But beyond that, there has always been something extra special about pretend play and its benefits. It doesn't matter if your child would prefer to pull on a ball gown and role play as a princess or zoom their toy car through a city built out of blocks, this form of imaginative, make believe, fantasy play is educational and expressive in a multitude of ways.
So, when it comes to pretend play accessories, I continuously look for items that are not only fun and entertaining, but made to last a lifetime. Things that will inspire their imagination, hold up to endless hours of playtime by my girls (as well as any of their friends that come over as well), and provide the opportunity to experiment with different events, experiences and possibilities in their lives.
With that in mind, one of our favorite brands that can always be counted on for the widest selection of heirloom-quality European crafted toys is none other than HABA.
Unmatched in their selection of unique, high quality toys, games, gifts and furniture, HABA offers the whimsical and innovative toys for babies, toddlers and big kids that reflect their European values of staying playful and environmentally-friendly.
This innovative company was founded in Germany back in 1938 and has been bringing amazing, award-winning products to children ever since. And, while there has never been any doubt that HABA's products are a delight to behold, the moment that I saw their new Doorway Theater, I was, without a doubt, in love.
The perfect combination of convenience, ingenuity and beauty, HABA's Doorway Theater can easily double as artwork along with being a toy. Even better, due to the quick setup and removal, portability and adjustable hanging rod, this is one item that can be moved throughout the house or taken on travels without any problem.
In fact, as soon as I had removed the colorful polyester fabric and included tension rod from the box...
|Extremely adorable Princess Glove Puppet sold separately.|
...it only took a matter of a minute or two before I had adjusted the rod to the width of our space and had the entire thing in place.
While we couldn't be happier to have the Doorway Theater to fill up this somewhat-odd, empty space from our living room into our play room, I adore the way that this toy can be adjusted to fit just about any size doorway.
The fabric of the theater itself measures 67" tall and 31" across, but the tension rod can be shortened or extended (exactly as you would with a shower or curtain rod) to fit in a wide variety of larger and smaller openings. Simply twist it one way or the other and you're got a completely customizable puppet show!
At the same time, this clever design includes three hidden pockets (i.e. channels) throughout the fabric that each house a single piece of wood to give the entire thing weight and help keep it taut when young puppeteers are moving around behind it.
|The wood does NOT actually stick out of the channel in this manner, it was just positioned as such for the photo.|
All that's left is to put on show after show!
HABA included plenty of adorably cute details throughout this Doorway Theater, giving this toy even more eye-catching uniqueness everywhere you look.
The red curtains can easily be tied back to frame the "stage," there is a peek-a-boo porthole up above for a puppet to make a surprise appearance and the clear oval pocket below (which opens and closes at the top with Velcro) is just right to place a sign displaying the name of the act.
Again and again, the girls have been thrilled to put on their shows and, whether there is an audience or not, they spend time coming up with tale after tale!
From top to bottom, I love the quality and care that HABA has put into their Doorway Theater. The vibrant colors, the careful stitching, the adjustable size, the foolproof installation, the overall whimsical look... it truly encourages storytelling, social and emotional skills, social play and more — the opportunities for play are endless!
You can find this creativity-inducing item (along with other of HABA's beautifully crafted play things) at specialty stores near you or right online at HABAusa.com. The Doorway Theater retails for $47.49 and is perfectly complemented by HABA's newly-expanded selection of hand puppets, including the princess that joined our home, a prince, Little Red Riding Hood, wolf, crocodile, Puss in Boots and more!
Have you visited HABAusa.com lately? You'll definitely want to head over to see more about these and all of their award-winning items that will be a perfect gift or educate and inspire your own children for years to come!
Also be sure to connect with HABA on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube so that you'll never miss the latest and greatest from the company that knows anything and everything about incredible toys.
Plus, thanks to their generosity, one person will soon see just what dramatics the perfect pretend play item can bring to their home as well, because...
One lucky person will win a HABA Doorway Theater!
A big thank you to HABA for providing a Doorway Theater and Princess Puppet for me to review as well as a Doorway Theater 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.