4 Activities to Help Prepare Your Child for Kindergarten

From guest blogger Katie Heap of Live Craft Eat. Summertime is coming to a close and that means only one thing – Back to School! For your child entering kindergarten this can be both an exciting experience and one that can make him feel a little hesitant. It is, after all, his first opportunity to put his budding […]

Fine Motor Activities to Encourage Good Pencil Grip

These play-based fine motor activities are provided for the Melissa & Doug blog by Cindy Utzinger,  pediatric Occupational Therapist. Holding a pencil correctly- why does something that looks so easy seem so hard to teach our kids?  Using a mature pencil grasp (one that involves just the thumb and index finger or thumb, index, and middle […]

Quick Tips: Making Friends With Food

Remind kids (and yourself) why good food is good. Here are some tips for helping kids know…that Food is Good! Tie food to things your child cares about. Explain that protein in lean meats builds muscle and strength for sports. Whole grains and the vitamins in fruits and vegetables help our brains focus in school. […]

Nutritious choices for the lunch line

At the beginning of last year’s school year I was the Queen of Packed Lunches. My kindergardener would skip off to school each day with nutritious and varied treats in her bag each day. And then winter came. Cold and flu season rocked our world. I was exhausted, we were stressed, and lunches became a […]

Blog Ambassador Zina Celebrates 25 Years…with Cookies!

To celebrate our 25 year anniversary, our Blog Ambassador Zina Harrington (Let’s Lasso the Moon) shares why the Slice and Bake Cookie Set is her all-time-favorite Melissa & Doug toy. Inspired by her children’s desire to emulate parents in the kitchen, Melissa shares why she originally created this product here: Pop on over to find out […]

6 Playful Printables to Get Kids Ready for Back-to-School

As you cling to the last fleeting days of summer, somewhere in the back of your mind you know that the first day of school is just around the corner. It’s time to start moving up your kids’ bedtimes, getting those backpack hooks cleared away, and — yes {sigh} — practicing some school-related skills. We’ve […]

Work Through Worries with Play School

This pretend play idea is brought to you by Melissa & Doug, written by our Blog Ambassador Allison McDonald. “Everyday play is what childhood should be about.” -Allison     Children aren’t always the best at expressing their anxiety. It might come out through naughty behavior, sleep disruption or tearfulness but it’s rare to come […]

Make it a Smarty Pants Countdown to the New School Year

This cool and creative, get kids excited about school idea is brought to you by Melissa & Doug, written by our Blog Ambassador Amy Mascott. “The school year is coming, folks, so let’s get our kids–and ourselves!–psyched.” -Amy Before we know it, big yellow buses will be zipping around every corner, shiny new school backpacks […]

Your July Summer Fun Calendar is Here!

Summer’s not over yet! Among the “Back to School” chatter and shopping, we still think there’s plenty of fun to be had! In this week’s “Summer Fun” calendar, we gathered up some of our favorite posts from the blog, including some new play ideas, to help keep your kids active and learning this week! Here’s […]