Let Your Kids’ Personalities Shine!

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Join us in celebrating this week’s play theme: personality! All week, we’ll talk about ways to nurture individualism, show off personal style, and honor our kids’ unique ways of learning. We’ll post special activity ideas designed to boost self-confidence, build communication skills, and customize learning. We’re so excited to share our ideas with you—check in [...]

Mystery Birthday: Who traveled the United States with a bag of seeds? (Hint: apple-related play ideas below!)

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Johnny Appleseed! He was born (148 years ago today) as John Chapman, but this produce pioneer earned his nickname many times over. He became famous for planting apple seeds, which he gathered from cider mills and planted during his travels. He tended his orchards on return trips, and happily shared with everyone he met. Celebrate [...]

Creative Play Quick Tip: Dance to the Music

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We love looking for ways to build key skills through play—and music play is no exception! Experimenting with volume, rhythm, pitch, tone, movement, and repetition is a terrific way to build key skills such as fine motor, gross motor, auditory discrimination, patterning, matching, and much more. But we admit: When we see a collection of [...]

From the M&D Playbook: The ABCs of Sorting Play

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Blocks, beads, crayons, coins, toy cars . . . As any parent knows, children can find ways to sort just about anything. One of our all-time favorites for sorting and grouping: letter magnets! These seemingly simple toys can fuel surprisingly rich play for kids of all ages, and they’re terrific for building pre-literacy skills and [...]

Creative Play Quick Tip: Sort It Out!

  Starting around 18 months, toddlers begin to notice differences and commonalities between objects—which means it’s time to sort and group!   HOW THEY PLAY: Preschoolers naturally seek to organize objects by color, size, shape, texture and type. Feed their hunger for this type of play by providing sorting toys like lacing beads, sorting cubes, [...]