Reviewed by David Savage
Kids love animals, especially pets such as dogs and cats. But as we all know, they are very expensive to look after in terms of insurance, vet bills and then you have to feed them. And then once the novelty wears off, it then becomes the job of the adults in the house to look after them while the kids do then fun stuff like playing with them. So with Christmas coming up, and lots of kids probably asking for a pet, we have been trying out the next best thing; a plush cat and dog playset that will require no added expense and the kids can look after it themselves.
Melissa & Doug are well-known for creating excellent quality products that are engaging and let children use their imaginations, letting children be children. We, as well as the children, were delighted to receive the Melissa & Doug Tote & Tour Pet Travel Play Set which gives the kids their own plush cat and dog and the travel essentials for them.
This 15-piece playset comes with everything a child needs to take their pets on their travels:
- Plush Cat & Dog
- Soft pet carrier with handle, side pockets, and removable pet bed
- Includes leash, collar, harness, 2 write-on name tags, collapsible food and water dish, reversible food/water insert, and ball
- Pet IDs
- Reusable travel tips checklist
Since we received this set, we have been taking the “pets” everywhere with us. They are certainly well travelled animals.
This playset has been very well thought out; the soft pet carrier is collapsible for easy storage, as is the food and water dish. The pet carrier also has a removable padded bed. The Pet IDs are foldable and can be stored in transparent pockets on the outside of the carrier (you can display one or both of the IDs, depending on what pet is travelling with you at the time). There is even a reusable travel checklist that children can tick off to remember to bring everything with thing and how they are travelling (plane, car, train or boat).
The collars on both pets have write-on name tags (make sure that you only use a pencil so that they can be reused) and the dog even comes equipped with harness and removable lead (leash).
When it’s time for your pets to be fed, you can insert the reversable food/water card into the collapsible feed dish so they can eat or drink. For playtime, they have a large ball that they can play with (after all, all pets need some fun and exercise), which stores away on the storage pockets on the side of the carrier.
The kids have loved looking after their new pets and taking them on their travels (including to the supermarket as apparently they are not allowed to be left on their own). The quality of the pieces is excellent and, although I think the ball could be a bit stronger, it has stood up to the kids and the pets playing with it perfectly well. The material used for the passports and checklist is quite thick and durable, and as long as a pencil is used to write on the them should last a long time.
This playset is excellent for imaginative play and open-ended playtime (Melissa & Doug even have a ways to play guide on their website with some good ideas).
Available to buy from Amazon here.