Creative Play Quick Tip: Sort It Out!

66fe77d83e9ed13f204f44e293a9cad9

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 [...]

Two Simple Solar System Projects for your Astronaut-in-Training

solarsystem2.jpg

“Back to School” time brings out an amazing curiosity in children, who look to apply what they’re learning in school every chance they can get. One topic that never fails to amaze is the Solar System: endless stars, glowing planets, and the joy of wondering “what exists out there” can make almost any child dream [...]

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

3084-caterpillargeartoy.jpg

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?

puzzlesguide1.png

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

we-love-puzzles-week.jpg

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 [...]

Why Classic Toys Are More Important Than Ever

(By special guest blogger Julia Goodell) We live in a fast paced world, one in which we race to make things better and generally more complex than they ever were before. The toy industry, brimming with classic products, was quickly caught up in this process of kicking out the old and bringing in the new. [...]

Playtime Challenge: One Hour of Play

1hourplay.jpg

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: Play Food Is Good for You!

foodplay.jpg

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 [...]

Val’s Crafty Corner: Racing Flags!

raceflags1.jpg

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 [...]