If you’ve never heard of a Kimochi or are certainly not sure how to even pronounce their name (Kim-och-chi) you’re not alone! Over the past few years, however, our family have become familiar with the Kimochi characters. Its so easy to share our feelings by describing a character and what they would do or how they would feel.
I first saw them years ago at a trade fair and was impressed by the teams passion and commitment in demonstrating their product. That’s a great start with any product, right? As a mum I LOVED THEM, but I have to think of all LG purchases in terms of “are they a priority for our Kids Travel Store?” Back then, I thought “no”. Although the Nesting Heart made sense, I didn’t follow up and purchase the Kimochi’s at that time. How wrong I was!
I saw the Kimochi’s again when schools in our area began introducing them as a communication tool (in fact, when introduced to Australian schools they sold out in the first 8 weeks)! Some schools have included the Kimochi soft toys, Mixed Feeling (small characters representing an emotion such as “brave”, “happy” etc and Books (depicting the characters) as part of their curriculum. Children use them to explain their feelings and at times (such as being upset) are encouraged to pick one up to assist in understanding/communicating/resolving their feelings. I was still a little dubious. What impact would they have during travel?
Soon though, our own school aged children started talking about them and I noticed other little friends were asking for them as Birthday and Christmas gifts. And I love that schools began introducing Nesting Hearts as a separation tool for families (one plush heart nestled inside another – half stays with child, half stays with loved one). I wondered again about their fit for our business – for assisting children with what can be emotional experiences, such as the uncertainty of flying or staying away from home.
Then, I had my own up close and personal Kimochi experience when I arrived unexpectedly for a school function. I had an appointment and was unable to go to a function in our sons classroom. When I explained I couldn’t attend he didn’t really say much about it, certainly didn’t tell me he was upset or wished I could come at all. Fortunately I was able to change my plans that morning and I arrived at the school to a big smile and an “I’ll just be a minute mum”. He had drawn a Kimochi and as I looked over his shoulder I saw him pick up a pencil and begin to cross out “disappointed” and write “excited”.
Since then I’ve been a convert and absolutely believe they have a place in a Kids Travel Store . It seems I had missed the point, they are not just soft toys, they really are “toys with feeling inside“.
Little Gulliver are very pleased to stock the mini Kimochi pack, known as “the perfect backpack buddy” and Nesting Hearts. Not only do they come in a beautiful presentation box (so are an excellent gift), they come with a mini emotion key-chain and a comic. Perfect size to take on holidays for Kimochi fans, nervous travellers, extremely excited travellers or my favourite – send half of a nesting heart to a loved one and reunite the 2 halves when you visit! They are available from Little Gulliver here.
For me, this testimonial from Kathy Walker sums it up;
“Through children’s play and interactions with these lovely Kimochis characters, children have a range of opportunities to explore, to identify and to express their emotions and to develop a greater awareness and understanding of others’ feelings and responses.”
So, if you’re like I was and think your life has no room for ‘yet another stuffed toy’, I recommend you think again and meet an educational toy with a difference. Shop with Little Gulliver and take them on board your next flight, pack them in your suitcase, give them as gifts.
Who’s your favourite Kimochi? And where are you taking them next time you’re travelling with kids?