I like Melissa and Doug toys SO MUCH I can't even describe it to you. I want to become a child again to play with them. There is something in the simplicity of their toys. It feels good holding them in your hands. They are very well built wooden toys so if you buy one you can be sure that it's going to be in tip-top condition for the younger sibling as well.
I ran into this Melissa and Doug Lacing Bear set and thought it might be a good idea for Pumpkin to have something like that. We did try lacing activities that involve old postcards and a hole-puncher but honestly, she was more thrilled about making holes than lacing. This toy was a big hit right away. Pumpkin couldn't wait to get home to play with it. It is perfect for little girls because it has a number of girly (princess, ballerina, cheer leader) outfits and accessories along with a cowgirl and a soccer uniform which I like for breaking those gender stereotypes. There are 17 pieces all together and 2 extra-long shoe-laces for lacing. It is very affordable and durable. The only minus is the wooden box it comes in doesn't have a lid to keep the pieces in place. After we unwrapped it we ended up with a tray. For now it is just sitting on the table until I figure out the storage solution for it.
Christmas is around the corner. This set would make a great gift for girls from 3 to 7 years old (it says 3-12 on the package but I doubt that 12 year olds nowadays play with toys like this one). And for those who have little boys in the house Melissa and Doug has wonderful lacing sets as well(shapes, road signs, trucks...). Just hop on their web site!