My kids love animals of all kinds. Big ones, small ones, cute, fuzzy ones, creepy, crawly ones... they are constantly pointing them out when we see them outside, in books, on television, and more. Whether it is something sweet like a puppy walking down the street or not-so-sweet like a snake crawling up your arm...
...they just seem to happily love them all. Shudder.
So when it comes to toys, my girls have had a wide variety of endless adventures pretending to ride animals, own animals, be animals, and more. Their new favorite animals, though? The kind that are eco-friendly, unique, able to be posed, and are altogether fun: anamalz.
Designed in Australia, anamalz are a collection of award-winning, handcrafted wooden toys made from sustainable maple wood and textile products, giving them the ability to be bent into a variety of poses. Make them look up, make them look down or twist them into your own position - kids are engaged with them immediately!
Knowing that Big Sister E and Little Sister B were going to be excited to check out these eco-friendly figurines, when a Triceratops, Crocodile, Moose, Orange Tree, and Playmat arrived, it was all that I could do to not want to simply admire the cuteness of them and display them on a shelf.
Considering that the only thing these toys require is creativity, all that we needed to do was lay out the playmat to be ready to jump into the anamalz imaginary land.
Measuring approximately 32 x 24.5", the all-new Playmat is the perfect backdrop for the anamalz to have a place to roam and play. The plush, extremely soft green pasture takes up the majority of the space, while a river separates it from the dirt field in the distance. With multiple padded rocks to cross over the water and three push-along wooden fish that swim through, the simplicity of the playmat is what makes it just right for nearly any adventure.
It didn't take long at all for Big Sister E and Little Sister B to position the soft orange tree in place, bring the inhabitants in... and become completely entertained by them.
As cute and modern as the anamalz were to look at, once the girls had possession of them, they were pretty much irresistible. The combination of the smooth wood and the soft fabric and the bendable body parts allows them to be moved and posed into any number of ways and it only adds to the amount of fun that kids can invent.
It seemed that each time the girls realized that they could pose the anamalz in different ways, it was as though the stories just kept coming. They went for long walks...
...often met with friends...
...stopped to take plenty of drinks of water from the river and eat delicious oranges from the tree...
...and, when they were tired, the anamalz knew that it was time to lay down for a little rest.
As the kids traded the anamalz back and forth, I couldn't help but notice how much more they seemed to be enjoying them than traditional, static figures. The wood/fabric design stands out and each hand-painted (with child-friendly water-based paint) face is so endearing and sweet. How could they not feel as though these were more than just a toy, but were in fact new friends?
The addition of the playmat and the orange tree were just what was needed, as the bright orange fruit was included in many of the anamalz adventures and the playmat tied it all together. The girls loved helping the fish swim under the iridescent water...
...and, even better, at the end of our play sessions, the playmat easily turns inside out and becomes a handy bag for storage. Just reach into the opening at the end...
...and tuck the fabric into itself. Then store your anamalz and accessories right along inside and you're ready for travel or just to put these characters away until next time.
Design, quality, entertainment, and function? I love it!
There are four lines of anamalz (Prehistoric, Wild, Farm, and Australian) that retail between $8.95 and $12.95 each, three types of trees (Orange, Apple, and Wild) that have a price tag of $16.95, and the new Playmat that retails for $39.95, so you're able to pick and choose your favorite anamalz pieces for your collection.
Designed for children ages 3 and up (although at 2, Little Sister B has been perfectly fine with them), anamalz can be found online (Amazon has some great deals) and in stores at specialty shops, Barnes & Noble, and more across the United States and around the world.
As an added bonus, an anamalz purchase gives children access to the online experience on the company's website - allowing them to animate their pal, download wallpaper, play games, find tips on improving the environment, and more. What a great way to extend the play that these creatures already provide!
For a unique item that children (and adults) are sure to enjoy, anamalz don't require batteries or make noise or flash lights. Instead, their eco-friendly, simple attractiveness takes the classic wooden toy and gives it a fresh, modern twist. It seems as though each time we have taken these out, they spark a new, imaginative tale and we have had a blast over and over again!
And, thanks to the generosity of anamalz, one person will be able to bring home new friends for the child in their life as well, because...
One lucky person will win their choice of any three anamalz!
To enter to win: Visit anamalz and tell me which adorable animal(s) you would most like to welcome into your home.
Extra Entries (available after the mandatory entry above is completed; please leave a separate comment for each entry in order for them to be counted).
1 Extra Entry if you Like anamalz on Facebook.
1 Extra Entry (per giveaway entered) - Enter any (or all) of the giveaways running on Thanks, Mail Carrier for the duration of this giveaway.
1 Extra Entry if you follow me on Twitter and tweet about this giveaway by copying and pasting the tweet below and leaving me the link. Tweet daily for an extra entry every day!
I want to WIN my choice of 3 Anamalz, the eco-friendly wooden animals kids LOVE! http://bit.ly/qE1NCD @thxmailcarrier #giveaway #win
2 Extra Entries (per follow method) if you follow me with Google Friend Connect, subscribe to my RSS feed, subscribe to Thanks, Mail Carrier by email, become a fan on Facebook or add Thanks, Mail Carrier to your blogroll.
3 Extra Entries if you put my cute button up on your blog. Please leave an address where it can be found.
3 Extra Entries if you blog about this giveaway linking back to this post. Please leave an address where it can be found.
Giveaway will end on August 4th at 11:59pm CST. Do me the favor of leaving an email address or making absolutely sure it is visible in your profile, I have to have a way to contact the winner. The winner will be chosen by random.org and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to contact me or respond to notification or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.
A big thank you to anamalz for providing a playmat, orange tree, and three anamalz for me to review as well as three anamalz of choice for one lucky giveaway winner. The opinions shared are my own and honest and if you really need to see more, click here to see how I roll.