One of the brands we tend to return to time and time again is Melissa and Doug. We have so many of their fun and educational toys in our playroom, so I was really happy to be asked to take part in the Melissa and Doug Play Panel and put three of their new toys to the test with my 2 year old, N. The toys we’ve been testing out are all perfect for this age group, and give plenty of opportunities for role play. They are: the Pet Vet Play Set, Wooden Food Groups Play Set and the Wooden Pizza Party Set.
Pet Vet Play Set
This is such a cute play set, encouraging little ones to look after their poorly animal friends. It comes with a stuffed cat and dog, along with so many accessories and a little bag for your mini vet to keep them all organised.
This toy has been a huge hit with N, playing with it pretty much every day. She loves acting out scenes, talking about what’s wrong with each of the animals and how she will make them better. You even get a check list with the set which allows children to make notes on their patients and tick off all of the details on their chart.
The accessories include a stethoscope, thermometer, creams and ointments, tweezers, plasters and bandages of different sizes, neck cone, water bottle, medicine jars, injection syringe, tools to check the ears and mouth, and a bag to keep everything in
The little accessories are all well made and some of them are particularly cute. We really liked the neck cone and paw bandages!
This set is available from many shops including Amazon
Wooden Food Groups Play Set
Pretend food is always a hit in our house, and this set makes sure that all the teddies in your tea party get a balanced diet! A good supply of pretend food is a must for this age group, and these wooden foods are lovely quality. We were quite cake and ice-cream heavy in our play food before, as N had received some tea party sets in the past so this set has given us some more well rounded options.
The set comes with four crates, and 21 food items. They are split into categories of protein, breads, fruit and vegetables, and dairy products. This is an easy way to introduce these concepts to young children and help them think about what makes a balanced meal. It also works really well for sorting, as once they have understood the differences, little ones can organise all of the food types into the right crates.
Each of the crates has a nice variety, for example the protein crate is not just meat but also has fish and egg. The dairy crate has a variety of cheese, butter and milk.
The food is great for general pretend play, in a play kitchen if you have one, tea parties and pretend picnics
This set is also available from Amazon
Wooden Pizza Party set
Another great addition to the play food collection! With this set, you add the toppings (mushrooms, pepperoni or peppers) with Velcro so you can customise, mix and max your pizza orders, and practise chopping the slices which is brilliant to strengthen little hands.
N loves chopping the pizza slices with the “wheel” – she found it hard at first, but persevered with it and gets so much satisfaction from chopping up the whole thing. While chopping it, I heard her commentate “It’s tricky… nearly there… I did it!” which was really cute, but also showed me how she really got a lot out of this toy because she was motivated to continue with a tricky task and master it. Now that she has been playing with it more and more, it’s become a lot more easy and she can chop it all up much more quickly.
There are lots of opportunities for sorting and matching with all the toppings and of course lots of role play fun with the pizza too! The box it comes in is very well thought out with the separate compartments for the different toppings, to make sorting easy and allow you to keep everything organised.
You do get extra toppings, so if your little one misplaces any then you still won’t go short for the pizza. You also get the wheel pizza cutter, and another slicer, and a green wooden plate to serve the pizza.
Like the other Melissa and Doug toys, you can buy this set on Amazon
We were sent the toys to review as part of the Melissa and Doug Play Panel