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 [...]

Melissa & Doug Unit Blocks Week: Blueprint for Block Fun

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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

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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, [...]

Creative Play Quick Tip: Tell the Worst Story Ever

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It’s the silliest game of one-upmanship ever . . . and a great way to lighten the mood after school, or when things are getting a little too serious! The rules are simple: The first storyteller tells the group a made-up event in his or her day. Everyone after that has to top it. For [...]

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 [...]

The After-School Wind-Down: How to Open-Up with Coloring and Drawing Projects

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With the start of the school year comes whole slew of new social challenges: getting to know new friends, navigating different routines, and meeting the challenges of a brand-new grade level. What can parents do to help? Create a safe haven at home with the help of low-key creative play. Here are some ideas: what [...]

Val’s Crafty Corner: Racing Flags!

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This idea for creative play and crafty fun is brought to you by Melissa & Doug, written by our Blog Ambassador Valerie Deneen. Enjoy crafting with your kids! -Valerie These racing flags were easy to make, and afterwards they inspired the kids to go outside for some active play to burn off some of their extra [...]

Get Ready to Write with Easel Art!

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How is your child getting ready to write?  To develop the strength and precision needed for writing, the best hand position is one with the wrist bent slightly back, allowing the fingers the greatest control and power. Wondering how to maneuver your wiggly preschooler’s hand into the “right” position? There’s one simple answer: Bring out [...]

Camp Sunny Patch Session 12: Storytelling with Stamps

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Camp Sunny Patch Session 12 is brought to you by Melissa & Doug, written by Camp Counselor (and Melissa & Doug Blog Ambassador) Amy Mascott. (Click here for a printable version.) Stamps are often used for card-making, picture-creating, and rainy days. But we’ve stretched our stamp sets (and our imaginations!) for this Camp Sunny Patch [...]