One way to learn about endangered animals is through play. Aurora World, Inc., a toy and gift manufacturer, has a line of cute plush toys called YooHoo & Friends. The designs are based mostly on endangered animals from around the world. My daughter and son instantly fell in love with these unusual and colorful stuffed animals - those big-eyes are hard to resist. We received two 5" animals: pink Sugar Glider (Shooga) and a purple Lesser Red Panda (Hapee). Both the animals make a noise when you squeeze their bellies. All the various stuffed animals are affordable and range in cost between $7-$14 (with the exception of the giant animals). My daughter loves the sugar glider marsupial best, and has fun pretending to make it fly through the air. The sugar glider is from Australia and the surrounding islands, and we located its homeland on a world map and read about the animal online. According to Wikipedia, the sugar glider is not endangered but protected (some close relatives like Mahogany Glider are endangered). Some people keep sugar gliders as domestic pets!
The tags on the smaller animals don't contain much information about the animals, but kids can find out more about their YooHoo & Friends animals if they visit the free, interactive website at www.yoohoofriends.com. We found our animals on the animal map and learned more about each animal and it's habitat. There's plenty of games featuring the YooHoo & Friends animals to play on the website and kids can even choose a pet and decorate their pet's room in the My Room section.
Kids can also learn more about endangered animals by participating in the Design YooHoo's Next Friend Contest. They can pick what endangered species they'd like to see as a YooHoo & Friends animal and submit a drawing of their new character. Entries must be postmarked by May 25, 2010, so get drawing! After checking out several endangered species, my daughter decided to draw a Green Turtle for the contest. (Did you know that World Turtle Day also falls on this weekend, May 23rd?) Full contest details here: http://yoohoo.auroraworld.com/tmp/community/free/color_design.aspx
Yoohoo & Friends on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/yoohoofanpage
If your child would like to submit a drawing they can find more wonderful information about endangered species at these additional websites:
Konica Minolta's Illustrated Encyclopedia of Endangered Animals
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Endangered Species Program Kids Corner
World Wildlife Federation - Species
WI DNR EEK! Our Earth: Threatened and Endangered Species
Aurora World Inc. has kindly offered to giveaway a random five inch animal from the YooHoo & Friends line to a Brimful Curiosities reader. The exact animal the winner will receive is a surprise!
To enter, leave a comment relevant to this post or comment with an endangered species you think would make a good YooHoo & Friends character.
• For contact purposes, if you are a non-blogger or your email is not accessible in your blog profile, please leave a valid email address within the comment section.Three ways to gain extra entries (Maximum total entries is 4; please leave a separate comment for each entry):
• Contest is open to US
• Contest ends on Monday, May 24th, 2010 at 11:59 PM CST.
• Winner will be chosen at random and sent an email notification.
1st extra entry: Blog about this contest then post your link in the comment section.
2nd extra entry: Follow me on twitter (iambrimful) and tweet about the contest (Sample tweet: RT @iambrimful It's Endangered Species Day on May 21. Win an @yoohoofriends stuffed animal in our giveaway - http://bit.ly/dnXZei)
3rd extra entry: Follow Me! or subscribe by email or RSS reader
Aurora World Inc. provided my family with two plush toys to facilitate this review. (View my full disclosure statement for more information about my reviews.)