I don’t envy mom’s having to find safe and long-lasting toys for their little ones, and as a mom, I can sympathize. I did run across a toy that I would personally buy for my new baby, which is due to make an appearance December 10, once they reach the toddler stage. Melissa and Doug have a new twist on a classic toy, The Deluxe Pounding Bench. Usually the pounding benches come with pegs and a mallet, and the pegs are removable from the bench itself. The down side of having this type of toy is that pieces tend to get lost. With the way the Melissa and Doug Pounding Bench are built, the pegs are not removable, so no worries over missing parts.
It is a bright, colorful toy and the wooden pegs have little faces on them. This toy teaches fine motor skills, learning about colors, cause and effect, and eye-hand coordination. Much like whack-a-mole, the pegs come back up as an alternate peg is struck with the mallet. The nice thing about the toy is that if a child doesn’t want to use the mallet, they don’t have to. They can simply push the pegs down with their little hands.
The bench itself is very sturdy and well made. The toy dimensions are 10 x 5 x 5 inches, 1.2 pounds, and are for ages 24 months to 4 years old. The toy can handle gentle and rough play, which is another feature that I really like, as kids like to pound things. The average rating for this toy is 4.5 out of 5 starts, and I would be willing to say it is definitely a 4.5 star item. The prices vary from stores, the highest being Stage Stores for $19.99, and the lowest price would be Walmart for $14.43. To get this item, here are the following top places I would try and get this toy; Walmart: $14.43, Christianbook.com for $14.99, and Amazon for $14.43.
This is a toy that is relatively inexpensive, durable, bright, and engaging. The only thing I would have a concern with is the mallet being used for other things than just the toy. It could be used to hit other things, or people, and I’m not positive about how long the paint would last on a toy if a child decided to chew on the mallet, but I’m sure the paint used is probably non-toxic. I could be overly cautious, but as a grandma it’s only natural for me to be, as I’m sure new moms are as well. I think this toy is well worth the price, and most likely would purchase it.