Teach Mama Talks: The Voting Process for Kids– Using Puzzles for Better Understanding

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This educational idea is brought to you by Melissa & Doug , written by our Blog Ambassador Amy Mascott. “Election time is an ideal opportunity to sneak in a little learning, no matter which candidate gets your vote.”  -Amy The voting process is so hard for kids–and even adults!–to understand, so what better way to [...]

Creative Play Quick Tip: Kids Vote

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With the U.S. presidential election right around the corner, it’s the perfect time to introduce kids to the topic of voting. The good news: There’s no need to get political! You can let kids vote on what to have for snack, what to read at bedtime, and even whether to take the shortcut or the [...]

Stacy Shares: Going Through the {E}motions

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This activity is brought to you by Melissa & Doug, written by our Blog Ambassador Stacy Teet. Talking about and dealing with emotions can be a tricky subject, but it doesn’t have to be. The Create-A-Face drawing pad really helped my daughter open up.  -Stacy   My daughter recently started kindergarten. She is a lover of animals, [...]

5 Everyday Tips for Building Your Kids’ Emotional Intelligence

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Happy Columbus Day! It’s been over 500 years now since Christopher Columbus landed on American shores, “discovering” the New World and laying the groundwork for another October school holiday. Whichever side of the story you’re celebrating today, we wish you lots of happy family playtime! In the spirit of discovery, this week’s blog posts will [...]

Parent Watercooler: Starting Dinner Conversations

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These creative conversation tips are brought to you by Melissa & Doug, written by our Blog Ambassador Zina Harrington. Make everyday activities an adventure!  -Zina Kick off great conversations tonight to cement a family tradition of spending time with each other, and establish family habits of communicating face to face–instead of via high-tech gadgets. Try [...]

Mystery Birthday: Who traveled the United States with a bag of seeds? (Hint: apple-related play ideas below!)

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Johnny Appleseed! He was born (148 years ago today) as John Chapman, but this produce pioneer earned his nickname many times over. He became famous for planting apple seeds, which he gathered from cider mills and planted during his travels. He tended his orchards on return trips, and happily shared with everyone he met. Celebrate [...]

Teach Mama Talks: Fun, Frugal Shape and Color Sorting

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This educational idea is brought to you by Melissa & Doug , written by our Blog Ambassador Amy Mascott. The best, most meaningful learning takes place during games and play.  -Amy Often I’ve found that my kids love to play with items that are not necessarily toys.  Mirrors, ribbons, buttons, tissue paper, paper rolls, you [...]

5 New Ways To Use : Geometric Stacker

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This educational idea is brought to you by Melissa & Doug , written by our Blog Ambassador Allison McDonald. “Everyday play is what childhood should be about.” Geometric Stackers were always classroom favorites while I was teaching preschool. They offer so many ways to teach children in one simple toy. Now that I am a [...]

Creative Play Quick Tip: Sort It Out!

  Starting around 18 months, toddlers begin to notice differences and commonalities between objects—which means it’s time to sort and group!   HOW THEY PLAY: Preschoolers naturally seek to organize objects by color, size, shape, texture and type. Feed their hunger for this type of play by providing sorting toys like lacing beads, sorting cubes, [...]