Melissa & Doug is a champion of unstructured, open-ended play for kids, so it’s no wonder we recently partnered with the National Park Foundation on a collection of toys designed to inspire kids to get out and explore the wonders of nature.
For this edition of our Toy Spotlight blog, we’re highlighting one of our favorite items from our National Park Foundation collection: the Yellowstone National Park Grizzly Bear Games! Kids can wear the paw gloves and attachable head to play catch with fish, berries, and moths like a grizzly bear, or just wear the role play items and pretend play as a bear!
According to HealthyChildren.org, “The more time a child spends in nature, the more likely they are to grow up to be good stewards of our planet—an environmental win!” Increased time in nature has also been shown to reduce stress, improve learning outcomes, and lead to more positive behavior.
Read on to get the scoop on why your kids will love the Yellowstone National Park Grizzly Bear Games from Melissa & Doug!
Why Kids Will Love this Outdoor Adventure Role Play Toy
Play Basics: Fish like a bear—play catching games with bear paw gloves! Pretend to be a hungry bear with this playful introduction to Yellowstone National Park, which features plush versions of some of grizzly bears’ favorite snacks that stick to self-stick hook-and-loop tabs on bear paw gloves and the snout of strap-on bear heads.
Playful Details: Discover the wonders 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.
Age: 3+ years
Parents Will Love These Features: Sized to fit kids…and most adults. Great for role play, too! Melissa & Doug is proud to support the National Park Foundation with a million-dollar commitment over three years. Our National Park Foundation collection is designed to inspire kids to discover the wonder of America’s national parks. The Foundation works to protect and enhance the national parks for present and future generations.
Who Will Love This: Any child who enjoys pretend role playing adventures…preschoolers working on their catch-and-throw ability…kiddos who love nature, animals, and the great outdoors!
Countless Ways to Play: Encourage your kids to go a little wild and have fun with the Yellowstone National Park Grizzly Bear Games Play Set using these creative play prompts:
Use the included map, game ideas, and fun facts to go on a bear-themed scavenger hunt
Utilize a stopwatch to see how many fish, berries, and moths your bear can snag in a timed competition
- Pair it with a bear-themed plush stuffed animal for those kids who can’t hibernate without a lovey; or incorporate some medical-themed Melissa & Doug role play for a wild vet pretend adventure
Skills at Play: Gross motor skills, hand-eye coordination, imagination, storytelling
Younger kids working on their hand-eye coordination and gross motor skills can help develop those abilities by throwing and catching the self-stick fish, berries, and moths—the silly bear heads they can wear on their heads while doing so just ups the fun factor! When kids want to go wild with open-ended, unstructured pretend play, toss the catch-and-throw play pattern and encourage them to get in touch with their natural side through pretend play.
Plays Well With: The other toys in our National Park Foundation collection! Or, you can mix & match with other Melissa & Doug toys for creative combinations like:
The Backyard Bear-a-lympics
Here’s a gold medal-winning play idea: Let your little bear cub loose to challenge a backyard (or indoor) obstacle course designed for pretend bears combining our Dilly Dally Target Game, Camo Chameleon Bean Bag Toss Game, and Giddy Buggy Tunnel.
Outdoor Vet Adventure
If you’ve got multiple kids to occupy, this play idea is for you: A pretend play scenario involving one outdoor veterinarian (in our role play costume) with the Pet Vet Play Set to rescue your bear cub and our Giant Stuffed Animal Polar Bear, who are trapped in the wilderness together.
Backyard Camping Get-Away
Nothing says “outdoor fun” like an easy-peasy backyard “camping” get-away for your little cub. Set them up with their own camp chair to get cozy in, test their skills with the Let’s Explore Fishing Play Set, then kick back with a tasty pretend treat from the Let’s Explore Campfire S’Mores Play Set. The perfect recipe for an unforgettable play date!
Give these FREE National Park Foundation-themed Printables to your little explorers for screen-free creative fun!
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