Parent Watercooler: Starting Dinner Conversations

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These creative conversation tips are brought to you by Melissa & Doug, written by our Blog Ambassador Zina Harrington. Make everyday activities an adventure!  -Zina Kick off great conversations tonight to cement a family tradition of spending time with each other, and establish family habits of communicating face to face–instead of via high-tech gadgets. Try [...]

Let Your Kids’ Personalities Shine!

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Join us in celebrating this week’s play theme: personality! All week, we’ll talk about ways to nurture individualism, show off personal style, and honor our kids’ unique ways of learning. We’ll post special activity ideas designed to boost self-confidence, build communication skills, and customize learning. We’re so excited to share our ideas with you—check in [...]

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

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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 [...]

Parent Watercooler: Music Matters

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These creative play tips for music-time fun are brought to you by Melissa & Doug, written by our Blog Ambassador Zina Harrington. Make everyday activities an adventure! -Zina                       Music matters. As parents of young children, we are often tied up in prepping our kids [...]

Mystery Birthday: Who traveled the United States with a bag of seeds? (Hint: apple-related play ideas below!)

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Johnny Appleseed! He was born (148 years ago today) 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 [...]

Teach Mama Talks: Fun, Frugal Shape and Color Sorting

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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

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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!

  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, sorting cubes, [...]