Melissa & Doug Plan a First Day Hike with National Park Foundation Toys blog post

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Plan a First Day Hike with National Park Foundation Toys!

December 29, 2023

This coming New Year, make a family resolution to partake in a celebratory First Day Hike to start 2024 off right!

The National Park Service is promoting First Day Hikes as a way to get people active and enjoy the health benefits of being outdoors in our national parks. From the article: "First Day Hikes is a tradition started by state park systems inviting everyone to take a hike in a park on January 1 to encourage healthy activities in the outdoors all year long. Whether you walk, run, or even bike or paddle, come out to explore the trails in your national parks too!"

Many studies have shown the benefits of being active in nature, as natural surroundings help children and adults decrease feelings of anxiety, fear, and stress, and increase positive emotions. Trees even emit biochemicals that trigger a positive immune response in humans, so it’s important for overall wellness and mental health to engage with nature on a regular basis—even in the winter months when colder temps might keep us indoors.

Earlier this year, Melissa & Doug announced a new partnership with the National Park Foundation to create an a collection of toys designed to inspire kids to discover the wonder of America’s national parks. Together, we’re helping protect our parks for present and future generations, and blazing the trail for a lifelong love of nature!

Organize a First Day Hike for your family, then keep the love of the outdoors going with national park themed pretend play from Melissa & Doug! 

Inspire kids to love nature 

Grand Canyon National Park Hiking Gear Play Set

Melissa & Doug Plan a First Day Hike with National Park Foundation Toys blog post

Take an imagination-filled hike through Grand Canyon National Park! Play hiking essentials (including a working flashlight for night hikes) store on a sturdy, adjustable belt, sized to fit kids 3+. Rotate four photo disks in the play binoculars to see canyon scenes and native animals and plants—five beautiful color photos per disk bring the park to life right before kids’ eyes! Slide ID cards into the wooden play “tracker” to identify in English and Spanish the native plants and animals you see! The gear belt holds everything, including a double-sided map and field guide, play first aid supplies, a wooden energy bar, and safety whistle. 2 AA batteries required for the flashlight (not included).

Rocky Mountain National Park Sights & Sounds Wooden Toy Camera Play Set

Melissa & Doug Plan a First Day Hike with National Park Foundation Toys blog post

Take an exciting imaginative journey through Rocky Mountain National Park and discover the animals that live there and the sounds they make! Slide a photo card into the wooden play camera, and click the shutter button to activate the flash. Press the buttons on the back to hear three nature and animal sounds per card (sounds are unique to each of the six photos)! The removable red lens magnifier lets kids three and older search for plants and animals hidden in scenes on the backs of the photo cards. Kids will learn as they play -- the reusable activity card includes native animal and plant identification and fun facts in English and Spanish, plus a park map on the back for pretend play adventures. Everything stores in a handy camera bag. 

Yellowstone National Park Grizzly Bear Games

Melissa & Doug Plan a First Day Hike with National Park Foundation Toys blog post

Discover the wonder of Yellowstone National Park and learn about grizzly bears through play! Play catching games with two bear paw gloves with self-stick hook-and-loop tabs. Plush fish, moths, and berries — some of grizzlies’ favorite snacks — also stick to the snouts of two plush strap-on grizzly bear heads for hands-free pick-up games and exciting role playing. The play set is a fun and educational introduction to the country’s national parks for kids three and older. It includes a double-sided, full-color activity guide with a simple map of Yellowstone for pretend play, game ideas, and fun facts about grizzly bears in English and Spanish. 

Be sure to check out more great Melissa & Doug toy blogs!

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Toy Spotlight: Grand Canyon National Park Hiking Gear Play Set

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