I know many of us like to wait until after Thanksgiving to start thinking about Christmas, but today is the annual Melissa & Doug half-price sale on Amazon, so I urge you to consider making an exception. I think of Melissa & Doug as a highly reliable brand, as well as a brand that pleases people if I bring it to a birthday party. It SMACKS of Quality Family.
Now, when I say “half-price,” I think we all know that Amazon can be a little sneaky about that: some of these items are more like half off suggested retail price, which means more like a third off regular Amazon.com price. STILL. Others are truly half-off, and all are at least nicely on-sale. Every year I like to first see if there’s anything I want to buy for the kids for Christmas, and then I stock up on a few things for birthday parties, and a few more things to put in Christmas toy donation boxes. Some highlights of this year’s sale:
Melissa & Doug Ice Cream Set (photo from Amazon.com). My mother has this set, and it’s one of the hits of the playroom. The ice cream scoops are magnetic so they stick nicely to the scooper and to the cones; you can even do a double-scoop.
Melissa & Doug Pirate Chest (photo from Amazon.com). My parents bought this for Henry for his birthday, and it’s GREAT. One note: my dad attached a little chain from the lid to the box, because he said otherwise the lid could be snapped off by the first child who thought of pushing it backwards too hard. The box is larger/better than I’d expected, and the accessories (eye patch, pirate flag, coins) are great too. It was a big hit.
Melissa & Doug Fishing/Bug-Catching Puzzle 2-pack (photo from Amazon.com). My kids had an earlier incarnation of the magnetic fishing puzzle, and it was one of the few toys that made it through everyone’s childhood despite having pieces to lose. It was pretty battered by the time we finally let it go. We originally bought it because Rob’s speech therapist (when he was toddler/preschooler age) highly recommended it for developing motor control. I wouldn’t have wanted two of basically the same puzzle gimmick, but this is the perfect time of year to buy one for a child and put the other in a gift donation bin.
Melissa & Doug Doctor Costume (photo from Amazon.com). We have been so pleased with the quality and cuteness of the two Melissa & Doug costumes we have (pirate, knight), if anyone at our house were interested in dressing up as a doctor or a vet, I wouldn’t hesitate to buy this set. I might get it anyway, just to see if Henry might find he WAS interested, or to give as a birthday party gift. I’d say the costumes fit roughly ages 4-6, but of course it’ll depend; I notice they say “3 and up.”
Melissa & Doug Alphabet Stamp Set (photo from Amazon.com). The stamp sets are one of my favorite things to bring as a birthday party gift. They’re so WOODEN, and the ink is washable.
Melissa & Doug Felt Food Sandwich Set (photo from Amazon.com). I immediately want to play with this.
Melissa & Doug Shape, Model, and Mold (photo from Amazon.com). This would be a perfect gift with a 4-pack of Play-Doh.
Melissa & Doug Standard Unit Blocks (photo from Amazon.com). This is exactly the time to buy the surprisingly expensive but absolutely classic solid-wood block set.
Melissa & Doug Deluxe Bug Jar Fill & Spill (photo from Amazon.com). The fill-and-spill concept is my favorite for baby toys.
Melissa & Doug Plush Giraffe (photo from Amazon.com). If you’ve been in the market for a giant stuffed giraffe, THIS IS YOUR MOMENT.