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Best Melissa & Doug Toys

Updated April 2018
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. Read more
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How We Decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 125 Models Considered
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 187 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Shopping Guide for Melissa & Doug Toys

    Last Updated April 2018

    Melissa & Doug toys are known for their high-quality wooden construction. Though the company began with a focus on wooden toys, it has now branched out to include materials such as metal and plastic – but with the same Melissa & Doug quality. Some Melissa & Doug toys are simple in design, but they have an attention to detail that makes them a favorite with kids and parents alike.

    Melissa & Doug toys have expanded to include everything from floor puzzles to shopping carts to puppet theaters. With so many choices, it’s hard to know where to begin. That’s why we’re here. At BestReviews, we consult the experts, dig through consumer reviews, and test products so that we can bring you the honest, unbiased reviews you need to make the right purchasing decisions.

    The following shopping guide covers the basics of Melissa & Doug toys so you can narrow down your search. To learn about our five favorite Melissa & Doug toys, be sure to check out our recommendations in the chart above.

    The proclaimed mission of the Melissa & Doug company is to promote free play for children that will encourage imagination and self-discovery.

    What to consider when buying melissa & doug toys


    One of the most important factors to take into consideration when shopping for Melissa & Doug toys – or any toys, for that matter – is your child’s age. The age rating of a toy can give you an idea if your child is developmentally ready for it and whether it poses any safety risks.

    Some toys include small parts that could be easily swallowed by children younger than age three. For that reason, you should only purchase toys recommended for your child's age. All Melissa & Doug toys are properly labeled by age range.

    Play and storage space

    Some Melissa & Doug toys require a good amount space for play and storage. Others are small enough to tuck away on a shelf. For example, the company’s 2’ x 3’ floor puzzles require an open, flat space, but its wooden activity boards can be played with while riding in a car. For this reason, it’s important to know how much space you have and how much space any given Melissa & Doug toy requires.


    For serious puzzles enthusiasts, the Melissa & Doug company also manufactures puzzle storage racks.

    Types of melissa & doug toys

    Arts, crafts, and activity pads

    Melissa & Doug arts and crafts supplies cover a wide variety of kits, paints, and toys that encourage fine motor skills and imagination. From beading kits to art easels to basic paints and markers, these toys let self-expression run wild. Melissa & Doug offers all-inclusive kits that can take up most of a room as well as travel-size toys you can pack in the car.

    Developmental toys

    Melissa & Doug’s line of developmental toys entice children to learn. Colorful wooden building blocks, spelling toys, numbers, learning mats, giant floor puzzles, and magnetic activity boards help kids practice fine motor skills as well as early reading and math skills. There are magnetic chore boards and calendars that create an easy way for children to take an active role in learning and development.

    Melissa & Doug activity rugs add a pop of color to a child’s room or playroom, and they encourage active play by providing roads or a game board.


    Outdoor and active toys

    Camp chairs, flashlights, balls, and bubble sets – all with the Melissa & Doug flare – give the outdoors a magical quality. These toys use fun colors and characters to make outside play even more inviting.

    Pretend play

    The pretend play toys from Melissa & Doug are beautiful and solidly built. They range from miniature versions of practical household items like brooms and mops to magnetic dress-up sets in the style of paper dolls (but with the durability of wood). Play kitchens can be stocked with play food, stainless steel pots and pans, and even a dish-drying rack. Dollhouses, animal playsets, and horse stables can also be found in Melissa & Doug’s line of pretend play toys.

    And more

    This company has still more to offer, including magic sets, musical instruments, and a puppet theater. The use of natural materials and the company’s commitment to quality gives many of Melissa & Doug’s durable toys a classic, inviting look.

    The Melissa & Doug company has put a new spin on playing with cars. With stackable wooden car sets that allow kids to interchange the pieces, kids can make new car creations every day.


    Q. Do the Melissa & Doug kitchen and food playsets work with kitchens other than those made by the same company?

    A. The size of Melissa & Doug pots, pans, and food sets allows them to be used with most standard-size play kitchens, regardless of brand. Most of the pots and pans are made of stainless steel, and most of the play food is made of wood.

    Q. Are there baby and toddler toys made by Melissa & Doug?

    A. Yes, you can find a wide variety of Melissa & Doug toys made for younger children. There are push toys, pull toys, sorting toys, soft activity books, stick horses, and a rocking horse, to name a few.

    Q. Are all Melissa & Doug toys made of wood?

    A. When the company was first founded, it focused on developing wooden toys. Today, the company has branched out to include other materials such as stainless steel, plastic, and fabric. The focus of the Melissa & Doug brand continues to be quality and a commitment to imaginative play inspired by simple designs.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Devangana
      Web Producer
    • Eliza
      Production Manager
    • Katie
      Editorial Director
    • Melissa
      Senior Editor
    • Stacey