Every year it seems like we need to do a big toy sweep in the weeks leading up to Christmas to make room for the new toys that will brought home after holidays with the family. While there is a place and time for the exciting new electronic toys and building sets with billions of tiny pieces, there’s a special spot in my heart for the simple, imaginative toys that have very few parts and can last for years. This holiday season, Manhattan Toy (whom we LOVE!) has created a special line of open-ended play toys for parents just like me- the MiO collection. We recently got to try out a set from the MiO line, and I can’t wait to get more for my boys!
Manhattan Toy sent us one of their smaller modular MiO sets- the MiO Eating + 2 People set. This $30 retail-value set includes 12 pieces- 1 room, 1 loft, 1 tabletop plank, 6 cubes, 2 MiO beanbag people, and a drawstring storage bag.
As we took each brightly colored wood and fabric piece out of the box, my boys’ eyes absolutely lit up. They immediately went into imagination mode and the stories about the MiO characters just started flowing… and my heart pretty much smiled.
The first thing I noticed right away while playing with them was the construction of the pieces. Each of the pieces is lightweight, yet very solid. The wood pieces had a matte, smooth finish that almost held the pieces together and stopped them from sliding when stacked, so the boys could turn and combine them in multiple different ways. The insides of the house pieces and the blocks also had a bright, durable paint finish that I love. And while I thought it was somewhat obvious to set up a tabletop and chairs, the boys immediately got creative and made a bed and tv set as well.
Another thing that struck me as they were playing is that the MiO sets would be perfect for pretty much any child- boy/girl, preschooler/grade schooler, any language, any background, etc. Since everything was so neutral and simple in design, the only thing needed to play is the creativity of a child’s imagination… not even batteries or a power source! Plus, I mean, no noise except their stories of what their MiO people were doing. That’s a win, right there!
Since playing with our MiO Eating set, the boys have looked at the others and asked for different ones so they can combine their sets. The entire line includes 10 different items/sets to fit every budget, and includes everything from animals to school buses to camping (my 5 year old told me he NEEDS the Camping set!). Their flagship set, the Playing Eating Sleeping Working +2 People set (a complete 41 piece set), even received Creative Child Magazine’s 2016 Toy of the Year Award in the Open Ended Play category. I feel like it’s pretty much the perfect toy for any kid on your list for Christmas this year (and for once, a toy I’d totally love for everyone to get my kids!). Oh, and did I mention that many of the sets come with a drawstring bag? It’s perfect for keeping everything together and ready to go! My model here wanted to show you.
A few more MiO sets have definitely been added to the boys’ Christmas lists this year, and I’ve already started recommending them to friends. And since I seem to love just about everything from Manhattan Toy, I’m not even surprised they’ve come up with this awesome line, and they’ve also offered to give one of our lucky readers a smaller MiO set of their own! Be sure to fill out the form below to enter to win, and head on over to their Facebook page to keep up with all of their new products.