Do you have kiddo that LOVES TRUCKS? I happened to have 2: both of my grandbubs! In fact, when they were visiting over the summer I brought out my wooden blocks and accessorized with several of Melissa & Doug truck sets.
They enjoyed playing with Melissa & Doug’s Low Loader and the Trailer and Excavator set…
plus their Stacking Construction set
PROS & CONS
What I like about all of these trucks:
● Each of the pieces constructed of durable wood
● As a whole, they were great accessories to promote pretend play (See why pretend play is important here)
● There are no bells and whistles. Kiddos have to create their own sound effects as well as make the trucks move!
● Safe, non-toxic paint
What caused some frustration for the grandbubs:
● Keeping the trailer and the rig together. I can’t say why exactly it kept happening, but it did. We’d get the two hitchd and as they’d try to ‘drive’ them away they’d come apart. It did cause frustration and the need to redirect at times. Keep in mind though the boys were not quite 2 years old yet and these toys are geared for children 3 years and up. I’ll be interested to see how they fare the next time they try.
What could cause concern for people:
● Though Melissa & Doug is a US company, they contract out manufacturing. These toys are made overseas, hence the inexpensive price.
Into the mix of all those trucks or construction-themed vehicles I added community service vehicles from Construction Playthings.
I know block play is important for a child’s development so I wanted to encourage my grandbubs to PLAY as much as they wanted! In addition to the blocks and trucks, I included books in their PLAY space as well as some visuals to promote language development. One of their favorite books was:
Even though it’s a board book and, typically, board books are made for babies and young toddlers. THIS book isn’t one you’d want to leave your kiddo unsupervised with. It has thin flaps that can be easily torn off–completely by accident. PLUS, out of frustration, on the very first reading, flaps could be damaged. The little fingering space to make it easy to open the flap isn’t readily available. An adult has to go through and remove all of the half-circles. And let me tell you, it was only for the love of my grandbubs–and their obvious love of trucks–that I put up with that. So be aware!
My visuals included pictures of children and adults in cars and/or trucks so I wanted to also include toy ‘people’ for the boys to play with. I have several types of Lakeshore’s Block Play People. I think they are fabulous and a great addition to any block play center.
Though I can’t say the boys showed too much interest in them. They were much more drawn to the ‘people’ that were part of the larger, more interactive school bus I brought out. This wooden school bus set is also from Melissa & Doug.
I think this ambivalence had more to do with the age/stage they are in their development. Putting things in (and dumping things out) is still a big draw at their age!
From observing my grandbubs’ interests and PLAY, these toys definitely get a huge PLAY-ON stamp of approval!
EXTEND & CONNECT
So, I’ll circle back to what I started with: Do you have a kiddo obsessed with trucks? Set up a block PLAY area, include accessories plus visuals and books AND try this fingerplay!
Shovel and Dump Truck
Scoop, scoop, scoop
The big shovel digs the dirt.
(Make a scooping motion with R hand, palm down; make fist)
Then it swings around And empties the dirt and stones
Into a red dump truck
(Swing R arm from extreme R towards L. Hold R fist above open L hand. Open fist to “empty the shovel”)
Crash band! Thud!
The dirt falls in to the truck.
(Repeat scooping, swinging & dumping)
Now the dump truck is full
Away it goes down the road.
(Move L hand, palm up away from yourself)
Good bye truck
Come back for another load.
(NOTE: This fingerplay is especially designed to help correct speech defects. The combinations: cr, mp, rt, sc, sh sl, st, sw, th, tr, wa and wo are given)
Yours in Play!
I appreciate and thank you for your support, the recommendations are primarily done to assist you in selecting toys, books and/or other materials that will enrich your child’s play experiences. I don’t participate in affiliate programs.