January 20, 2005

The Value of Play Silks

For years I have gone back and forth over the value of purchasing these playsilks. I always heard wonderful things about them but could not see why they were so special. I tried replicating it with a variety of blankets and cloths, which my kids did play with. I never saw them use these substitues the way people say kids use the playsilks so I could never justify the investment.

This past Christmas I suggested them as a gift idea for Sirah and she received an entire set of 7 bright rainbow colored ones. Now I see that what people say is true, they are probably my children's favorite thing to play with (and they have many things to play with). I would say Rhiannon and Ciaran enjoy them even more than her. I actually hardly ever see Rhia without one when we are home and it is only because I won't let them take them out of the house that they do not go with us.

They have been one of the most played with toys the kids received this Christmas. It is hard to believe I mean they are just squares of silk right? Yep, that is all they are, nicely colored, soft pieces of silk that are in big squares. The kids use them for everything. Yesterday alone these playsilks were: magic carpets, picnic blankets, sleeping bags, scarves, cloaks, skirts, hoods, capes, coverings, tents, spinners, curtains, doors and tablecloths!

So I guess if you are like I was and you are on the fence and you have kids that enjoy playing in imaginary worlds they are very worth it -atleast I found that to be the case with my own kids and I was in denial that they could rally be that interesting of a toy.



  1. Thanks for the review. This is one of those things I just never know about. I get tempted, then decide, "nah," we have things like that. (Note- "like"- not actual playsilks, and I do hear over and over that for some reason there's a difference.) Any idea what the difference is? And where did Sirah's come from? :-)


  2. Thanks for that review. I get the Magic Cabin catalog too, and when I see them I think I want to get it, but the price puts me off. I wonder if they are actually that great. My daughter's birthday is in a few months, and I was just thinking that she has plenty of toys, but this would be different.


  3. I will not deny that they are expensive and I did not purchase them, they were received as a Christmas gift from their great-grandparents. I am trying to figure out what makes them so special and I'm not sure I can. Here are some of the things I can gather from watching my kids play with them and talk about them in comparison to other blankets and cloths we have used.

    They are very bright colors and very nice to touch. They are thin and they crumple down pretty small yet open big. What I mean by this is 7 playsilks fit nicely into a basket that one blanket of similar size would be bulky in.

    They twirl and spin and look very pretty, they are ligth and feathery and they bahve differently from a blanket. For example they were running around the house the other day with them right in front of their bodies and they were very excited that they "stuck" to them wihtout any hands when they moved, a blanket would not have done that.

    For some reason they seem to encourage imaginary play and they are fun and easy to carry and use. I can honestly say I do not understand it.

    Another friend of mine was hesitant as well and after she bought just one she realized her daughter really liked them but she decided to make some herself. She bought some material that was fine and soft and bright like silk though it was not actual silk and she sewed the edges around to make big squares. She said her kids play with them just as much but she was able to truly replicate the features of the playsilk closely. She did say her kids still prefer the silk one but that they play with the ones she made just as much.

    So I think you could replicate it if you found material that was similar and sewed the edges or serged them yourself. I am not convinced it is neccesarily these particular silks that my kids love just that they enjoy playsilks.

    I would hate to recommend something so pricey and then find your kids don't like them. I will say my children are very prone to imaginary play - it is their favorite thing to do and I have a very imaginative older daughter who brings her brother into her world. I am not sure if they would be equally interesting for children who are not big into imaginary play or for boys. My son plays with them but my daughter definately leads the play.

    Anyway I thought I would share our experiences. Maybe you could look at the fabric store for some really nice material. I would say it should be very thin, soft, easy to make compact and brightly colored. Then cut it into the same size squares or even a little bigger and see what happens. I would recommend buying just one to try but I have always seen them play with multiples at the same time so I think it is the kind of toy that is more interesting and fun to play with when there is more than one. Hope that helps


  4. Thank you so much for this post. This is a great review! I was on the fence about play silks - of course thinking my daughter would love them but trying to justify the costs to buy enough for them to be really fun. I found some great tutorials online and made some myself for my little one for Christmas. She opened them with much excitement. Your post is spot on - they have been a real hit.
    Thanks Again.

  5. Chica & Jo10:31 AM

    Cost is prohibitive if you buy them ready made but here's our guide for making your own. http://www.chicaandjo.com/2008/07/01/play-silks/
    We have a link in there to where you can buy the plain white silks or try looking here: http://dharmatrading.com/

    They are a ton of fun to make! I am also getting ready to write a blog post on painting the silks with silk paint so come back next week to see how that turned out!