Melissa & Doug Wooden Latches Activity Board
The Melissa & Doug Wooden Latches Activity Board is yet another great toy from Melissa and Doug. Melissa and Doug are quickly becoming my go-to brand for quality toys to teach Ragamuffin new skills.
STEM Skills are Important
Regular readers will know how passionate I am about encouraging girls to develop their STEM (Science, Technology, Maths and Engineering) skills. I’m really keen on giving kids choice too, and figure that if they’re not exposed to these kinds of activities then they won’t know if they enjoy them.
I’d love for Ragamuffin to go into a STEM profession because they can be really rewarding careers. As a software engineer I get so much satisfaction from creating a new web page from scratch, in the same way that carpenters or builders might get from building things from raw materials. That said, if she decides that she doesn’t want a STEM career then that’s totally fine, I just want her to do something she loves.
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This wooden latches activity board is another favourite here at Raising a Ragamuffin HQ. With it’s bright colours and sturdiness it’s easy to see why.
So the board has 6 different brightly coloured doors, all with different types of latches and locks for kids to open. Behind each door is a group of animals, the same amount as the number of the door. For example behind door 1 is one horse, behind door 2 are 2 dogs etc. Once your little one has opened the lock, there’s something for them to find behind the door.
There is a different type of lock or latch on each door, including a hook and eye, a deadbolt and a door chain lock.
I like that the type of door on the board is varied. The first two have been made to look like windows and open upwards, the third has two doors that open outwards and looks like a retro garage. The fourth and fifth doors are just single doors that open outwards, one looks like a shed door and the other looks like the front door of a house. The last has two doors that open outwards and looks like the doors to go into a workshop.
What is really great about this wooden latches activity board is the wide range of skills it helps kids to practice. There’s problem solving and fine motor skills in working out how the locks and latches work. Once your little one has opened the door there are animals for them to count.
Ragamuffin’s fine motor skills have really come on since she got this board for Christmas. In fact it’s worked so well, that she can now open the deadbolt on our garden gate! It’s always bittersweet when they learn a new skill. On one hand you’re delighted that they can do something new, but on the other hand you realise that it’s something else you need to make sure they only do when it’s safe!
The only slight issue that we’ve had is that one of the latches is a bit stiff, so sometimes Ragamuffin needs some help to open it fully. But as she gets older and her fine motor skills better, she’ll easily manage to open it.
I think I’ve made it quite obvious that I like this board. The bright colours make it really appealing to young kids, and the full-size brass latches and locks are big enough for little hands to work out how to use them. It’s great that behind each door is a group of animals ready for your little ones to find, and to encourage them to open the rest of the doors too.
We’ve found that one of the latches is a bit stiff, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing, meaning that Ragamuffin will keep coming back to it until she can manage it on her own.
What do you think? Do your little ones have this board, or any other Melissa and Doug toys? Is it on your wishlist?
Leave me a comment and let me know your thoughts.
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