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

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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

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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

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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

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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!

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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 [...]

Get Ready to Write with Easel Art!

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How is your child getting ready to write?  To develop the strength and precision needed for writing, the best hand position is one with the wrist bent slightly back, allowing the fingers the greatest control and power. Wondering how to maneuver your wiggly preschooler’s hand into the “right” position? There’s one simple answer: Bring out [...]

Camp Sunny Patch Session 12: Storytelling with Stamps

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Camp Sunny Patch Session 12 is brought to you by Melissa & Doug, written by Camp Counselor (and Melissa & Doug Blog Ambassador) Amy Mascott. (Click here for a printable version.) Stamps are often used for card-making, picture-creating, and rainy days. But we’ve stretched our stamp sets (and our imaginations!) for this Camp Sunny Patch [...]

Val’s Crafty Corner: Zebra Notecards

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This recipe for creative play and crafty fun is brought to you by Melissa & Doug, written by our Blog Ambassador Valerie Deneen. Enjoy exploring crafting with your kids! -Valerie During a recent family outing to the zoo, we had a lovely encounter with the zebras! The kids thought these lovely animals were almost magical. They [...]

Val’s Crafty Corner: Jellyfish Bookmarks

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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 During a recent family outing to the National Aquarium in Baltimore, we spent a good deal of time at these giant bubble tubes and at the jellyfish [...]