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What can I say? When it comes to giving toy recommendations, one of the brands that immediately comes to mind is Melissa & Doug. I love toys that are not only made for entertainment, but that are also didactic in nature, in other words, provide with a learning opportunity as well as being fun. Melissa & Doug’s products provide just that. Their products are 1) creative, 2) versatile, 3) durable, and 4) fun.
There is no substitute for creativity. Children’s brains are plastic, and as such it is imperative that we use all tools available to cover all kinds of possibilities. Take wooden blocks, for example. Parents/teachers can use blocks in a variety of ways, for example, to encourage free play while building structures and to encourage observation skills by having children imitate block designs.
Versatility is a great quality and it is present in these toys. What does this mean? I always encourage the parents I work with to select toys that can be used in many different ways. Puzzles, for example, are a great way to start. If you are working with an alphabet puzzle, you may be concentrating on just learning letters, recognizing them one by one, but you could also work on letter sounds, labeling objects (the pictures on the puzzle), counting (the letters), and transitioning (putting letters and puzzle away). You can come up with any number of activities based on the toy that you have in front of you, but rest assured that Melissa & Doug toys are made to be versatile.
Melissa & Doug toys are made to last! I have had some of their toys for over 10 years! Just make sure that you save all the pieces, and the toy you bought will be yours for years to come. And last but not least, these toys are fun! Who would want to play with toys that aren’t fun and engaging? We want children to be able to stay focused on those toys, fully enjoying them and playing with them.
When you are out shopping for fun toys this holiday season, think of all the positive skills that children can learn while playing with their toys. I recommend this brand whole-hearteadly!
If you have any questions about this post of any other, please leave me a comment!