Whether you’re a grandparent who provides child care on a regular basis or one who sees the grandkids a couple times of year, it’s important to have a select number of engaging toys on hand when they come to visit.
Taking the time to play with your grandkids will strengthen the family bonds you have with them, and create special memories that will last a lifetime.
Luckily, Melissa & Doug is here to help grandparents curate a selection of our top toys that are age- and skill-appropriate, and that will engage kids over and over for hours of screen-free, hands-on play.
The guidelines for our toy recommendations are simple: They have got to be small enough to fit in a laundry basket that you can easily store away when it’s time for the grandchildren to head home. (Of course you love your grandkids, but their toys should not overtake your house, too!)
Read on to learn more about Melissa & Doug’s best toys for grandparents to have at home for when the grandkids come to play!
The Must-Have Melissa & Doug Toys for Grandkids
This super-sweet clip-on vibrating pull-toy is a delicious way to entertain babies while stimulating their senses—without the sugar rush! It looks like a soft, smiling ice cream cone, but pull it down and it expands to four stacked scoops in different patterns, colors, and textures (cotton, corduroy, and quilted materials). When baby lets go, the cone vibrates and plays chiming sounds as it jiggles its way back to a single cone! Attached are a textured strawberry and ribbons to rub. Bring the fun wherever baby goes—the self-stick strap lets you easily clip the all-in-one, multi-textured toy onto a stroller, car seat, diaper bag, or high chair to keep it close at hand.
Bring the fun wherever the baby goes—easily clip the six-piece, multi-textured toy onto a stroller, car seat, diaper bag, or high chair to keep it close at hand…the better to delight the baby's sense of touch!
How sweet it is for babies to discover textures and sounds with the Melissa & Doug Pineapple Soft Stacker: Babies can grasp, squeeze, shake, and stack two soft, fabric-covered rings (one of which crinkles), a durable plastic textured ring, and a soft textured topper with crinkle leaves and silky smooth ribbons.
These touchable, tactile farmer’s market play food favorites delight the senses! Fill the mesh mini-grocery tote with a squeaking carrot, chiming milk bottle, rattling tomato, and crinkling lettuce, all featuring sweet, friendly faces. Pull out the easy-to-grasp pieces and refill the tote again and again!
Let’s go play on the farm with friends that are fun to roll, stack, and grasp! Four double-sided chunky wooden GO Tots disks (8 collectible characters—six animals and two farmers) tumble and twirl down the silo, out the barn door, over the haystack, and into the trough. The sturdy double-sided barn has a built-in carrying handle for easy portability. Compatible with other GO Tots play sets!
Firm enough to roll but soft enough to squeeze—inspire imaginative oceanside adventures through kinetic play with this sturdy wooden ramp tower and three Rollables: the friendly crab, silly shark, and awesome octopus with chime.
Spice up playtime with touchable, tactile taco play food pieces! Fill a happy-faced, fabric-covered soft taco shell with crinkling, squishy, multi-textured pieces to delight the senses. Pull out the pieces and refill the taco again and again! The Soft Taco Fill & Spill is an engaging way to help infants six months and older develop important sensory, fine motor, and color recognition skills.
Fill the cloth-covered wooden box with an adorable happy-faced bear, a crinkling, multi-textured cloth, a squeezable ball with chime, or a cloth book. Reach in and grasp the items to unbox, and babies will discover their smiling face in the peek-a-boo mirror on the bottom.
This favorite collection of 100 wooden blocks comes in four colors and nine shapes—kids will delight in stacking, building, and knocking them down in countless colorful combinations!
Construction vehicles can captivate kids! This extra thick wooden puzzle includes six easy-grasp, chunky vehicle pieces. Each vehicle has a full-color, matching picture underneath and can stand upright for pretend play.
It's twice the fun with twin 15-inch dolls Luke and Lucy! They have adorable coordinating removable rompers and caps, eyes that open and close, and they can suck their thumbs or the included pacifiers.
Planning a well-balanced meal is child's play with this wooden play food set! Items from the five food groups—including watermelon, milk, cheese, fish, eggs, and much more—are crafted of solid wood and come with four wooden baskets for sorting and storage.
This ultimate shape sorter features 12 chunky, vibrantly colored shapes with rounded edges that are easy for little hands to hold and maneuver. The Shape Sorting Cube is a classic educational activity for toddlers with nostalgic appeal. Finding the correct matching shape can help kids feel a sense of pride and accomplishment!
Smile, the dentist will see you now! This 25-piece dental care play set features an oversized set of pretend teeth so young dentists-in-training can give cleanings, treat cavities, and even fit retainers and braces! Spark a child’s creativity and imagination, and inspire young dentists for years to come.
Take railroad fun anywhere they want to go! Unfold the sturdy wooden case to create an illustrated play surface with built-in train and road tracks for the three wooden wheeled trains and a park ranger vehicle. All the pieces are stored in the fold-up case with a convenient carrying handle for easy cleanup and travel.
Ding Dong—fun is at the door of this soundly-built wooden doorbell house! Four electronic doorbell sounds, four unique locks with matching keys, and four pose-able play people are included with this charming cottage.
Young pizza chefs will shout "Mamma Mia!" when they see the 54 toppings that come with this wooden pizza set! Then they'll get busy topping, cutting, and serving up six custom slices for their happy customers.
Inspire endless creativity with this double-sided tabletop easel, featuring a magnetic dry-erase board on one side, and a chalkboard on the other. The included paper-roll holder with a paper guide and tear-bar accommodates 12-inch paper rolls and adds even more ways to create masterpieces!
This all-inclusive craft kit includes 12 pots of colorful paint, three easy-clean paint brushes, and three foil sticker sheets to add fun details to the three resin pups from PAW Patrol™: Chase, Marshall, and Skye!
Giddy Buggy’s smiling face invites kids to crawl through a rainbow of color, making it extra fun to hide and seek in this nearly five-foot-long tube. Made of durable wipe-clean materials, it sets up quickly and easily folds flat for convenient storage. Sturdy steel frame is padded for comfort and hours of activity.
The fun, inviting indoor/outdoor bowling set includes six bowling pins, an easy grip bowling ball, game instructions, and a sturdy carrying case with handles. Little ones can have loads of fun as they set up the eight-inch bowling pins, roll the kid-sized ball, and knock 'em down!
Open the box and the school day begins! With a drop-down teacher desk on one side and a student desk on the other, this innovative set allows kids to realistically play both roles. Enables kids to explore a favorite activity and continue learning even out of the classroom!
Consider this a practice run before you bake REAL cookies with the grandkids! Your little baker can pretend to slice the cookies, place them on the cookie sheet, pretend they're baking, and then use the oven mitt for the "hot" cookies once they’re done. Then it's decorating time!
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