In today's blog post, I want to explore the toy's brand "Melissa and Doug". It's often recommended by Montessori parents and teachers as an affordable option for Montessori aligned toys.
When my daughter was born 12 years ago, there were not many options regarding wooden toys so Melissa and Doug was what was available in the local toy's shop. At the time, we didn't have eco-friendly online toyshops and Amazon was only selling books!
Melissa and Doug was established more than 30 years ago but they got a bad press about the safety of their toys in 2009. Many of their toys were recalled. For sure, other brands, even ethical and eco-friendly companies, have product recalls from time to time. Still, many parents are cautious about Melissa and Doug. We had that discussion recently in my FB group, and many have commented that the paint was chipping, and that the wood was broken as soon as it was out of the packaging.
I personally notice that their newest design is more cartoonish than before.
Yet, they are an affordable brand and on their website, they claim that they are safe. You can even find their conformity certificate for each of their product.
While I will not be able to settle the debate about their safety, I wanted to write a blog post with what were/are my favourite Melissa and Doug products and an affordable "safe" alternative. I choose an alternative that has a better track record regarding sustainability and safety and/or that is made in Europe.
I hope this list is helpful for you! No matter what brand you buy or where you buy toys, the main point is to be mindful. Remember that ultimately, it's always up to your child to enjoy the activity!
Do you have a favourite brand? Are you ok with the Melissa and Doug brand? Let me know in a comment!
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The alternatives can be found on Yes Bebe website, a small UK based Ethical toy shop, on the Absorbent Mind website (Montessori materials specialist) or on Amazon.