Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Toy Review Tuesday: Birthday Cake (Melissa & Doug)

Birthdays are a fun time for kids. Birthdays can also be a difficult concept especially for kids who may think it's their birthday at every party or kids who may be overwhelmed with all the activity and excitement and people.

The time-honored birthday cake ritual of singing "Happy Birthday" and blowing out the candles was a perplexing for Matthew when he was younger. He wasn't quite sure what to do about the candles until he was 3. And people singing the happy birthday song around him brought forth his lower lip with a downward curve. (Maybe he just thought everyone was off-key and that was upsetting to him??)

With many birthdays to celebrate in our family (with nearby relatives), playing with the Melissa & Doug Birthday Cake has completely helped him warm up to the birthday ritual. Both kids even like to turn the lights off after the candles are put on the cake. Then we sing the birthday song. The lights come back on for cake cutting and eating.

We like this birthday cake set because it is fun and durable. It also nice for counting, sorting, learning to follow directions, and imaginative play. I can see it used for simple sequencing also but we haven't tried it yet.

Integrating some more fine motor work into our birthday cake play, Matthew picks up candles and pieces with tongs.