Playing with Sylvanian Families is the ultimate 'do not disturb' sign.
The only interruption allowed is if you've got a family of fluffy bunnies or fuzzy squirrels coming to join the cupcake morning tea. I don't make the rules, it's just how they are.
Yes, I remember playing with this tiny animal tribe for hours upon hours. I'd held onto many happy memories which all come flooding back when my own daughter - now the same age I was when my fondness for Sylvanian Families began 35 years ago – talks of chocolate rabbit families and quaint window shutters on pastel-coloured doll houses.
Her obsession is real, and I'm very much here for it. (Not just because it keeps her busy for ages, but yes, that helps).
Here's what you know if you've ever been part of a 'Sylvanian family'.
1. You assumed windmills and treehouses were a feature of every neighbourhood.
Exploring the region beyond the home is an exciting prospect for Sylvania’s children, who could spend a fun-filled morning playing in a magical treehouse complete with a tree swing, climbing ladders and multi-level slide. With cubby spaces high above the ground, it’s the place to be when they’re not in school or tucked up in bed. It was my childhood mission to find a treehouse as wonderfully adventurous as this one.
The field view windmill, the landmark of the town, mills the flour for all the bakers (more on that in point 5) and has an attic observatory to watch all the goings-on in the local countryside. The telescope is quite the tool for nosy neighbours – so something probably best only found in the imaginary world of Sylvania.
2. You were well into interior design before anyone had heard of Shaynna Blaze.
If you haven't attempt a home reno on your mouse family's dollhouse, you haven't lived.
Yep, I earned my interior design stripes by redecorating my dollhouse. Over and over again. Adding a floral curtain here, a grandfather clock there, a flowerpot to the windowsill.
This was all before the age of 10, mind you – I could style up a homely cottage faster than you could say 'room reveal'. (See my original set below, dusted off and looking not too shabby.)