The latest addition to our toy collection is a set of Flockmen. Flockmen are little Waldorf / Montessori inspired wooden figures that invite young and old for open-ended play that fosters imagination, creativity, hand-eye coordination and balancing as well as controlled body movement. As simple and plain as they might look, there are so many different ways Flockmen can be played with. So below I have listed a few Flockmen play ideas for you.
I am a big fan of open-ended toys and wooden toys in particular and what I specifically love about the Flockmen (or gingerbread men as my daughter calls them 😉 ) is that kids can play with them from a very young age – the Flockmen are easy to grab for little hands and impossible to swallow – and they grow with them and can then be used as a means for further learning when they are older.
Flockmen are available in three different sets (16pcs, 32pcs or 100pcs) and they come with a drawstring bag which makes it very easy to store them. They are now also about to release different sizes of Flockmen to enhance role play.
One of the most obvious things to do with Flockmen is stack them up in all different sorts of ways. You can make up your own shape of stacks or, if you have older children you can download free building challenge cards with different levels of difficulty on the Flockmen website here.
Alternatively check out #flockmen on Instagram to get some inspiration for some very impressive stacks that people have built that would be fun recreating.
I must say that not just my daughter but also I have quite been enjoying to create different Flockmen stacks. You can even take your stacking to the next level by combining them with other wooden blocks like the Grimm’s wooden rainbow.
Flockmen are made of unpainted, natural birch wood so why not encourage your kids to get creative by painting them? If you don’t want to permanently colour your Flockmen you can order plain white Flockmen stickers here so you can create new looks over and over again.
My daughter particularly loves this one: line up your Flockmen like dominoes in a straight or curved line and enjoy watching them fall over one by one at the end.
The little men can be used as little people for role play. You can even get different character and coloured stickers that you can use to personalise your Flockmen.
My daughter loves using them in combination with her wooden train set and in her play kitchen for “cooking”, so there really are no boundaries as to what you can do with them.
On the Flockmen website you can download different pattern puzzle sheets which basically provide your child with an outline that they then need to try and fill in with Flockmen. You can of course also easily prepare some for child yourself by creating a pattern of Flockmen and tracing around them on a piece of paper.
Mathematical / Numeracy Play
My daughter is currently at the age where she is learning to count and recognise numbers so we have been using the Flockmen for counting and sorting. We have a wooden number puzzle from 1 to 20 and I put these numbers in a drawstring bag (you can also just write numbers on pieces of paper) and let Vicky draw a number. Once she’s identified the number I ask her to count out the corresponding amount of Flockmen.
On the Flockmen website you can find some more ideas how to use them for other mathematical play however old your kids are. You can even download free maths stickers and worksheets to practice addition and substraction.
So this are just a few Flockmen play ideas. Have you heard of Flockmen before?
If your kids have a set of Flockmen as well, I’d love to hear what their favourite thing to do with them is.