Children’s imaginations know no bounds. That includes my daughter Edie, and now at 4-years-old, she can take her tales and scenarios to new levels us boring old folk can't even begin to imagine. Whether we’re evading howling wolves on a dog walk, creating artistic masterpieces from junk mail originally destined for the recycling bin or simply using my weary frame as a Mount Kilimanjaro clone, there’s no limit to how far one of Edie’s stories might go.
I've always felt that Edie's imagination has been sparked by creating games from more traditional methods (outdoor play, arts and crafts etc), as like many families out there, we have an arsenal of plastic toys that quickly find themselves forgotten about at the bottom of a cupboard. So, when Edie recently started playing with a new set of Fisher Price Shimmer and Shine toys, I was already worrying about which cupboard they'd fit into.
But, I was wrong. Having watched Edie use the toys and and accessories (an exotic cat, a bag of sparkly gems, shimmering candle-effect lights and a potion-carrying necklace) over half term, she’s admiringly been creating some brilliantly imaginative scenes. I’ve been told (by Edie), these twin genies are talk of the pre-school playground, and having joined Edie and Shimmer and Shine in their magical land (the sitting room) on a few occasions now, I'm starting to see the appeal to a young imaginative child (some of Edie's wild stories might require some copyright applications before the show’s creators nab them for a new series. I’m ready to talk Nick Jr… 5 bags of your sparkly gems should get the ball rolling).
Shimmer and Shine might have ended up discombobulated on the sofa or simply plonked next to our snoring dogs to yours and my mature (old and boring) eyes, but to Edie, Shimmer and Shine have experienced some enchanting adventures over the last few days. From picnicking beneath waterfalls with a giant monkey (our blue sofa and Edie’s younger brother), to being trapped by gruesome creatures (the dogs – their snoring can be pretty gruesome), there’s no end to how a child can reimagine the plainest of settings.
One of Edie's favourite toys has been the floating palace sitting room, where, as if by some kind of extraordinary genie magic, the girls float above their plush, jewel encrusted sofa (you don't see that in DFS, actually, you probably do). At the click of a button, the toy also plays back some phrases and songs from the show, as does the Talk and Sing doll Edie's become very fond of. Upon pressing the doll's belly a few times, our sitting room transforms into an Arabian club as the doll's booming beats drop, much to the joy of a dancing Edie and that giant monkey mentioned above.
Admittedly I was sceptical, but Edie has had some really imaginative fun with the toys over the last few days and tellingly, her continued interest in them, means they're not destined for a life at the bottom of the toy cupboard!
Link: Shimmer and Shine Toys