Holiday Tea Party: Teaching Manners & Making Memories!

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The holiday season brings a whole host of entertaining events for families. When we were little, my mom diligently worked with my sister and me to ensure we had impeccable table manners and social skills. For some reason I find myself struggling to instill those same lessons in my own small girls. While ordinary meals [...]

Stacy Shares: On Thanks and Giving

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This activity is brought to you by Melissa & Doug, written by our Blog Ambassador Stacy Teet. “How does your family practice Thanks and Giving?”   –Stacy As much as I would like to ignore it, my kids are getting bigger. I have noticed a direct correlation between how much bigger they are becoming and how much [...]

Nutrition for Kids – What Makes a Balanced Meal?

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Have you heard of “My Plate”? It’s the newest tool from the USDA to help families plan balanced, nutritious meals. We think it’s a great tool for playtime, too! Use the graphic (attached) to guide sorting, tracking, and meal-planning activities with your family. Here are a few different ways to play: Print out My Plate [...]

Play with Your Food! (It’s “Junior Foodie Week” at blog.MelissaAndDoug.com!)

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How do you build healthy habits that last a lifetime? Let kids explore new foods, talk about flavors, and even get involved in dinner prep—all in a playful way! This week we’ll share some of our favorite ways to play with our food, from pretend-play restaurants with toy-food entrees to real recipes that kids can [...]

Creative Play Quick Tip: Play Food Is Good for You!

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Want a fun after-school activity? Get your kids involved in meal planning by using play food to act out healthy habits! Here are three of our favorite ways to play with food toys—with a lunchbox spin for back to school! Pack it up: Encourage your kids to have fun with nutrition by letting them pack [...]

Val’s Crafty Corner: DIY Colored Cloud Dough

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This recipe for creative play is brought to you by Melissa & Doug, written by our Blog Ambassador Valerie Deneen. Enjoy serving up lots of pretend ice-cream treats with the kids!   -Val Have you ever made cloud dough? It is so much fun!! Did you know that you can make colored cloud dough? It’s quick [...]

Teach Mama Talks: 5 Ideas for All-Ages Playdates

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This creative play idea is brought to you by Melissa & Doug, written by our Blog Ambassador Amy Mascott. It’s very common to have children of mixed ages during playdates, especially when siblings, cousins and neighbors join in on the fun.  The more (ages), the merrier, in my opinion!  –Amy Summer’s almost here, which often [...]

Val’s Crafty Corner: Create a Summer Bucket List

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This summertime idea for creative play is brought to you by Melissa & Doug, written by our Blog Ambassador Valerie Deneen. Savor every moment of the summer–it goes by so quickly!   -Val Soon the kids will be done with school. . . . It’s time to start making plans for summertime fun! One effective way [...]

(More!) Tricks for Developing Language through Play

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This educational activity is brought to you by Melissa & Doug, written by our Blog Ambassador Amy Mascott. Playtime should be full of fun, but it’s also a super time to sneak in some language learning! Did you totally dig the last Language & Play post? Sure you did! Here are two more tricks for [...]