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 [...]

From the M&D Playbook: The ABCs of Sorting Play

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Blocks, beads, crayons, coins, toy cars . . . As any parent knows, children can find ways to sort just about anything. One of our all-time favorites for sorting and grouping: letter magnets! These seemingly simple toys can fuel surprisingly rich play for kids of all ages, and they’re terrific for building pre-literacy skills and [...]

Creative Play Quick Tip: Sort It Out!

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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 [...]

Melissa & Doug and the 2012 Toys “R” Us Toy Guide for Differently-Abled Kids

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Melissa & Doug products have been selected as part of the 2012 Toys “R” Us Toy Guide for Differently-Abled Kids. This annual publication, a free resource for parents and caregivers, features toys that encourage developmental growth for kids of all abilities. Selection is rigorous, and we’re thrilled to have three Melissa & Doug favorites included: [...]

Which Kind of Puzzle Is Right for My Child?

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For building fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and problem-solving skills, puzzles can’t be beat! But to many parents, trying to make sense of the huge variety of formats and styles can feel like a puzzle in itself. Feel like you’re missing a piece? Check out our puzzle primer to find the perfect fit for your [...]

Puzzles – At Any Age! Video Round-Up from Melissa

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Last week on the blog, we covered the many different reasons why we LOVE Unit Block activities and projects. This week, we’ll cover another favorite: puzzles. As one of the first toys a child plays with, and one of the most educational, these pieces can help your child sharpen a number of important skills over [...]

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 [...]

Honor Counselor Bernadette’s Camp Journal: Olympic Triathlon

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  Camp Sunny Patch honor counselor Bernadette puts a cool  twist on our  Session 9 activity, Triathlon! Hello there! I am Bernadette from Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas and right now at my house the Olympics have taken center stage. My girls (age 6 and 5) have been watching the Olympics for the first time [...]

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 [...]