My newly-minted 6-year-old received a stuffed lemur for her birthday earlier this week. Because we don’t know too much about this species (except from what we saw in the Madagascar movies), it seemed like a perfect opportunity to learn about something new. But before we could hit the library, our local newspaper ran a story about a nearby university’s scientist who received an award for her research on…yup, you guessed it…lemurs. Naturally it got us to talking about these mysterious creatures who happen to be endangered species. That’s when things got a little tricky; trying to explain what it means to be a dwindling breed to a kindergartner is not as simple as recapping a lengthy article meant for adults. So, since the experts say kids learn best through play, it only makes sense that we speak their language. Today, in honor of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s observation of Endangered Species Day, we’re saluting two kids’ items that educate kids on those creatures fighting to survive. PLAYMOBIL’s Endangered Animals of the World line of playsets lets kids experience the wonders of wildlife safely, as they explore a variety of miniature habitats. We love the Pandas in Bamboo Forest, which comes with one figure, an off-road bike, two pandas and two cubs and a bunch of accessories for pretending to observe these fascinating creatures. And in the just-released All in a Rainforest Day, kids can read all about endangered species, including my daughter’s beloved lemurs. Did you know that over 90 percent of all lemur species are currently threatened? Through this highly visual, informative book, you’ll learn that and a whole lot more.
In a Nutshell: Inquisitive, young minds who can never get enough from the natural history museum will take great pleasure in toys and a book worth checking out.