COMMENTARY: Storytime and Playtime Collide

Storytime Toys Fuses Play Houses with Classic Fairy Tales

It can be really difficult to get kids enthusiastic about reading at a young age. When I was young, my mom gave me an enormous, leather-bound book full of fairy tales. Each page was laden with beautiful graphics and trimmed with gold. After having the stories read to me over and over again, I would use the tales and characters as inspiration for playtime, making my Barbie dolls act as Little Red Riding Hood and Hansel and Gretel.

New specialty toy company Storytime Toys, is making it even easier for kids to incorporate reading into playtime. Kara Dyer and Sara Argue have created a line of toy houses and storybooks based on classic fairy tales. Now, kids can read along to fairy tales including Goldilocks & the Three Bears, Hansel & Gretel, and The Three Little Pigs, while they build a house (or three, in the pigs’ case) that corresponds to each story.

Storytime.H&G

Each house features stunning, hand-painted imagery and comes with furniture and dolls for extended creative play. The pieces of the house can be assembled easily by kids ages 3 to 6. The stories are age-appropriate and will allow kids to associate playtime fun with the concept of reading.

Storytime.Goldilocks

The houses and accessories are made from card stock and EVA Foam. These materials allow for durability, but are lightweight and easy for kids to handle. In addition, the toy houses and storybooks all fit neatly into a carrying case for storage on a bookshelf or traveling to Grandma’s house.

In a world full of gender-specific pink and blue plastic play sets, these beautiful houses appeal to both boys and girls. The imagery is intricate and engaging, and the combination of book-and-toy gives the sets a lot of play value.

Storytime Toys began a Kickstarter campaign on April 7. The original $20,000 goal has been extended to $45,000 (since the previous goal was met in a mere 36 hours). With the additional money, Storytime Toys hopes produce animated versions of the re-told fairy tales and make them available to children for free on Youtube, Vimeo, and the Storytime Toys website. The Kickstarter campaign will come to a close on May 7. If you’d like to preorder any or all of the three Fairytale Houses, or pledge money to back the project, click here.

Check back weekly for more commentary from Marissa. Views expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Toy Book as a whole. We hope that you will share your comments and feedback below. Until next time!