Now I have a bit of a wooden toy fetish so many of the plastic flashing noisy toys give me the Heebeegeebies! But this did mean the lovely toys stood out more.
I have a few favourite brands and one of them is Melissa and Doug. I came across them when I found a sweet wooden tool box in the local charity shop. I thought it lovely so did a bit of google searching and found lots of interesting things. So when we found their stall and the people working there were absolutely lovely and very accommodating of the marauding infant we ended up hanging out there for much of the day.
The toddler was very pleased with finding all these "dawgs"
Now my little one had got a lot of their products (mainly their lovely puzzles) for Christmas but I did manage to add a few more things to our wish list. One real stand out was the doorbell house. I don't think I've met a child that doesn't love keys and any kind of button, so I think this is lovely.
Each side has a door with its own 'real' key and doorbell. I have a feeling that the it my little one would care the least about is the little people.
Some other things I liked were some of the play food sets. I have a weird aversion to pretend food which is a leftover from my first headteacher who always said you should give children real food. Now I do agree with this where possible but its just not always feasible. So if it's going to pretend I think these are some of the best options.
If I had a little girl (and wasn't so mean about sugar) I would definitely get this.
I love the dry-wipe markers in the style of the icing pens. Such a nice way of encouraging pretend play and early mark-making without having your kids on a permanent sugar rush!
I really like this set too.
Although it is marketed at over 3s (sometimes I think these rules are very silly) I think I will get this for my toddler soon. Having the stick to put the food bits on is a really good way for little fingers to start threading so good for motor skill development which would also be supported by using the tongs. I think it would also help develop early maths skills with very simple sequencing as well as the pretend play again.
Now you can get Melissa and Doug toys from Amazon but i think its nice to try and support some of the smaller retailers so here are a few more that I found stock their products.