Pizza has become such a ubiquitous, beloved food, it might be one of the most popular dishes on the entire planet.
So it stands to reason that one of Melissa & Doug’s hottest toys is a pizza-related play set: The Top & Bake Pizza Counter!
Depending on where you live, the winter months can pose a serious play challenge to parents and caregivers when the weather and temperatures won’t cooperate. So what can you do with your pent-up kid or kiddos? Concentrate on pretend play, a developmental powerhouse that’s the perfect antidote when your child is stuck indoors. That’s the reason we’re shining this month’s Toy Spotlight on the Melissa & Doug Top & Bake Pizza Counter! Plus, National Pizza Day is on Wednesday, February 9, and this is the perfect toy for a celebration.
Consider the key developmental factors that a pretend play toy like this pizza playset provides: imagination & creativity, gross & fine motor skills, problem solving, early language & math skills, plus social-emotional growth. That’s the kind of toy you can feel good about giving to your child.
If Family Pizza Night is your kid’s favorite day of the week, the Top & Bake Pizza Counter can be delivered right to your door. But before you place your order, let us shine the Toy Spotlight so you can take a closer look.
Why Kids Will Love the Top & Bake Pizza Counter Wooden Play Food Set
Play Basics: It's pizza time! Create fresh-baked pizza, made to order, with this deliciously unique 34-piece pizza making set. Start with felt sauce and cheese on the wooden crust, choose from wooden toppings—pepperoni, olives, mushrooms, and peppers—then “bake” in the pizza oven built into the storage and serving counter. Pieces stick together with self-stick tabs and can be sliced with the rolling wooden cutter. The set comes with a grated cheese shaker, a wooden paddle, pizza box, a reusable menu for placing orders, a guide to help with pizza prep, and play money to pay for your order!
Playful Details: Create made-the-way-you-like-it pretend pizza with 34-piece wooden play pizza-making set with counter/pizza oven. Ingredients include cheese shaker, felt sauce and cheese, wooden crust, toppings; pieces stick with self-stick tabs. Also includes wooden pizza counter, pizza paddle, rolling cutter, delivery box, prep instructions and reusable menu, and play money.
Age: 3+ years
Who Will Love This: The kid who asks for pizza for every meal, seven nights a week—so roughly 90 percent of kids on the planet! But seriously, any kiddo who delights in family Pizza Night, who orders extra pepperoni, meets the delivery person at the door, or who builds forts out of the pizza boxes, will go gaga over this pretend pizza playset. It may seem simple, but there’s a lot going on here for kids: taking orders, making the pizza properly, putting it in the oven, packing it up to go, handling the money—this play set is a smorgasbord of engaging fun for kids who love pretend play.
Gift Tip: If you're having a pizza party to celebrate your child’s next birthday, you could empty out one of the pizza boxes and slip the assembled Top & Bake Pizza Counter inside as a fun surprise. Or, have it set up when the pizza arrives, and make it the big reveal just in time for slices!
Countless Ways to Play: Looking to expand your child’s burgeoning food empire? Add more healthful options to serve the vegetarian set with our Slice & Toss Salad Set, and round out the food offerings by adding desserts to the mix with the Scoop & Serve Ice Cream Counter. When the rush hour hits, customers need a place to sit, so take them to their table at the Star Diner Restaurant set. If business is really good and you need to staff up, schedule a playdate: We’ve got server dress-up sets for boys and girls!
Skills at Play: Counting, sorting, imaginative play, storytelling, fine motor skills
The benefits of pretend play on child development have been well-documented, so in general, any type of pretend play like the Top & Bake Pizza Counter is great for helping kids develop in a number of critical areas:
- Creativity & imagination
- Language & communication
- Critical thinking & problem-solving
- Physical skills (gross & fine motor)
Your job as parent or caregiver is to find that perfect toy that your child will emotionally connect and engage with. So if your kiddo loves trips to the local pizza place, or watches cooking shows instead of cartoons, the Top & Bake Pizza Counter could be the spark that ignites a lifetime passion for culinary excellence in the pizza world and beyond! (That’s how important a toy can be to a kid.)
Plays Well With: In case you didn’t know, Melissa & Doug offers enough pizza-themed toys for your little dough-nut to have a veritable pizza party every night of the week! It starts with the right dress-up set for perfect pizza pretend play, so be sure your kiddo dons the Chef Role Play Costume Set before you start service! To scale up for multiple customers, add the Pizza Party - Wooden Play Food Set to make sure no one goes hungry, then, you could expand your menu for the dinner shift with the Deluxe Pizza & Pasta Play Set. For pizza fans who love thin crust, switch up your offerings with the Felt Play Food - Pizza Set! Finally, if you want beloved characters to attend the affair, you could opt for the Disney Mickey Mouse Pizza & Cake set instead. Mama Mia, that’s a lot of pretend pizza play!
The Buzz: “My niece loves this! I gave this to my niece for her birthday, and she absolutely loves it. She plays with this all day and all night and loves making me pepperoni pizza—even though I asked for mushrooms, but as long as she's having fun, that's all that matters! I must say this play set is extremely sturdy as well. A few times she had a temper tantrum and threw hard onto the floor and it survived with little to no scratches!” —J. Chan, in a 5-star online review