Melissa and Doug
I truly can not say enough good things about this company! Of course all toys have ups and downs but if you are looking for quality, thoughtful toys for your LO you have found the right toy makers!
According to their website Melissa and Doug’s mission is to: “Provide a launch pad to ignite imagination and a sense of wonder in all children so they can discover themselves, their passions, and their purpose.” I believe their toys and their website do just this.
Having a 2-year old I look for toys that are indestructible because lets be honest they are destruction monsters! Melissa and Doug, while not totally destruction proof have held up to spit, gnaws, tantrums and tears. I can not wait to buy more of these toys as my LO grows and to share with you the favorites around our house.
Alphabet Learning Mat
My 2 year old received this for her birthday and we love love love it! This mat is reversible. One side has colored pictures that allow the child to see how the letters can be formed and the other side is blank where the child can color in the pictures and write the letter themselves. You can get this alphabet learning mat HERE.
This mat is super easy to clean. The crayons just wipe off with a damp cloth even after days of being left on there. I have had a few stubborn thick spots that i just use a little soap on and they came right off!
The most thoughtful thing about this mat is the fact that the colors on the mat correspond to the color crayons that come with it. It makes some of the pictures seem oddly colored to me but makes it so the child can follow the colors in the picture.
The mat and crayons are only $4.99!!!
I’m not in love with the actual crayons. First off, they don’t stay in their protective cases very well. Once they are pointed down, gravity tends to work, which is a drag trying to color and draw and has resulted in a few tantrums around our house.
They are also very thick so little hands find it hard to hold. They are also thick when drawing so the detail on the mat is hard to accomplish.
The crayons go fast! You can not use regular crayola on this mat. However, you can use a pencil but honestly unless you have older kids utilizing the alphabet where is the fun in that? These crayons are not super hardy and if they are pressed hard they get used up fast. I bought my daughter another box after just one month of use at $2.99 they are not expensive but they are over half the price of the mat. However, this mat is rated for 4+ and I am having a nondiscriminatory 2 year old play with it! Older kids, I’m sure, will have an easier time.
This mat has come in so handy on many occasions! We use it to build play dough snowman and the other day even had lunch on top of it. While it first and foremost is a learning tool, this mat washes so easily that I use it every day for some messy project. It is not small so it unfortunately does not go out with us but it is cheap enough that I could buy one that stays in the car. This would be amazing for a road trip…although I’m not sure if the crayons will melt (I’m writing this in the middle of winter) but I have a feeling they would not be great in our Colorado summers.
There is another mat set similar to this one that is a number matching set. At $10.99 it is still pretty cheap and you get 3 mats to learn on! These mats are double-sided and have the alphabet, numbers and counting. This would be my first choice to take on a vacation as it allows for a variety of play and learning.
The Bottom Line
This is a great line of toys and a great company to buy from! My little on loves to watch me cook and we are working on acquiring a wide variety of their wooden food sets. There is a wide variety of age ranges, price ranges and activities to satisfy any household and income. This is a wonderful website to just check out and get some quality parenting play advice. I highly recommend that you check out their blog! It is insightful and, at times, eye-opening.
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