little chef – and 3 other soft books by melissa and doug
Here it is again, another baby shower. Once you become a parent everyone you know is a parent. It’s one of the laws of the universe. If, like me, you were the first of your friends to have kids, well then you go to a lot of baby showers. I’m always looking for great gift ideas for them and I have two rules – don’t give the same thing I gave last time, and don’t give the same gift as someone else. That is not exactly an easy task. I know of two things I’m definitely not giving – diaper bags and onesies are out, she’s guaranteed to get at least two of each. On top of that this isn’t someone I’m super close to, so I want to keep in a reasonable budget.
With no time to actually go shopping I found myself scouring the internet for a nice and unique gift to bring on Saturday. I honed in on Melissa and Doug. Their products are good quality, unique and the price is right. They have a line of soft plush books for infants that felt right to me. They cost between $8-10 which feels quite reasonable to me. They each have things like squeeky toys, crinkly pages, velcro pieces and other things like that. They’re machine washable which is great and they have bright colors. So I went ahead and bought 4 of them, figuring I can give one or two of them and then either return the others or keep them around for the next baby shower! Since I’m not sure which I’ll do yet I only opened little chef, so for the others I’ll just use the official images.
Melissa & Doug Soft Activity Baby Book – Little Chef
Ok, starting with the packaging Little Chef comes in a clear plastic bag with a handle and a velcro closure. The plastic is sturdy enough that you can use it long term to keep it clean and dry and I think that’s a nice touch since most toys the packaging is just wasteful. The velcro isn’t super strong but it does the job. Once you’ve opened it you can discard the cardboard insert that describes the book.
Once you’ve opened it you get a thick cloth book that’s easy for infant hands to hold. There’s a squeeky toy built into the front cover and even though I’m not an infant I did find myself walking around pressing it. Each of the inside pages has a different feature with velcro pieces, simple words to read to your baby and some crinkly things to make some noise. I especially appreciate that all the velcro pieces are also attached by string so they won’t get lost. The images are cute and it feels fun.
The only thing I didn’t love about this book was that it has tags inserted in the last page which seems superfluous when it already has the brand on the back. You can probably tear that out though.
All in all I feel like for under $9 this is a great quality product that everyone will love. I’ll probably go ahead and give 2 of them!
Melissa & Doug Soft Activity Baby Book – Whose Feet?
My second favorite is Whose Feet? This one is just so cute with the feet that fall down out of it so you can see the crocodile having all the wrong feet before finally finding his own.
I didn’t open this one up but I think it’s too cute not to include.
Melissa & Doug Soft Activity Baby Book – Dress Up Bear
I also really like Dress-Up Bear. What a fun idea. It has a real button on the front, shoelaces and a clasp to keep it shut. It’s bigger than the others and maybe for a slightly older baby (but still definitely a baby’s toy) just because it will require a bit more coordination to play with the clasp and laces than a real infant has. So maybe this one would be better for a first birthday rather than a baby shower. I’ll hold onto it.[/two_third_last]
Melissa & Doug Soft Activity Baby Book – The Wonderful World of Peekaboo!
The last one I got was The Wonderful World of Peekaboo. It’s also cute and I’m sure if it was the only one I’d ordered I’d be perfectly happy with it, but next to the others I just don’t feel like it’s as strong. I definitely prefer the others first. Just like Dress-Up Bear, I feel like this one is geared towards a slightly older baby than the first two.
I’m happy enough with all of these, but I think I’ll definitely be going with Little Chef and Whose Feet? for this shower. What do you think?