Meet the Animal Folk
This week I launch a brand new range of toys called The Enchanted Forest Collection. It is a handcrafted range of heirloom pieces that are inspired by nature and my hope to help children foster a deeper relationship with our environment. You can read more about the inspiration here
While part of the collection features Forest folk from lore, myths and legends, the other part is the animals and creatures of this wild forest landscape. No forest would ever be complete without a hungry wolf or wise owl. I feel this is true because of the deep relationships we humans have with the animal kingdom. Animals have long been a important source of food, labour, companionship or threat to people everywhere.
So it is unsurprising we humans love animals and we love to give them human characteristics. Over time and place, all kinds of fables, myths and legends have sprung up about particular species. These tales have been rooted in the places and people who have gone on to retell them for generations. Our children hear about a raft of characters in fairy tales, file stories and local legends. They are such epic adventure stories too, with moral twists and such fantastical elements such as shapeshifting. We root for the heroes or villains, tricksters or sages in the tales.
These stories and legends help illustrate important lessons and teachings of wisdom. So as a toy, the Animal folk provide symbols and motifs to explore existing or new fables and tales. The complexities of relationships and the dynamics between the different characters uncovered. They are great for imaginary, small world play and bookish play, to use alongside literacy materials as well as other educational resources.
So, let's dive in and introduce the animals of the enchanted forest.