Quality products from Melissa & Doug have my appreciation and that of others, even in a less-than-booming economy. The educational toys are fun and designed to last, the puppets are wonderful, and the imaginary play items keep my daughter occupied for hours.
Melissa and Doug have hundreds of toys, but most of their toys can be put into easy-to-remember categories. To help you navigate their vast toy empire, here is a breakdown of my favorite toy categories from Melissa and Doug:
Arts & crafts: While a necessity for any household, arts and craft items can be annoyingly difficult and messy. With the M&D items I have found the instructions on the craft items easily understandable and the options include stamps, beads, and painting. My favorite: an art easel that adjusts as my kid grows (plus, it keeps her from coloring on the dining room table).
Classic toys: These are wooden toys such as blocks, or that hammer and peg workbench you had as a kid, as well as lacing items (great for quiet car rides). The items withstand the poundings of a three year old easily and still manage to look good after a beating.
Puzzles: I LOVE these puzzles. Once we moved beyond their wooden puzzles I was equally impressed with the floor puzzles, both the designs offered as well as the quality. The variety in the number of puzzle pieces is also a great thing since the increased challenge keeps the kids occupied.
Puppets: The variety offered from hand puppets to marionettes to “full size” puppets is going to allow us to grow into some of the larger, more coordination-challenging styles. The detail on these items is often quite stunning.
Play food: This is perhaps my daughter’s favorite item. She will spend a good hour preparing dinner for people with the cutting food, bringing us our sandwiches and apple slices. The food uses hook and loop fasteners to stick together and is put together in such a way that she could figure it out even at 2 years old.
The motto of Melissa and Doug is to create educational toys that are heirloom quality. In my book, I would have to say that they’ve wildly succeeded.