Category Archives: Informational Blog

Tic-Tock Let’s talk about the Analogue Clock

Analogue ClocksEverything seems to be moving to a digital platform. The most innocent and unassuming items have electronic counterparts that, well quite frankly kick butt. Heck, just look at what the good old toothbrush has to compete with these days. While digital items seem to reign supreme are they always better, or more to the point what good is an analogue clock in today’s society?

Analogue watches have been replaced with digital watches, and digital watches are currently being replaced with ‘smart’ watches. With the decreasing instances where one will be required to read an analogue clock is it essential that children learn to read analogue time? The answer is yes – very important. While it may longer be necessary to read an analogue clock; it is definitely important for cognitive development and understanding the complex topic of time.

While time is expressed in numbers, the passage of time cannot be learnt the same way that one learns their 1, 2, 3’s. Time telling involves a lot of skills that are put into practice once the child starts learning about hours, minutes and seconds.Most children don’t have trouble reading the hour as it is an ordinal number from one to twelve. However, when the concept of minutes is involved, children automatically have to switch to counting in multiples of five to get to the right time. Therefore, learning to tell time, exercises a child’s ability to skip count by fives; which requires a good understanding of basic math. As analogue clock faces have distinguished numbers around the face with markings in-between this is a great visual aid – these features are not transparent in digital clocks. However, Even with the visual aid of an analogue clock face time telling can still be difficult to pick up.

Most children don’t have trouble reading the hour as it is an ordinal number from one to twelve. However, when the concept of minutes is involved, children automatically have to switch to counting in multiples of five to get to the right time. Therefore, learning to tell time, exercises a child’s ability to skip count by fives; which requires a good understanding of basic math. As analogue clock faces have distinguished numbers around their faces with markings in-between this is a great visual aid. These features are not transparent in digital clocks. However, Even with the visual aid of an analogue clock face time telling can still be difficult to pick up.

Luckily, there are many tools on the market that can help. Cactus Watches is an Australian range of children’s and teens watches that are a great value, durable, and have easy-to-read dials. The contemporary designs of these watches make it even easier for little ones to learn how to read the time. Stand out products are the Time Teachers that have the hour and minute hands labelled and the Time Tellers that have an outer ring marked with five past, ten past, quarter past and so on (for those who are having trouble picking up the time telling lingo).

TimeTeachers

Alongside these fantastic children’s watches, there are other time telling tools and toys aplenty. If you would like to discover our huge range of watches and time teaching toys head over to our website.

Step into the kingdom of Schleich

Schleich is a wonderful German brand that is responsible for the creation of thousands of super realistic hand-painted figurines. The Entropy Elves caught up with Schleich’s head of business development and product management, David Albert, who is based at Schleich HQ in Germany, to find out more about this iconic toy.

The animal figurines have been in production since the 1980s; what were the very first ones? In 1935 Schleich started with wire figures and the first Schleich figurines were the Smurfs. The first animal figurines were farm animals and horses.

Schleich animals of the world

How do you decide what new Wild Life and Farm Life animals to introduce? We are always trying to introduce animals that have never been produced in the past and, of course, we want to provide our customers with a fresh and exciting assortment.

Schleich – Farm Life Drake 13824

NEW Schleich – Farm Life Drake 13824

Schleich - Wild Life Black Panther 14774

NEW Schleich – Wild Life Black Panther 14774

How do you ensure that each Schleich figurine looks as life-like as possible?

      1. We work very closely with research institutes and universities to make sure that every figurine looks as realistic as possible.
      2. We do the complete process in-house — each toy is precision-engineered by a German master craftsman who works on a wax mould for up to six weeks for the finest detail. After injection moulding and finishing, the figurines are all decorated by hand.
      3. Schleich also has a very exact quality control program which also guarantees the highest quality.

Do you have any personal favourites? I definitely love the male elephant. It looks so impressive with its huge tusks.

Schleich Asian Elephant Male

What do you think people love the most about Schleich? The quality of the figurines and their very realistic look and feel.

Besides fun; what other benefits does playing with Schleich figurines have for children? The educational value is quite high while playing with Schleich figurines. All of our Farm and Wild Life animals exist in real life and they have the same proportions and colour as the real ones. With fun and exciting play concepts, Schleich encourages imaginative play and a child’s creativity.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

What’s something that may surprise people about Schleich? Every figurine is hand-painted meaning each figurine is unique. An Elf figurine, for example, takes 100 steps to get painted. This means that each figurine looks a bit different than the one right next to it.

Elf Wedding

Are there any nice stories from over the years about children and their Schleich figurines that have particularly stuck in your head? We receive lots of letters from all over the world from children telling us about their animals and favourites. Schleich has dedicated staff members who answer the letters.

Schleich T-Rex arriving at Schleich HQ

The latest team member at Schleich HQ in Germany

How common is it for adults to collect Schleich? We have a lot of customers that are adults and most of them collect our beautiful horses or the Smurfs.

Get your Schleich figurines for 25% off until July 31, 2017, and enter our competition Bring Schleich to Life before Monday, July 31.