Thursday, July 21, 2011

Narnia Figures :: Bringing the Stories More to Life

Last week I shared my experience in reading The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe aloud to my oldest son (in the hearing of my second born as well, I might add!) As I mentioned, I picked up a mini wardrobe at Goodwill and started collecting Safari Ltd. figurines to add to it. (Rather unfortunately it's hard to come by the Narnia figures themselves. I'd love a Mr. Tumnus or something!)

Part of my son's interest in Narnia is the mythological creatures. My son is an animal lover and these strange and magical beast are hugely attractive for him in mysterious way. He wants to know more about them and he likes playing with the Safari Ltd. figurines while I read. He wants to know everything about these beasts which he has never heard of before. They are new and exciting!

(As an aside, if you can point out a good picture book reference which would tell us more about mythological creatures, I am all ears!!!)

Safari Ltd. kindly sent us the following figurines to check out and add to our collection (some of which I hadn't seen in our local stores:)

This beautiful Safari Ltd. Pegasus makes me anxious to read The Magician's Nephew with my son. In the meantime, we've talked about the story a bit and think this creature is perfectly lovely.

Bookworm1 was particularly fascinated with the Safari Ltd Griffin after watching these mighty creatures help Peter fight the battle against the Witch Witch in the movie version of the story.

This ugly Safari Ltd. Cyclops definitely belongs in the White Witch's army. (I also wish we had a White Which figurine. Then this guy wouldn't have to stand alone. But he represents things fairly well for us. We suspect him of much.)

Back on the side of the Narnians, I purchased this Safari Ltd. Minotaur for our collection:

And I really believe that you cannot play Narnia unless you have a bold, courageous and magnificent Safari LTD Centaur:

(I purchased two Centaurs, actually. One was another company's version and I can say rather emphatically that Safari Ltd.'s Centaur is much more noble and striking. The other seems wimpy in comparison. Your Centaurs should never be wimpy. It's just not right!)

Adding these to our collection of other animals, we have a nice little Narnian army in the making! I only allow these items to come out when we're reading so as to keep them special and fun. I like them for several reasons:

1. They help bring the story to life;
2. They increase his curiosity about the stories;
3. They keep both boys quietly entertained while I'm reading aloud to them.

It spurs their imagination and draws them into the Wardrobe just a little bit more each time I pull them out. They are wonderful tools and I love them! (I have my eye on the Safari Ltd. beavers next. I purchased a "Mr. Beaver" for us this past week. How can you play Narnia without beavers?!?! The answer to that question is: you can't!)

Do you have particular ways in which you engage with these stories with your children? (You saw how Narnia-Girl utilized Legos to inspire children to enter the world of Narnia, right?) If so, please do share! I'm always up for a new idea. In the meantime, with animal figurines threatening to take over the top floor of our house, these mythological creatures fit right in to what I already know we love to do . . . PLAY!

Thank you, Safari Ltd. for sending a few of these figurines for our play and amusement. Thank you for this particular line of figurines as well - as I think they are most useful in engaging the imaginations of children.


Amy @ Hope Is the Word said...

Hmmm. . .I bet my Louise would love these! Did the Wardrobe movie not scare Bookworm 1?

Stephanie Kay said...

How fun! I had not thought of collecting figures to play with during the story. I'm sure that would help my second son (who's very tactile) love the stories a little better. Thanks for the idea!

Annette W. said...

M and E were so mesmerized by your post (well, the Safari images) that they asked for we had to visit Safari! I think your idea of keeping the toys special and only during read aloud times is awesome.

I definitely think you and the boys would enjoy The Book of Narnians. I really need to write up a post about it, but it's such a browsing-type book...with a Narnian time line and descriptions (from CS Lewis) and the original illustrator...

Carrie said...

Annette - YES! THANK YOU! That was the book that I thought I had seen before, but couldn't remember the title of. I searched and searched but Amazon wasn't popping up with that specific title. WOOT! Perfect! Ding, ding, ding! You win a gold star today in my book! =)

Marks of Faith said...

Ok...the Pegasus is TOO COOL! Just saying... :)

Narnia_girl said...

What beautiful playthings for the children. They do look well made and durable. I will consider it my challenge to dig out my old VBS stuff and see what kind of crafts and games we played with the Narnia theme. I do remember letting the children create their own coat of arms on a cardboard shield.

Off topic: Griffens were adopted by early believers to symbolize Christ so it is not surprising that when J.K. Rowling was creating her fictitious Hogwarts houses, the hero had to be from Griffendor and the villain was from Slytherin (snake).

BTW: Wheaton College has THE wardrobe.

Anonymous said...

I live in Canada so I'm not sure if you can get these where you live but my sons have 2 different sets of Narnia figurines (like action figures) from the Disney store in our local mall.

Barbara H. said...

Those are so cool, especially the centaur. My boys would have loved them way back when.

Jennifer & Kids said...

Just bought our first Toob! So much fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks for the intro!

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