Stacy Shares: Exploring the Senses in Your Own Backyard

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This family activity is brought to you by Melissa & Doug, written by our Blog Ambassador Stacy Teet. Explore your backyard in a new way with this sensory adventure. Gardening with my kids is a big deal to me. It is one of the most rewarding ways we spend time together. There are so many [...]

5 Outdoor Activities Children of Different Ages Can Share

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Beanbag Toss: Draw different throw lines for children of different ages. (You might even let toddlers walk up to the target and drop their bean bag into the hole!) Water Play: With supplies as simple as a wide plastic bowl (or water table) and a collection of cups, older children can experiment and learn about [...]

What Lessons Will Bloom in Your Child’s Garden?

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Memory & Sequencing: The process of planting requires gardeners to follow set steps. Your child will use memory and narrative thinking to master the process: Prepare the soil, dig the hole, plant the seed. . . . Biology: Through direct experience your child will see a basic life cycle unfold: infancy, growth, full bloom, death. [...]

Skill Building Through Sand Play

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Large Motor Skills Large motor skills develop and strengthen as children dig, scoop, sift, and pour. The whole body can get involved in sand play! Hand-eye Coordination Children develop better control over their small muscles as they practice manipulating sand play toys like funnels, mills, shovels, scoops, and sifters. Social & Emotional Playing together in [...]

Read & Play with Allie: Trucks

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Playing with puzzles is a teacher and parent favorite for quiet time, when kids need to calm down. When I taught preschool, after lunch but before nap was always a good time for puzzles because it calmed my students before rest time. But that’s not the only way you can use puzzles; they can be [...]

5 Fun Ways to Teach Children the Letters of the Alphabet

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Name Rubbings: From cardboard cut out the letters of your child’s name and glue onto construction paper. Have your child put a piece of paper over his name and use an unwrapped crayon (on its side) to create a name rubbing! Tracing Letters: Use hard plastic (the kind that will crack if bent) paper plates [...]

Suspend Game Wins Award for Best Games 2012: Video Review

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We are proud to announce that our brand-new family game SUSPEND just won Best Toys Guide: Best Games of 2012! What is SUSPEND? A family game of tricky hangs and steady hands! Suspend comes with 24 notched, rubber-tipped wire pieces to hang from a tabletop stand. Sound easy? Try adding another piece! Each time a [...]

The Benefits of Being Outside by Melissa

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by Melissa for grandparents.com Spontaneous time spent outdoors can have benefits beyond your wildest dreams! Some of my fondest childhood memories are of playing outdoors. When I was young, no one in my neighborhood had nannies. Sending the kids outside to play was Mom’s free babysitter and the only way she could “get things done.” [...]

5 Creative Play Ideas with Stickers

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The Neverending Story Game: All family members can participate! On a blank piece of paper, the first “player” puts a sticker down and describes the scene, beginning the story. The next “player” adds a sticker and adds to the story, continuing the general story idea. This goes on until you run out of paper, ideas [...]