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!

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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 [...]

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

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“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

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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 [...]

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. [...]