4 Keys to Customizing Your Child’s Chores

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Chore: the word itself sounds like a downer, but teaching your children about responsibility and good behavior is one of the most important lessons they will learn growing up. However, as we’re celebrating in Personality Week, every child is unique–with different attitudes, preferences, and abilities. So, how do you create a chore chart that is [...]

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 [...]

This Week on the Melissa & Doug Blog: Dance to the Music!

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Admit it: we’ve all had fabulous dance parties with our little ones. Ones where we bang on tabletops, clank on instruments, or just turn the radio up and stomp around the living room. But did you know that all this boogie-down fun also has wonderful educational benefits for your child? The power of music in your child’s [...]

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 [...]

Creative Play Quick Tip: Dance to the Music

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We love looking for ways to build key skills through play—and music play is no exception! Experimenting with volume, rhythm, pitch, tone, movement, and repetition is a terrific way to build key skills such as fine motor, gross motor, auditory discrimination, patterning, matching, and much more. But we admit: When we see a collection of [...]

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, [...]

Happy Grandparent’s Day from Melissa & Doug!

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Today, we’d like to take a moment to celebrate one of the most beautiful relationships that exists: the Grandparent. Happy Grandparent’s Day to the people who spoil, pamper, cherish, love, laugh, play, teach, and give. To the people who have patience that never quits, impart wisdom beyond words, and have a presence in your life [...]