Parents, caregivers, and nature lovers, mark your calendars for Saturday, September 23—it’s National Public Lands Day, which means visitors to our national parks receive FREE entry that day!
Social scientists have conducted numerous studies that show the benefits of exposing kids to nature, including expanding their worldview, and generating positive emotions such as calm, joy, and creativity. It’s an important step in child development to try and make some connection with nature, even if it’s exploring what you find in your own yard or a neighborhood green space.
Inspiring kids to connect with nature through play is why Melissa & Doug recently partnered with the National Park Foundation for a new collection of national park-inspired toys. The toys in this collection are designed to inspire kids to explore nature’s wonders, and care for the great outdoors all year round.
Visit a national park on Saturday, Sept. 23 and enjoy FREE entry!
Are you a parent or caregiver who wants to get your kids excited for outdoor play? Adventure-themed toys such as Melissa & Doug’s National Park Foundation Collection provide an early start for the young kids and their families to find wonder in the great outdoors through open-ended, child-led play at home.
Here’s a look at a few curated selections from our collection to get your kids started on a lifelong appreciation of nature:
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 and up. 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.
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.
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.
Looking for more great adventure toy content…read these Melissa & Doug blogs!