Learning fine motor skills and gaining the dexterity needed to button, snap, and zip is a major milestone for little kids. These skills help them get dressed on their own and build confidence in everyday activities. Preschoolers can practice those important life skills while planning pretend feasts anywhere, anytime with the Snap-to-It Picnic from Alex.
Designed for kids ages 3 and up, the carrying case unzips and unfolds into a double-sided mat with a plaid picnic blanket background on one side and a yellow picnic basket scene on the other. It includes felt food shapes, plastic snaps, and colored strings that kids can use to build 3D pictures by buttoning, tying, and threading them onto the mat.
There’s a big element of imaginative play as kids layer the felt pieces on top of each other to replicate picnic classics, such as a cheeseburger (grab a meat patty, a slice of cheese, and two buns), a hotdog with either mustard or ketchup crisscrossed on top depending on what color string they lace through the holes (mustard all the way), freshly squeezed lemonade (just drop a lemon slice in the pocket of a cup), and a dessert plate (Are you in the mood for fruit or cookies and cupcakes?). Of course, you can’t have a picnic without bugs, so kids can also add felt ants and buzzing bees to their storytelling scenes.
Almost all of the felt pieces have a slit in the middle and the mat has rivets in it. Kids can secure the felt pieces to the mat by pushing the plastic snaps or lace thread through the holes to create their ideal picnic platter. There’s even an element of fidget fun as kids snap the pieces into place with a click or pull them out of the mat to remove them. Kids can also keep the snaps in place and simply “unbutton” the felt food from around the snaps to swap food items. These actions teach kids the key motor skills they need to button their clothing or tie their shoes so there’s an element of learning while they play.
When kids are done building their stories, they can fold the mat up with all the pieces inside and zip it up like a briefcase. It even has a carrying handle to take it on the go, like a real picnic basket. At least with this picnic, no one has to worry about sticky spills or dropped sandwiches. Life’s a picnic, so enjoy every minute of it!