Saturday, May 21, 2011

Slice and Bake Cookie Set by Melissa &Doug

Preschool children benefit greatly from participating in pretend play activities that allow them to explore different aspects of their daily environments.  Melissa & Doug have a long standing reputation for designing toys that promote creativity and foster development of pretend play skills. The Slice and Bake Cookie Set is a great example of a toy that supports this type of development. The set comes with 12 wooden cookies that are held together by Velcro dots and can be "sliced" with a blunt wooden knife. After slicing the cookies, children can pretend to bake and decorate them (everything is held in place with Velcro). The manufacturer of this toy suggests that it be used with children age 3 years+, but I have lots of 2 year olds who really enjoy cutting, baking, and decorating the cookies. Strengths: Pretend food is wonderful to pair with a play kitchen and I have found that the children I work with really enjoy being able to "bake" treats to share with one another. Weaknesses: In 2009 this toy was recalled in Canada because of high barium levels, which can be toxic to young children. I've tried to find more current information about Barium levels in Melissa & Doug toys, but haven't found anything that voices more recent concerns about this issue.

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