Creative Play Quick Tip: Thinking Game to Play in the Car

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Long road trips (and any significant drive) can be tough for little ones used to moving all day! Refocus their energy by playing “What Am I?” Each person takes a turn describing an animal (or insect or object) without naming it. Younger children may need some help giving a description that will allow the players to [...]

Mother’s Day Message from Melissa

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The greatest moments of being a mother for me are the occasions when the expressions of love and appreciation come naturally. The gifts for me come in those wonderful drawings, stories and poems handed to me when I least expect it, or the “I love yous” that are said with such spontaneous intensity and passion [...]

Val’s Crafty Corner: Beaded Necklaces for Mom

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This creative play craft and activity for Mother’s Day is  brought to you by Melissa & Doug, written by our Blog Ambassador Valerie Deneen. Make a beautiful bracelet or necklace for Mom with this pretty bead “bouquet!”   – Valerie These beaded necklaces are so much fun to make, and they would be such a special [...]

5 Ways to Preserve Family Memories

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Take a photo a day! What a great way to record your child’s growth, progress and activities. Once a day too much for you? How about once a week? Post your photos to Facebook, make a photo album or both! Bonus: Personalized photo gifts (perfect for grandparents!) are easy to order online when you have [...]

5 Ways for Kids to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo

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Learn to count to cinco. Today’s the perfect day to learn some Spanish numbers! Help make a Mexican meal. Burritos, tacos, cornbread . . .  olé! Tonight’s dinner can be a delicious Mexican feast. (Even toddlers can help with a sprinkling of queso.) Make your own piñata. A simple version can be just a paper [...]

(More!) Tricks for Developing Language through Play

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This educational activity is brought to you by Melissa & Doug, written by our Blog Ambassador Amy Mascott. Playtime should be full of fun, but it’s also a super time to sneak in some language learning! Did you totally dig the last Language & Play post? Sure you did! Here are two more tricks for [...]

Communicate without Words: 5 Nonverbal Tricks that Speak Loud and Clear!

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Eye Contact What to do: Look your child in the eye when he/she is talking to you. What it says: “I hear you, and I’m paying attention to what you’re saying.” Tone of Voice What to do: Keep your voice calm and steady, even when your child is overwrought. What it says: “You can trust [...]

Rainy Day Fun: Number Hunt

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Easter is over, but my kids are still eager to hunt for things. When the weather is nice we head outside and hunt for bugs and worms and heart-shaped rocks but when it’s raining we hunt for numbers! A number hunt is a great learning-and-playing rainy-day activity. Melissa & Doug Chunky Number Puzzle is the [...]

Chat with Children: Talk, Listen and Learn

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This educational activity is brought to you by Melissa & Doug, written by our Blog Ambassador Amy Mascott. What better way to chat with children than while their hands are busy crafting?  -Amy It’s easy to forget that time with our kids–even if it’s just sitting next to them as kids are crafting or snacking–can [...]