome recipe for enthusiasm and life-long learning. Generations of parents, caregivers, and professionals that work with children have trusted our products to enhance play and learning.
Where are Safari Ltd. toys used?
- Schools (classrooms and special service rooms)
- Childcare centers
- Mental Health offices
- Speech Therapy offices
- Occupational Therapy offices
- Play Therapy settings
- Homeschool settings
- Museums & Nature Centers
- Camps and Afterschool programs
Who uses Safari Ltd. toys?
- Parents & Caregivers
- Teachers (General Ed., Special Ed, Preschool, Homeschool, Montessori, Reggio Emelia, etc.)
- Childcare providers
- Speech & Language Pathologist
- Occupational Therapist
- Counselors and Mental Health Professionals
- Play Therapist
What are Safari Ltd. toys used for?
- To inject play into learning
- To increase engagement
- To add a hands-on element to lessons
- To enhance vocabulary
- To support and improve receptive and expressive language skills
- To encourage positive interaction, communication, and cooperation
- To enhance creativity and imaginative thinking
- To support SEL (Social Emotional Learning) activities
- To build fine motor skills
- To enhance STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) programs
- To increase Math and Literacy learning
- To improve equity and access to learning (realistic figurines are hands-on support tools)
- For summer learning activities
- To help address learning loss
- To help meet learning standards and support research based best practices
- To nourish engagement, connection, cooperation, and communication with caregivers, therapist, teachers, and peers
- To enhance gross motor activities (crawling to an object, crossing the midline activities, making animal movements, etc.)
How are Safari Ltd. toys used?
- As math manipulatives
- As props/models for teaching vocabulary and facilitating language acquisition
- As hands-on multisensory tools to increase equity and access to learning for all students
- As props for reading comprehension activities (such as retelling and sequencing)
- As manipulatives and language objects for phonics and phonemic awareness instruction
- As tools to teach about diversity (differences and similarities in same specie figurines-like the Dogs TOOB, etc.)
- As props for technology projects (such as green screen, stop motion videos, and multimedia presentations)
- As 3D models for many different content areas
- As add-ons to increase creativity in block and storytelling centers
- As enhancements to outdoor play areas
- As a tool sensory explorations
- As engaging and themed additions to sand trays, sensory bins, & calming areas to address mental health and sensory needs
- As practical life tools for washing, pretend caretaking, organizing, sorting, etc.
- As a hands-on models across various subject areas
- As tools for instruction and enhancement in STEAM
- Are made of high-quality and non-toxic PVC plastic and paints that are free of lead, phthalates, and BPA.
- Are highly detailed and realistic
- Are available in multiple size options
- Represent animals from every continent and ocean around the world
- Include other common objects (flowers, vehicles, people, instruments, human organs, trees, etc.)
- Represent landmarks from around the world
- Include lifecycles for various animals, insects, and a green bean plant
- Are open ended and simple
We long to continue to pursue ways to enhance imaginative play and joyful learning for children around the world while also creating positive partnerships with parents, caregivers, educators, as well as other organizations that are working towards a common goal.
Numeracy & Subitizing
- Numeracy and Safari Ltd.’s large variety of TOOB® and Good Luck Minis® are a perfect match. Figurines can be used as manipulatives for counting activities and subitizing. Using themed figurines promotes engagement and supports curriculum connection through themes. (M7.2 Uses counters to represent objects)
- For younger children, matching 3D objects to a 2D picture matching requires the students to think about the essential qualities of an object. The size, color, and shape of objects in the 2D picture won’t be exactly the same as the 3D object. This leads to abstract thinking (a skill that will be essential for understanding that number symbols represent a quantity.)
- Measurement with younger children mostly involves size comparisons. Using a variety of different sized Safari Ltd. figurines supports this measurement Kids can also order figurines from small to large. Older preschool children can extend figurine size comparisons by using Snap Cubes or BiOBUDDi Blocks as nonstandard measurement tools. Elementary aged children can additionally use the Solar System Ruler as a standard form of measurement. Safari Ltd. figurines can also be used in weighing activities.
Sorting & Patterns
- Sorting is a fantastic way to deepen understanding and assess student learning. Providing a variety of Safari Ltd. figurines opens the door for children to sort by size, color, texture, type, and many other attributes. Sorts can be teacher directed or open sorts that the children come up with on their own. Open sorts are a fantastic way to encourage critical thinking and communication skills.
- Patterns are the building block behind so many math skills, and can be made with a variety of objects, movement, sound, etc. Safari Ltd.’s figurines can be used to create size patterns (using various sized figurines), color patterns, attribute patterns (bird, reptile, bird, reptile…). BiOBUDDi Blocks can be used for more simple patterning by size or (M9.5 Identifies, describes, completes or extends color patterns.)
A variety sizes of Safari Ltd. figurines
Language and Literacy
Reading and Writing
- In literacy centers, children can use Safari Ltd. figurines to create or recreate a story. Figurines can inspire or extend topics for writing and language development. Rich conversations about books and writing can be inspired through play surrounding a story. In the early years of writing, figurine play can give teachers a glimpse into the rich imaginations and stories that children have to tell by watching their stories play out in real life.
- Sorting the detailed TOOB® figurines by attributes is a fantastic way to build vocabulary and deepen understanding.
- Retelling a story or poem is brought to life with hands-on materials. Safari Ltd.’s character and landmark TOOB® figurines foster better understanding by giving students a tangible way to interact with the elements in a story. Complex and abstract concepts are more accessible when using manipulatives.
- Sequencing is an important comprehension skill that can be enhanced by creating a small world setting for children to use TOOB® figurines as characters to move through the scene. This gives them a visible and highly engaging way to learn about beginning middle and end. BiOBUDDi Blocks can be easily incorporated as part of the small world setting.
- Comparing and Contrasting is a skill that can be practiced with figurines. Students can be taught to explore and make careful observations of their figurines, noting qualities that are the same and different. This can be be done verbally or by physically placing items in a venn diagram or groups. By using 3D figurines vs pictures, students can compare texture, weight, size, color, shape, etc.
Any Animal TOOBS
- There is a profound link between vocabulary and reading comprehension.
- Using figurines and other 3D objects to teach vocabulary is much more powerful than word list memorization or simple using picture cards. Providing tactile input builds additional connections in a child’s brain.
- Safari Ltd.’s large variety of TOOB® figurines are perfect for teaching content related vocabulary.
Various figurines of all sizes related to theme unit
Phonemic Awareness & Phonics
- For younger children, matching 3D objects to a 2D picture matching requires the students to think about the essential qualities of an object. The size, color, and shape of objects in the 2D picture will not be exactly the same as the 3D object, and noting the discrepancies leads to abstract thinking (a skill that will be essential for understanding that letters represent sounds)
- Phonemic Awareness is a crucial precursor to more complex decoding and encoding skills. Using Safari Ltd. figurines (of various sizes) is a playful and appealing way to encourage rhyming, syllables, oral blending, etc. The figurines can be used as a prompt or in more tangible activities like sorting for the number of syllables.
- For older children, learning letter sounds is made easier by linking sounds to concrete objects. Sound sorting and matching activities with figurines are an engaging way to learn and practice phonics. Safari Ltd. TOOB® figurines can be used to link a beginning sound (Z is for Zebra). BiOBUDDi Learning Letters Block Set is a fun way to match letter symbols to a figurine that begins with the corresponding sound.
Various Figurines related to theme units
BiOBUDDi Learning Letters Block Set
Parts of Speech and Language Concepts
- Teaching spatial language concepts with Safari Ltd. figurines (of any size) can be especially beneficial. Spatial concepts are more easily solidified by manipulating the figurines into correct positions. Figurines can be placed in a variety of positions around a reference object. BiOBUDDi Blocks, or other building materials can be used to build a reference item (such as a cave) for the figures to be placed.
- Parts of Speech can be taught and practiced with objects, like Safari Ltd. figurines, through naming the object and discussing the attributes/actions. Educators can expand on this by showcasing how objects fit into a larger context. Create a ”noun town,” or take a page from Montessori, and create a farm or any setting with nouns that can be labeled (jungle, pond, etc.). Children can also describe actions (verbs) that the figurines may be doing in the town or on the farm (verbally or writing/building sentences) . For older students, they can use actual teacher created labels or write their own. The
- Down on the Farm TOOB
- New York City TOOB
- People at Work Designer TOOB
- In the Water TOOB
- Construction Vehicles TOOB
- Safari Farm (larger figurines)
- Farmer Play Set
- Additional Farm Related Product
- Create A Scene Magnetic Playset
Social Studies & Geography
- ·Figurines can serve as hands-on components to enhance social studies or geography activities. Kids can sort animals or landmarks by location, create dioramas for historical events, etc.
- Concrete materials also nourish vocabulary development and are especially important for students needing extra support.
Continent Themed Animals
Michelle the Underwater Adventurer
Kevin the Underwater Adventurer
Incredible Creatures rated 18 months+
Then and Now Comparisons
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
- STEAM activities cover many disciplines that can all be enriched with Safari Ltd.
- Safari Ltd.’s highly detailed figurines can be used in activities for describing, comparing, observing, sorting, and creating.
- Science experiments can be enhanced by adding an engaging, yet familiar, ingredient. Using themed figurines in experiments helps to connect the experiment to larger themes.. A few examples of ways to use figurines in experiments include discovering various ways to melt ice to free an animals, in sink and float investigations, exploring shadows, and testing bridges or boats built out of various supplies. Figurines can also bring an element of storytelling to an experiment. For example, building a boat to help the shipwrecked pirates. STEAM activities can be challenging for children. Adding the playful story element helps mitigate some of the frustration that they may feel while completing a task.
- Life Cycle sets are ideal for Science investigations. Students will learn about change and growth in addition to sequencing. Life cycle models also provide a way for students to investigate delicate stages of life without worry about injuring a live plant or creature. Put them alongside live models for comparisons and as a timeless reference. It is fascinating to children that young often look so different from adult creatures.
- Safari Ltd. figurines are very versatile. In addition to the numerous uses already mentioned, they can be awesome to use as alternative tools in process art, as “models” for sculptures/drawings/ movement, as instruments to create beats, and even as props with green screen technology.
- Building and Blocks - Blocks and Safari Ltd. figurines of all sizes can be used together to create cities, farms, zoos, homes, etc. By populating block creations with figurines, we can expand on the many benefits of block play by opening opportunities for increased creativity, connection to other content, storytelling, and language development.
- Playmats make great backdrops for projects and habitat exploration.
Incredible Creatures rated 18 Months+
Incredible Creatures Toys rated 18 Months+:
Fresh Water (Pond, Lake, River)
Incredible Creatures toysrated 18 months+
Ocean/Seashore (Most Popular)
Incredible Creatures Toys rated 18 months+:
Fairy Tale/Folk Lore
Biome Studies and Classifying Different Types of Animals
Sensory and Small World Play
- Sensory experiences are virtually limitless in their possibilities. Combine our TOOB® figurines with various types of filler to simulate different environments and habitats, or just purely to discover how the children learn and interact with different textures. By adding Safari Ltd. figurines, sensory bins can be a thrilling extension activity to most any theme.
- Safari Ltd.’s large variety of TOOBS® and figurines can provide a multitude of props for dramatic play on both a large and small scale. For example, a child can become a farmer and cultivate fruits and vegetables, or they can transform into a vet and care for a hedgehog or snake. These dramatic play scenarios can be acted out on a larger scale or with small world set ups.
Arts, Crafts and Music
Music and art open a world of creativity, engagement and avenues of expression that can not be matched. We now offer a variety of musical instruments and arts supplies to help provide tools for artistic endeavors.
Music activities can be enriched with figurines by using them as props, instruments (making a beat), or to front load information on the songs subject. Using figurines across various subjects serves as a bridge to connect content across disciplines.
Safari Ltd. figurines are very versatile. In addition to the numerous uses already mentioned, they can be awesome to use as alternative tools in process art, as “models” for sculptures/drawings, or for artistic movement activities.
In addition to our physical products, we offer an online learning resource to teach about the various animals represented in our collections.
We’d love to hear from you! Please reach out to us with any questions or to share your experiences using Safari Ltd. products to joyfully educate children through play. Tag us on social media @safariltd !