There is a place in Okotoks, Alberta, that we absolutely cannot drive by without visiting. If I do, my kids will surely voice their disapproval. However, truth be known, I\’m just as big a fan of Monkey Mountain Toys & Games as my kids are. I wish the store had been around when I was growing up in this town!
Located on main street Okotoks, there is no disguising the store. Monkey Mountain has the most beautiful mural of running horses painted on its side. My twins recognize it immediately and I\’ve seen all kinds of people taking pictures of the wall-length painting. It\’s also a hot spot for brides and grooms for one-of-a-kind wedding photos.
Above is a shot I attempted to take as we drove by the store (after stopping for a shopping trip) in the rain. Monkey Mountain is one of our absolute favorite local places to hit for a visit, especially on days of inclement weather. With all kinds of educational and innovative toys inside, it\’s a mother\’s paradise when in search of things to occupy your children <grin.>
Recently we discovered Schleich toys and with the new line-up of play collectables, I have to admit I was the teeniest bit envious… Envious because I would have died to have toys like this as a child! We were so fortunate to pick up a halter and blanket, feed (apples/carrots and grain), a western saddle and bridle, veterinarian, hay and wheelbarrow and boots and brushes accessory sets to go along with the numerous Schleich horses available. Everything from Quarter Horses, to Lipizzaners, to Falabellas and their foals are made by Schleich.
The attention to detail that Schleich imparts with their toys is phenomenal! And if you look at one of the Schleich business mottoes – \”Educational aspects play a more important part than possible sales potential,\” you feel good about introducing their items to your children as well.
Being a horse person, I can vouch for the accurate and intricate details the company has made to this year\’s line-up. My twins immediately took to the realistic halter and blanket set, having seen us (their parents) blanket and halter horses a countless number of times.
Blankets protect show horses from the cold weather and halters are necessary to move the horses from their stalls to their outdoor turnouts each day, or anywhere else we need them to go. So the kids have been practicing moving their Schleich horses from the barn to their turnouts and to the tack-up area, to get saddled for the day\’s workout.
In miniature version, I can\’t tell you how exciting and detailed these new accessories from Schleich are! I should also explain that Schleich is a toy manufacturing company, founded over 75 years ago in Germany. Playing with Schleich figures is similar to a game with no instructions and no limits, which lets the child\’s imagination run free. They can imagine themselves in a bigger world, with toys that are true-to-form and exceptionally detailed figurines that are unbelievably realistic.
Our daughter is particularly drawn to Appaloosas these days. So with her vivid coat pattern, this Schleich Knabstrupper mare (pictured below) was definitely coming home with us. We also scooped up a tiny equestrian grooming kit, equipped with a curry comb and body brush, and splint boots to protect the toy\’s legs in strenuous competition. (Lol.)
Of particular interest to me was the Schleich veterinarian, available in the 2014 line-up. Of course, our children are very familiar with us as the trainers and caretakers of these beautiful animals, but veterinarians are also key individuals in the lives of horses as well. As parents, we hope we are making our kids aware of all kinds of career choices in the future – even as young as they currently are. But that\’s another perk of Schleich toys, they are recommended for children 3 and up!
We took all our new Schleich toys to the horse show we attended this past weekend and again, they were a big hit! And now that we have discovered the world of Schleich, I am so excited about adding to our collection! So much so, that I thought My Stable Life readers should benefit from it as well.
Drop me a comment in the Comments section below and tell me about your best tip for keeping kids occupied at the horse show (I need all the tips I can get!!) and you will automatically be entered to win a Schleich Quarter Horse and western tack accessory outfit!! Contest ends August 8 and the winner be decided by a random random drawing. Go!