Arts and Crafts Tip: Stick, Color, and Paint Your Way to Emotional Awareness

funimage.jpg

This week on the Melissa & Doug blog, we’re exploring emotions and all the wonderful ways you can help your children build emotional intelligence. Yesterday, we highlighted 5 easy, everyday tips, like using the low-stress environment of playtime to talk about what different emotions look and feel like.  Using the arts and crafts your child [...]

Val’s Crafty Corner: DIY Rhythm Shakers

rhythmshakers5a.jpg

This idea for crafty fun is brought to you by Melissa & Doug, written by our Blog Ambassador Valerie Deneen. Enjoy crafting with your kids! -Valerie                  Do your kids enjoy making music? Are you in need of a super-quick craft to keep the kids busy? Do you [...]

Two Simple Solar System Projects for your Astronaut-in-Training

solarsystem2.jpg

“Back to School” time brings out an amazing curiosity in children, who look to apply what they’re learning in school every chance they can get. One topic that never fails to amaze is the Solar System: endless stars, glowing planets, and the joy of wondering “what exists out there” can make almost any child dream [...]

Val’s Crafty Corner: Let’s Build a City!

blockcity3.jpg

This idea for creative play and crafty fun is brought to you by Melissa & Doug, written by our Blog Ambassador Valerie Deneen. Enjoy crafting with your kids! -Valerie One of our favorite boredom-buster activities is to combine masking tape with wooden blocks to make roads and cities. This time, however, the kids enjoyed decorating the [...]

Melissa & Doug Unit Blocks Week: Mixing It Up with Pretend Play

we-love-blocks-week_blog3.jpg

Previously during our special “We Love Unit Blocks” week posts, we have shared a bit about the history of Unit Blocks, as well as some ways your little builders can play (and learn!) using various “Blueprint” activities.  Now, let’s have a little fun with pretend play! Blocks come in all shapes and sizes, all colors [...]

Melissa & Doug Unit Blocks Week: Blueprint for Block Fun

we-love-blocks-week_blog2.jpg

If your little builders are ready to take their block play to another level, try creating a set of “plans” for them to follow.  Here are a few “blueprint” activities we especially like: 1. FLOORPLAN: Trace a building (or wall, shape, or pattern) on a piece of extra-large construction paper and ask the child to [...]

Creative Play Quick Tip: Tell the Worst Story Ever

creative-play-quick-tip-storytelling1.jpg

It’s the silliest game of one-upmanship ever . . . and a great way to lighten the mood after school, or when things are getting a little too serious! The rules are simple: The first storyteller tells the group a made-up event in his or her day. Everyone after that has to top it. For [...]

The After-School Wind-Down: How to Open-Up with Coloring and Drawing Projects

3-projects-to-help-with-after-school-wind-down1.jpg

With the start of the school year comes whole slew of new social challenges: getting to know new friends, navigating different routines, and meeting the challenges of a brand-new grade level. What can parents do to help? Create a safe haven at home with the help of low-key creative play. Here are some ideas: what [...]

Val’s Crafty Corner: Racing Flags!

raceflags1.jpg

This idea for creative play and crafty fun is brought to you by Melissa & Doug, written by our Blog Ambassador Valerie Deneen. Enjoy crafting with your kids! -Valerie These racing flags were easy to make, and afterwards they inspired the kids to go outside for some active play to burn off some of their extra [...]