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

beginner-band-set1.jpg

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!)

red-poster-paint.jpg

Johnny Appleseed! He was born on September 26, 1774 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 Johnny [...]

Creative Play Quick Tip: Dance to the Music

beginner-band-set.jpg

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

sorting-shapes-and-colors-cover2.jpg

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

geo-stacker.jpg

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!

66fe77d83e9ed13f204f44e293a9cad9

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, shape sorting cubes and [...]

Happy Grandparent’s Day from Melissa & Doug!

gpdayquotse.jpg

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 [...]

Melissa & Doug Unit Blocks Week: Blueprint for Block Fun

we-love-blocks-week_blog2.jpg

If your little builders are ready to take their block play to another level, try creating a set of “plans” for them to follow.  Here are a few “blueprint” activities we especially like: 1. FLOORPLAN: Trace a building (or wall, shape, or pattern) on a piece of extra-large construction paper and ask the child to [...]

Playtime Challenge: One Hour of Play

1hourplay.jpg

Here’s an old quote to inspire a new way to play: “You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.” Plato (427BCE–347BCE) This holiday weekend, commit to spend an hour at play to rediscover the little ones in your lives. For 60 minutes, switch off phones, [...]