5 Ways for Kids to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo

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Learn to count to cinco. Today’s the perfect day to learn some Spanish numbers! Help make a Mexican meal. Burritos, tacos, cornbread . . .  olé! Tonight’s dinner can be a delicious Mexican feast. (Even toddlers can help with a sprinkling of queso.) Make your own piñata. A simple version can be just a paper [...]

Val’s Crafty Corner: DIY Letter-Writing Kit

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This educational activity is brought to you by Melissa & Doug, written by our Blog Ambassador Valerie Deneen. Get your letter-writing supplies organized and let your kids enjoy some old-school fun! Do you love getting letters in the mail? Do you want to send off a quick note to a friend, but tend to lose [...]

5 Pre-Writing Skill-Builders

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Build hand, arm and shoulder strength. Encourage your child to draw, paint and create on a vertical surfaces–like an upright easel, the walls of the bathtub (try watercolors or bath crayons!), or a refrigerator or magnetic board. This position helps strengthen hand, wrist and shoulder strength, all of which are needed for writing. Strengthen fine motor [...]

(More!) Tricks for Developing Language through Play

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This educational activity is brought to you by Melissa & Doug, written by our Blog Ambassador Amy Mascott. Playtime should be full of fun, but it’s also a super time to sneak in some language learning! Did you totally dig the last Language & Play post? Sure you did! Here are two more tricks for [...]

Communicate without Words: 5 Nonverbal Tricks that Speak Loud and Clear!

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Eye Contact What to do: Look your child in the eye when he/she is talking to you. What it says: “I hear you, and I’m paying attention to what you’re saying.” Tone of Voice What to do: Keep your voice calm and steady, even when your child is overwrought. What it says: “You can trust [...]

Rainy Day Fun: Number Hunt

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Easter is over, but my kids are still eager to hunt for things. When the weather is nice we head outside and hunt for bugs and worms and heart-shaped rocks but when it’s raining we hunt for numbers! A number hunt is a great learning-and-playing rainy-day activity. Melissa & Doug Chunky Number Puzzle is the [...]

Chat with Children: Talk, Listen and Learn

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This educational activity is brought to you by Melissa & Doug, written by our Blog Ambassador Amy Mascott. What better way to chat with children than while their hands are busy crafting?  -Amy It’s easy to forget that time with our kids–even if it’s just sitting next to them as kids are crafting or snacking–can [...]

5 Ideas for a Dream of a Sleepover

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Set up camp. Let your child help plan where he/she and the guest will sleep. (Is there enough space in his/her bedroom, or would sleeping bags in the living room make more sense?) Then add some welcoming touches like a nice pillow, a cute cup for water and maybe an extra night light to make [...]

5 Ideas For Indoor Playdates

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These indoor playdate ideas are brought to you by Melissa & Doug , written by our Blog Ambassador Allison McDonald. “Everyday play is what childhood should be about.” ——————————————————– The weather is finally getting nice, right? Well just when you think you are going to be spending every day gardening and playing outside, the weather [...]