Fine Motor Activities to Encourage Good Pencil Grip

These play-based fine motor activities are provided for the Melissa & Doug blog by Cindy Utzinger,  pediatric Occupational Therapist. Holding a pencil correctly- why does something that looks so easy seem so hard to teach our kids?  Using a mature pencil grasp (one that involves just the thumb and index finger or thumb, index, and middle […]

An At-Home Snack Bar for Sneaky Math Fun

This cool and creative, sneaky-math play idea is brought to you by Melissa & Doug, written by our Blog Ambassador Amy Mascott. “It’s all about finding ways of sneaking in learning through play.” -Amy Pool season is upon us, and for many kids, the pool means splashing, swimming, and fun in sun. But for other kids, […]

Play it Safe! Teaching Kids about Safety through Play

Our guest blogger and homeschool expert Genny Upton (In Lieu of Preschool and Parent Teach Play) shares some fun ways you can use National Safety Month as an opportunity to review some valuable lessons with your kids. June is National Safety Month, and what better way to teach kids about safety than to incorporate it into their […]

Presidents’ Day Bingo (Activity & Printable!)

Written by special guest blogger Joyce from Childhood Beckons. In honor of Presidents’ Day, I put together this fun activity that can combine money math with a bit of  presidential trivia. My son had a great time with this and really benefited from the hands-on learning. To play this game, we used the coins from […]

Puzzle Play Activity: A “Counting by 10’s Puzzle Hunt” (& Printable!)

Earlier on the Melissa & Doug blog, we shared a few ways to enjoy our puzzle-themed printable. One idea was to have a puzzle treasure hunt! Our guest blogger Joyce (Childhood Beckons) expanded on this concept in her recent blog post: Counting by 10’s Puzzle Hunt! Here’s how the educational scavenger hunt works: 1)      Divide […]

5 Cool NEW Ways to Play with Puzzles (Yes, the Ones You Already Have!)

Does your family have a stockpile of puzzles? Chances are, your kids have either outgrown some, or have memorized the others!! You may need a little puzzle-refresh, and our Blog Ambassador Amy (teachmama) has some great ideas for doing just that. In her recent blog post, 5 cool, new! Ways to play with puzzles, she […]

Teach Mama Talks: Learn and Play with Big Rig Building Truck

This educational idea is brought to you by Melissa & Doug, written by our Blog Ambassador Amy Mascott. “When learning is disguised as play, everyone’s a winner.”  -Amy Fantastic learning opportunities can be found in almost any part of the day, whether it’s morning, noon, or night.  All you have to do is be ready […]

Teach Mama Talks: Wooden Thank You Trays

This educational idea is brought to you by Melissa & Doug , written by our Blog Ambassador Amy Mascott. “Wooden Thank You Trays are a crafty and smart way to officially extend our thanks to loved ones.”   -Amy Being the huge Melissa & Doug fans that we are, over the last eight years we […]

Nutrition for Kids – What Makes a Balanced Meal?

When it comes to nutrition for kids, what makes a balanced meal? Have you heard of “My Plate”? It’s the newest tool from the USDA to help families plan balanced, nutritious meals. We think it’s a great tool for playtime, too! Use the graphic (attached) to guide sorting, tracking, and meal-planning activities with your family. […]