Puzzles is a place where everyone feels at home

*Post includes affiliate links to Amazon so you can learn more about these great products. My daughter received some of them as gifts for her birthday. Then I proceeded to purchase many more. I have not received compensation from Melissa & Doug.

 

Before I was a parent, I never knew what to do for baby showers or kids birthdays. I still have a hard time figuring out older kids–but I have witnessed what works for babes and toddlers. I will be doing a few posts on what I’ve found to be the best brands/toys for boys and girls. One brand stands out for us is Melissa & Doug. If you have a toddler coming over, a Melissa & Doug toy is a sure-fire hit. Here are a few of our favorites from the brand.

Wooden Puzzles

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Melissa and Doug puzzles. The bottom left puzzle even announces the shapes when you put in the right puzzle piece!

We have two kinds – one that makes sound and one that does not. The non-sound versions are great in their own right. C loves playing with them. But I credit the sound version to her knowing so many shapes already. Getting the puzzle pieces in the correct spot is hard, but it gives us a chance to encourage her to continue to try again. That girl’s smile is contagious when she finally succeeds.

 

Fire Truck

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I love that the fire truck set is mostly wood and doesn’t feel like it is going to fall apart. It has three firefighters (one is currently missing from the picture) and one of them is female! I have a little girl who loves all things trucks, and we usually change the pronouns for her in books. I love that we don’t have to do it for this. The hose of the fire truck is a yellow shoelace. The firefighters have a hole where you can string the hose through so it looks like they are holding it. There is also a dial where you can roll the hose back into the truck. It’s adorable.

 

Kitchen Accessories

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Melissa and Doug condiment set

We did not go with a Melissa & Doug play kitchen, but one that would work with the accessories. I’ll do another post later on my daughter’s setup. But in the meantime, I’m obsessed with the condiments set she has currently. The ketchup and mustard containers are so cute!

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Here is the ketchup “poured out”, as my daughter would say.

They have weights and strings inside, so she can turn it over and it looks like she is squirting out mustard or ketchup. The salt and pepper shakers have things that she can actually shake. Even the hot sauce has a liquid inside so it looks like there is something to pour. It makes her playtime a bit more realistic, and she loves it.

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Even before she was tall enough she was cleaning this play kitchen.

We also have the Melissa & Doug Let’s Play House, Wash, and Dry Set set. The part she uses the most is the sponge and soap dispenser. I. Kid. You. Not. She loves playing pretend cleanup. She even sings a song, which I’m pretty sure is from back-in-the-day Barney & Friends?

What are your favorite Melissa and Doug products? I’m always looking for new things to add to her collection!

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