Raining Petals

Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Toy Review: Melissa and Doug See & Spell

 First...is anyone else having trouble with images uploading?? I just get an error every time. So I am bummed I can't post the pics...so to see the products click on the link.


I am a toy lover. When it comes to buying toys I sometimes can't help myself and get excited about my purchases and love to try them out with Carter.

If you are a mom you most likely know who Melissa and Doug are...Josh had no clue. I got a huge shipment of toys from Melissa and Doug this month (due to an awesome online promotion) and thought I would review them.

The See and Spell is an educational toy. Carter, in fact, does not consider it a toy so much as "school" or "learning time".

Pros: Durable, High Quality
         Not too challenging but kids have to search through 70 letters to find the correct ones so they do have
         to use some effort.
         Repetition-finding letters for the same boards over and over is good

Cons: I have found a lot of the toys from Melissa and Doug toys come tightly plastic wrapped but with no
         lids.once opened there is no good way to store them. I put all the letters in a gallon size zip lock bag.           This would have been made perfect if it had a sliding lid to store the letters and word boards.
         If you aren't imaginative and don't come up with your own alternative game play then your child might
         become quickly bored with this toy.

Alternate Game Play Suggestion: Place all the letters in an opaque bag or container. Have the child or children pick a word board. Each child takes a turn reaching into the bag and pulling out one letter. If it matches their board they keep it...if it does not match they put it in the letter graveyard. The next player can either choose a letter from the graveyard or draw a new one from the bag. Once a word board is complete the player gets a point and tries to complete another board. Once all the letters are used they get thrown back in the bag. Game ends when a player reaches a set number of points or all the boards are complete.

What I Like Better:  Cranium Polar Bear A-B-C http://www.hasbro.com/games/cranium/browse.cfm?page=&product_id=21510

This game actually has some pretty horrible reviews on Amazon but Carter loves it and I had fun playing it with him. It is the same concept of finding the correct letters to fit on the word boards but in this game the letters are magnetic and you have to fish for them with a fishing pole out of an ice pond. The only down side is that Hasbro did not include all the letters of the alphabet...which I think for this game is okay. The players are still learning how to spell words. The game play makes learning more interesting and makes it seem like a "toy" rather than just learning time.

Cons: Not as durable as Melissa and Doug
          Small letters will get lost easily and are choking hazards for little tykes.

Pro: About $10.00 cheaper than the Melissa and Doug version.
       Fun game play



Jennifer said...

I just got the Melissa and Doug See and Spell for Camille this Christmas. So far, she and Emmy have both enjoyed getting out the letters (Camille likes to wear the o's around her finger like a ring), and finding where they go. While I agree with the criticisms, my kids seem to like it just fine.

des said...

I wish they came with a lid. What a waste of a nice wooden box.

I saw that on amazon....and after reading review- simialr to yours decided not to get it. maybe I'll go for the other one.

Bradbury Bunch said...

So I'm interested in this promotion? How did you get involved? I want in!! I LOVE Melissa and Doug but couldn't agree more about the storage problem. It would be so convenient and nice to have a lid included with the box. So AMEN SISTA! :) The fishing one sounds so fun-something Lexi would probably like more. Thanks for sharing all the info. I did some after Christmas shopping today and thought of you! :) XOXOXO

julie said...

here here. Or is it hear hear. Anyway, yes. Our magnetic prince/princess has such a sturdy wooden box...and no lid?! Who does that? Melissa and Doug apparently. Thanks for the tip on ziploc bags. It's kind of duh, but I still didn't think about it. Thanks. :)

Anonymous said...

I just can't understand the fact that they think it's okay to pack all their toys without lids. How does a company come to a decision like this? We own so many M&D products - I've been buying them for my nieces and nephew since they were born. I can't bring myself to throw such an expensive nice wooden box away, but it serves no purpose but to annoy parents (and Aunts). I really want to start a campaign ;) to force Melissa and Doug to start making lids. Or maybe I should start my own company making lids for their boxes. :0

*LaUrA* said...

haha...that is brilliant...a Melissa and Doug lid making company! You might be on to something there...whoever you are.