Friday, June 26, 2009

friday favorites - melissa and doug toys

Wooden toys get a lot of play time at our house. It amazes me because grown ups automatically assume that kids will want the bright plastic stuff that lights up and sings and does stuff but that is so not the case. Those toys get played with right at first then shoved to the side, but our wooden toys get played with daily. Unfortunately wooden toys come with a higher price tag most of the time. The most affordable option I have found are Melissa and Doug toys and I know that their is a lot of conflict of opinion on them because they are made in China and are painted, but my children are past the stage of chewing on them so I feel confident allowing them to play with them. You can read their safety statements here.

Here are some favorites that get played with on a daily basis at our house:

the pizza party
Sass and Bubbie love to make me pizza. They love "cutting" the pizza with the roller. All the wooden toppings and slices stick together with Velcro. This pizza has gotten tons of love around here and is served up on a regular basis!

shape puzzles
Bubbie got these for his 2nd birthday if I remember correctly. They are still today a favorite and both kids love them. We have taught shapes and colors using these. Each puzzle board is two sided so there are tons of options of what they can put together. These puzzles are by far played with more than any others we own. I love that both Bubbie (4 1/2) and Sass (2) can both play with these and enjoy them!

pattern blocks and boards

These are one of the newest M&D products I have purchased. I bought this a few weeks ago to take on a trip for Bubbie to play with in the hotel room. It kind of seemed like a step up from the pattern block puzzles above. So far he is still in the exploration stage of these and enjoys making things out of the pieces more than trying to coping and cover the boards. We have made pattern trains with the pieces and he seemed to like that. Sass wants to do these and understands the concept but doesn't have the fine motor skills to not knock the pieces off as she puts on new ones! This seems like a toy that they will both grow into.

stacking blocks

Bubbie received a set of these his second Christmas from some cousins. These are played with a lot! Both kids love building tall towers and knocking them down. They stack and sort and love to hide things in the boxes. A great first birthday present!

I have found a great place to purchase Melissa and Doug toys is at stores like TJ Max or Homegoods. Our local Homegoods has a huge selection of them and they are a good 25% - 50% cheaper than the toy store. Also Toys R Us tends to run good sales on them, although I avoid that place like the plague!

*disclaimer: Friday favorites are not sponsored, payed for or in any other way endorsed by the company. These are products that we have purchased (or given to my kids as gifts like some of the products I mentioned today!) and really use. They have not been given to me to review and post about.*

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ekoepe said...

good looking blog, good picture, i love it...

Lu said...

Love Melissa and Doug stuff. We find some great things at TJ maxx and Ross! :) Never seen the pizza party!

Sheryl said...

Yes, TJ Maxx is where I get mine, too. Have you tried their Band in a Box? That is popular here, as well as the wooden food (four food groups and the velcro set) and the pattern blocks.

Danielle said...

Oh I gotta get those pattern blocks for Ryan for our homeschooling...great idea thank you

Alison said...

I'm glad to hear your kiddos like the pizza toy--I've loved the look of it, and now I need to hunt it down at TJ Maxx!

AllisonO said...

I too love Melissa and Doug, but I got some funny comments when I put a couple of their wooden infant clackers and teethers on my baby registry (they can be pricey and I heard a lot of "why not the plastic ones??" from 'the aunts').

Thank you so much for idea to find them at TJ's and places like that! I will be scouring their shelves soon!

JasonI said...

We LOVE Melissa and Doug toys in our house, too! We sometimes get them at TJMaxx, but the very best price I usually get them for is at our local A.C. Moore craft store (really!). I wait until they put out a 50% or 60% off coupon, and then we stock up for Christmas and birthday presents. We have the pizza set in our attic for a Christmas present right now! It's such a neat toy. :)
I have personally spoken to a representative from the M&D company about the paint issue, and I felt very comfortable with the safety of their product.