4 Heartfelt Valentine Gifts Kids Can Make

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Written for Melissa & Doug by special Guest Blogger Julie Kieras from HappyStrongHome. It’s Happy Heart Day again (aka Valentine’s), and more than letting this day be simply a greeting card holiday, it can also be a time to teach children about showing love and kindness to others. Creating a treat or gift to drop off to a friend or [...]

Val’s Quick Craft: Scratch Art Valentines

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This week, our Blog Ambassador Val (Inner Child Fun) shared an adorable craft to help celebrate Valentine’s Day! We love it because, of all the arts and crafts available for Valentine’s Day, this one truly is quick and easy! Here’s a quick overview of her Scratch Art Valentines: 1)      Gather up the materials you need. [...]

Puzzle Play Activity: A “Counting by 10’s Puzzle Hunt” (& Printable!)

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Earlier on the Melissa & Doug blog, we shared a few ways to enjoy our puzzle-themed printable. One idea was to have a puzzle treasure hunt! Our guest blogger Joyce (Childhood Beckons) expanded on this concept in her recent blog post: Counting by 10’s Puzzle Hunt! Here’s how the educational scavenger hunt works: 1)      Divide [...]

How to Create Secret Play Spaces (in Exciting New Places!)

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Does your home have oddly-shaped nooks, corners, closets, or crannies? Rather than using them for storage, consider creating a secret, exciting new play space for your kids! Children love exploring these types of spaces: the sense of exploration and excitement is a powerful driver for imaginative play, which is why spaces like attics, crawl spaces, [...]

Create-Your-Own Puzzle Printable (Plus 3 Activity Tips!)

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Celebrate National Puzzle Month by playing with the puzzles you already own, plus download and print this puzzle printable sheet - and let the puzzle fun begin! Here are some ways to enjoy this free puzzle printable: 1) Create a one-of-a-kind puzzle: Ask your child to decorate the sheet using crayons, stamps or markers. Then, using child-safe scissors, have the [...]

5 Methods for Memorizing the United States

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Does your child have difficulty memorizing all 50 of the United States? Earlier today, our Blog Ambassador Zina Harrington (Let’s Lasso the Moon) shared a few resources designed to help  kids not only learn the 50 states, but enjoy doing so, as well! She suggests: Educational Puzzles Using a U.S. Map puzzle, you can engage [...]

Hot Chocolate Sensory Craft for Kids (and Printable!)

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Baby, it’s cold outside! Here’s a quick and easy sensory craft that kids can complete while Mom or Dad makes some real hot chocolate to warm up the family! You’ll need: Hot Chocolate Mix or Powdered Chocolate Milk Mix Hot Chocolate Printable Sugar Glue Child-Safe Scissors Cotton Balls Instructions: Download and print out our Hot [...]

10 Must-Haves for the Dress-Up Barrel! (Plus 3 Creative Play Ideas)

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Written for Melissa & Doug by special Guest Blogger Julie Kieras from A Year with Mom & Dad. What child doesn’t enjoy pretending to be someone or something else? Dress-up play is role-play at its most authentic, and role-play for children should be just that: PLAY! As a parent, you can help facilitate this play by providing a wide variety of costumes and [...]

From Melissa: 3 Indoor Creative Play Ideas…With Costumes!

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Let’s face it: Kids LOVE to play dress-up! But, we believe that dress-up can—and should—be enjoyed year-round (not only at Halloween.) In fact, during the colder or dreary winter months, when many families are stuck indoors, dress-up costumes can give children the thrill of exploring new worlds right from their playrooms. A word on dress-up and [...]