My kids can play “birthday” pretty much every day. We have a ridiculous number of play cake sets, and if they’re not around, my girls are happy to crumple up a piece of paper, stick a Q-tip in it and belt out Happy Birthday anyway. So when I got a look at the brand new Bake and Decorate Cupcake Kit from Melissa & Doug I knew we had a home run.

The latest offering from the most famous little toy company that made it big is another great option in their line of toys that inspire imagination and creativity. Four sizeable wooden cupcakes come with plastic “frosting” little hands¬†can snap on and off, plus sturdy paper liners, a muffin tin, a¬†potholder, and four big wooden candles that velcro onto the tops of the¬†cupcakes. The frosting tops act like dry erase boards, and three¬†markers dressed up like icing tubes let kids decorate the¬†cupcakes–and inadvertently, their hands.

Let’s just say the markers can be as messy as real frosting, although I’m less inclined to lick my fingers afterward.

Melissa and Doug cupcake kit: Fantastic birthday gift for kids 3 and up

For under $20, it’s a really smart gift for preschoolers or thereabouts. The age reco is 3+ but I am not sure why – the pieces aren’t¬†particularly small and¬†my 2.5 year-old can spend an entire day playing with it. Not even¬†exaggerating. In fact if someone would like to come over and sing Happy¬†Birthday with her 600,000 times in a row or so, I could sure use the¬†break.

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