Melissa & Doug is a brand that has been popular with children and parents for 30 years. Melissa & Doug Bernstein were influenced by their parents, who were educators, to create products that would enrich children’s lives. In 1988, they quit their corporate jobs to start a home video company. A few years later, the Bernsteins switched from video to toy maker by creating the Fuzzy Farm Puzzle, a textured wooden puzzle. The puzzle was a success and inspired several more wooden puzzle lines. In the late 90s, Melissa & Doug expanded its line of toys to include plush toys, wooden toys, crafts, role-playing games, and more.
During the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, screen time for most children has increased dramatically. From virtual school attendance to Google Classroom to watching child influencers on YouTube during their downtime, being dependent on screen time is a problem for parents. The New York Times reported that Qustodio, a parental control app, saw children ages 4-15 in the United States spent an average of 97 minutes a day on YouTube in March and April 2020, up from 57 minutes in February 2020 and nearly The app was called “The Covid Effect”. Parents looked for different ways to keep their children busy as the pandemic progressed.
For Melissa & Doug, the increase in time spent at home in 2020 meant many parents were looking for ways to get their children involved. The Melissa & Doug toy line, with its mission to arouse imagination and amazement, invites children to switch off and experience practical games. In 2020, the company partnered with the American Academy of Pediatrics to promote the benefits of open play.
“When parents were at home with their kids, they realized they needed quality products to slow down and find those moments when everyone disappears from the screen to spend time with family,” says Dave Henderson. Melissa & Doug’s Chief Commercial Officer. “Whether you are two, four or six of you, you enjoy this time and let the children play and occupy themselves with quality toys. The company may have benefited from the pandemic, but I think it stays true to our mission. “