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A couple of years back we bought my eldest son who is now four years old a small wooden cooker. To go with this I wanted to get him some play food. After searching for a while I came across the Melissa and Doug wooden cut and play range. They looked great fun and durable. One of the sets I opted for was the sandwich making set. My son is not a huge fan of sandwiches and I thought buying this would not only be fun for him to play with but may help with encouraging him to become interested in sandwiches. Lunch time in our house can be a challenging one!
The sandwich making set comes with sixteen pieces to make mouth watering, large sandwich. We have had some interesting combinations over the last couple of years! There are slices of bread, a bread bun cut in half, pieces of cheese and meat and salad items. It also comes with a wooden knife to cut through the Velcro when the pieces are stuck together. The knife is perfect size for a small one to hold and is very light. All of this comes in a wooden storage tray but as time has gone on I have found all of the sets have got mixed up during play so we now have a large wooden basket to keep all the bits together. Over the last couple of years the basket has got fuller and fuller of lovely wooden food. I would say the wooden tray is that this item comes in is a nice idea and does looks great when given as a present but other than that is not much use.
All the pieces are made from wood with a piece of Velcro in the middle of the item so it can be stuck to another. My son loves the noise it makes when he cuts or pulls apart the pieces he has put together. All the items except the knife are painted in lovely bright colours which are a non toxic paint and finishes. As you always expect with these wooden painted toys the paint does chip when it is bashed about that is why it is recommended for three years old and above. I would vouch for this as we bought this set when my son was two years old and having two boys four and under the pieces have got a little bit battered over time.
This product is made exceptionally well and is of high quality. It is a durable toy that will give your child many hours of fun. My son does use the item with his cooker and alone. I think there isn't any need for a cooker to be able to play with this. It is about your child using their imagination and being creative with it.
My son has really enjoyed playing with this set and even now two years later he gets a lot of enjoyment out of it and so does his younger brother. He finds it good fun and likes to see how big a sandwich he can make from all his Melissa and Doug's cut and play food he has. He also uses the pieces with his cooker frying the piece of cheese in his frying pan. I'm not entirely sure where he got this idea from! The initial problem I found with this toy was my son's lack of sharing skills with it. He was very reluctant to share it with anyone something and it has taken time to work on this!
An extra bit that I like with these Melissa and Doug is the extra activities they put on the back of the wooden tray. These give you as a parent or guardian different ways of sitting with your child and using the set to its maximum. For the sandwich making set their ideas are along the lines of counting, basic food groups memory and more. I like the fact they go that little bit extra for you.
Down to money I think for what you get you are paying a reasonable price. The set is priced at £15 but is currently on Amazon at £12.89 (Jan 2011). I think the set is well worth what you pay for it and I would highly recommend it. Both my sons would be happy to receive any of the Melissa and Doug items. They have both got lots of enjoyment out of this product and I am sure they will for some time to come too.
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