Who Makes It? Melissa & Doug
What is It? A wooden truck with car carrier trailer and 4 wooden cars
What Ages? Recommended for ages 3 and up
How Much? $15-$20
Needs Batteries? No
Melissa & Doug have a great reputation for making sturdy, creative and educational toys for kids from toddlers through early school age. Their Car Carrier Truck & Cars Wooden Set is one of their most popular and best-selling toys.
The set consists of a truck with detachable car trailer, and four cars. The trailer folds down to allow cars to be loaded and folds up for transport. The truck, trailer and all cars have working wheels and can be pushed around. While it is very sturdy, this toy is meant as an indoor or porch floor toy rather than a yard or sandbox one. The smooth wheels work best on a surface with a little friction, like low carpet.
The four cars come in four bright colors (red, blue, green, and yellow) and can be played with completely separately from the truck. They work on Doug and Melissa wooden train tracks as well, which can be repurposed as racetracks when the cars come to play!
Toy cars and trucks are a huge hit with most kids, and scooting around on the floor with them keeps them active and reinforces gross motor skills. Handling the cars and loading and unloading them helps with finer motor movements.
In addition, the truck and cars can be used for learning games with a child. For example, identifying colors and picking out the car you request by color. Early readers can be given a “loading list” for the truck and check off each car as they load it on. They can also count the cars out loud and do simple addition and subtraction by adding and taking away the cars.
The recommended age range for the Car Carrier Truck and Cars is 3 and up, and I think that’s about right. Ages 3-5 would be the ideal for this toy. An added plus for many parents is that this is a completely battery- and noise-free toy (other than the noises kids make when they play with it)!
Melissa and Doug are one of my favorite toy companies, and they make lots of low-tech, well-built toys that encourage creative and imaginative play. Most of the parents I know are fans as well, so watch this space for plenty more reviews of Melissa and Doug toys in the future!