Spring is finally showing up here in Indiana and the weather has been awesome for a couple days now. My boys have had a blast playing outside after being cooped up all winter, so slowly and surely, the toys have all started to trickle outside as well. One of their favorite toys to play with not only inside, but now outside as well, has been the MiO Eating + 2 People set I reviewed a few months ago from the Manhattan Toy Company. Made as multiple modular sets, each one is made from wood, gender neutral, and really awesome for imaginative and unplugged play. My boys have literally played non-stop with our MiO set, so when we had the opportunity to review some brand new MiO releases, I knew they would be excited! Included in the 2017 expanded collection are the Animal, People, Food Truck + Person, Airplane + Pilot, Me Time, and Outdoors set. We were able to try out the Outdoors and Airplane + Pilot set, and add them to our MiO collection.
Obviously this wasn’t our first experience with the MiO line, so I’ll recap some of my very favorite things about it. First- they are made of a matte-finish solid, yet lightweight, wood that can really stand up to lots of play. Second- the pieces are very simple with bright, durable colors, and the MiO people have the sweetest, hand-painted faces with sturdy bean bag bodies. All of the finishes are made from water-based non-toxic materials. And third- they are very neutral. I feel like they don’t lean toward a specific gender, or even age group necessarily. Plus, the MiO line has also received multiple awards including Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award, Parents’ Choice, Parents Best Toy and Creative Child Top Toy of the Year Award – Open Ended Play category. MiO also earned the coveted “Academy Star” award in The Cribsie Awards’ New Arrivals category. They simply are imaginative, beautiful, award winning sets!
I love the simplicity of the design, so open-ended play just happens with all of my kids when we break out the MiO sets. I can immediately hear them making up stories, using pieces in lots of different ways, and secretly, I love that they can get just a tiny bit of “me time” in where they all can play independently. And of course, I love that the independent, creative “me time” has absolutely nothing to do with electronics or screens!
They loved the new texture with the Outdoors set ($24) and the ropes on the hammock. Aiden (7 years old) kept telling me how the hammock was just like the big one we used to have, and they loved swinging the MiO person to sleep between the two bean bag chairs. The set comes with a hammock, MiO person, and 2 trees. The Airplane + Pilot ($23) is definitely Ezra’s favorite set so far. He loves taking the plane all around the yard and house in flying adventures. The propeller and wheels are free-turning, so he feels like his plane can really take off and land with the other sets. And I know that because of how well constructed the MiO line is, he won’t be breaking this plane like lots of other toy planes he has had in the past. Plus, the goggles on the pilot are adorable!
It wasn’t long before the boys broke out all of their MiO sets on the back deck. It was so neat to watch all of the sets work together or independently, with so many different set ups and adventures and only their imaginations to guide them!
Starting at just $10 and up, the MiO line from Manhattan Toy is that perfect gift of imaginative, open-ended play for almost any small child in your life. Plus, if you subscribe to their email list, you will receive 20% off your order, and they always offer free ground shipping.