Homeschooling with Playmobil

My first experience with Playmobil was as a child in Germany. I was given a hospital set and remember playing with it for hours. Somewhere along the way my brother acquired some Playmobil people with horses. They were a part of our imaginative play for years. I remember specifically playing out some of the civil war (and lots of "castle stuff") with some of the horsemen.

When I had my own children, one of the first big toy purchases was a Playmobil dollhouse for my daughter when she was turning three. From then on, we began collecting various sets over the years. My kids weren't the only ones having a good time with them. ;-)

When we began homeschooling, I immediatly saw how I could incorporate our large collection into our studies. They are the perfect toy for hands on learning. We used them for narration (tell me what you learned) and for setting up scenes that went with the different books we were reading or different time periods. When we were studying Mongols, the kids took their playmobil people and made a yurt for them. When we were studying the west, they made cabins and set up cowboys and indians. It was rare that I would even assign something like this. The kids would pull them out and do it on their own. While I'd listen to their play, I'd see just how much they really did pick up and retain and were reinforcing without even really realizing it.

So just why is Playmobil such a great toy for tying into homeschool studies? I think the fact that there are so many different little people and so many neat "goodies" that go with them that they just invite kids (and um..parents...*cough*) to set them up and play. There are lots of themed sets, but with a little imagination any Playmobil figure can be just about any character in a book or from your timeline. Here are some ideas in how to tie them into what you are learning:

  • Act out a scene from a book you've just read
  • Create a different ending to a story or pretend what things would have been like if a historical situation ended differently
  • Use them for your narrations
  • Video tape "plays" using the figures and sets (writing, planning, creative film making, etc.)
  • Use sculpey clay to create objects for your Playmobil sets like food, decorations, etc. (art)
  • Reenact a historical event or time period (and reinforce what was just learned in a very hands-on, multisensory way)
  • Create houses/homes for the Playmobil people using cardboard boxes, wallpaper samples, etc. (art, some architecture, cultural studies, etc.)
  • Prewriting - use Playmobil to act out a story or a portion of a story and then write it down (This is a good activity for reluctant writers.)

Who says school time has to be boring? ;-)

Why not use other toys to do the same thing? Well you can, but Playmobil makes it easier because of the level of detail and all the thousands and thousands of little detailed "extras" like little forks and knives, tiny ice cream cones, little rifles and bows with arrows, animals, landscaping items, different kinds of houses and structures like castles, ships, and on and on the list goes. Playmobil are also a nice size (not too big but not tiny either) for this type of play and a little less free form than something like Legos. You don't have to build all your "stuff", you just pull it out and play with it. They also kind of "go with" other toys easily. If you have a dollhouse, most likely Playmobil people and sets will fit in it. If you have a tent for your G.I. Joes, it can be used for your Playmobil. If you want to make a teepee out of sticks and a washcloth, well...Playmobil will most likely be able to go in there too. They are an excellent toy for imaginative play!

We don't have cable T.V. and so quality toys are important to us. Our Playmobil sets have gotten some of the best mileage for our money compared to any of the other toys we've purchased over the years. The sets can be expensive but it's not so bad when they are pulled out often and last so long (we plan on saving many of our sets for future grandchildren). You can also look on ebay for used sets. I don't pay attention to the age recommendations either. Because our kids are homeschooled, they don't have any of the "you are too old to play with that" pressure to worry about. They are free to be kids and play with something because they like it without feeling like they might be "stupid" for doing so. Even our sixteen year old sets things up with her youngest brother from time to time and has a great time doing so!

Here are some history related sets I think would be great for a homeschooling family. I've separated them out into categories of historical insterest. These are just a FEW sets though and there are lots more historical sets as well as non history related sets that would be great too. You can type in Playmobil into the Amazon search box below the examples to see even more.

Have fun and happy homeschooling!

Click here to read what our daughter wrote about playing with Playmobil as a homeschooler.
Click here to see some of our Playmobil set up when we were studying WinterPromise's American history 2.
Click here to send us pics of YOUR playmobil set up for homeschool studies and we will share them!



Ceasar roman figure



Please note that some sets are discontinued each year as new sets are added. I will try to keep this section updated so it will be easy to locate historically themed sets. If you see something you really, really like, don't count on it being available "next" year. That's what I did with some Viking items and they are no longer being stocked. You can always try E-bay though.

Playmobil Roman Arena



Playmobil Warrior's Ship
With a little bit of imagination this can also be an Egyptian, Viking or Greek ship.

Playmobil Chariot


Playmobil Firing Catapult



Playmobil Commanders Tent

Playmobil Roman Warriors

More Roman sets:
Roman Fighter by Playmobil
Gladiator by Playmobil
romain battler tower roman
roman warrior with horse
Roman Tribune



Playmobil Eagle Castle

The less expensive but still cool castle

Playmobil Knight's Empire Castle

O.K. One can dream, right? ;-)

Knight Family

Playmobil Knights Tournament

Playmobil Royal Kitchen

Playmobil SuperSet Castle

Treasure Transport by Playmobil
Some other castle related sets:
Dragon Troops
Evil Knight
Silver Knight
Playmobil Knight's Dungeon
Powerful Knight
Dragon Attack Cannon
King With Throne
3 Green Dragon Knights by Playmobil
Brave Knight
3 Kings Knights Playmobil #7768
Playmobil Crusader
Warrior With Wolf
Gold Dragon Knight Leader
Brave Prince
King & Queen
Horse And Well
Cannon Guard
Captive Prince
Knights Rock Castle
Medieval House with Barn (cool!)
Black Lion Leader
Catapult #7700
Blue Framework House
Courageous Knight
Red Framework House
Knight's Take Along Castle
Forest Animals with Cave
Playmobil Advent Calendar - Knight's Duel

Other time periods or neat sets

Renniasance style sets:
Royal Carriage
Royal Nursery
Royal Bathroom
Royal Bedroom
Royal Treasury
Magnificent Lady
Royal Bed Chamber
King & Queen
Royal King
Royal Children & Birdcage

Viking Leader by Playmobil

More Viking or Barbarian sets:
Norse King & Prince
Barbarian Ruin
Playmobil Barbarian Assault Tower
Barbarians Attack Troop Set
3 Barbarians
Barbarian Catapult
Viking Knights Attack Starter Set with Playscape

Egyptian Woman
Rock Temple _ (for Aztecs or Mayans)

Playmobil Nativity Set
Our kids play with this set every Christmas. It's become a tradition for them.

Playmobil Noah's Ark
I LOVE this Noah's ark set!

Our kids loved their set of Indians and tipi.
Native American Teepee

More Native American sets:
Native American Family
Bison by Playmobil
Native American Chief

Playmobil Western Super Set

More western time period sets:
Western Cowboy by Playmobil
Gold Mine by Playmobil
Victorian Bride and Groom by Playmobil
Rock Landscape, Western Red

Red Coat Soldiers (3)

More of this time period:
Red Coat Leader by Playmobil #7676
Playmobil Pirate Corsair
Beaver's Den
Playmobil Royal Artillery
Pirate Ship
Royal Guard Captain
Captain Peg Leg
Red Musketeer

Rebel Soldiers, Set Of 3 with Accessories
Union Leader

Rebel Leader
Union Soldiers (3) & Accessories

Cinderella princess fairy tale set

There are several of these fairytale sets. I think they'd be nice to go with a fairy tale unit study and are perfect for narrations.
More fairy tale sets:
Magical Queen Playmobil Fairy Tale
5 Dwarfs
Snow white fairy tale playset
Fairy Tale Tent
Hansel and Gretal fairy tale set
Royal Princess, Fountain and Frog
Magic Carpet
Magic Tree





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