Creative Play Quick Tip: Keeping Games Fresh!

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Breathe new life into group games by changing up the rules! Declare today “opposite day” for your kids’ favorite yard games, then set them free to explore new ways to play. Old standbys like tag, Simon says, leapfrog and follow-the-leader will seem completely new when kids have the power to turn them on their heads. [...]

Honor Counselor Marnie’s Camp Journal: Simple Is Best!

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  This Camp Sunny Patch journal entry was written by Honor Counselor Marnie, inspired by our Session 2 activity: Spray Bottle Freeze tag. As we were preparing for an intense game of Spray Bottle Freeze Tag, my three year old took the activity in a different direction. I didn’t realize this until I heard his [...]

Parent Watercooler: Have the Best Picnic Ever

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This collection of creative-play picnic tips is brought to you by Melissa & Doug, written by our Blog Ambassador Zina Harrington. Enjoy the grass between your toes!  -Zina There is something enchanting about picnics. They offer us a chance to “pause” our lives and enjoy the laziness of summer. This is one of my favorite shots [...]

Creative Play Quick Tip: Camp In!

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Make your next sleepover a camping adventure . . . indoors! Set up a tent and sleeping bags in the living room or playroom, then add special touches to fill your campsite with fun. Add balloons to bounce around the tent, provide flashlights for shadow puppets, pack some trail mix in single-serve baggies . . [...]

Creative Play Quick Tip: Water Balloon Group Fun

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Need a simple group play idea that won’t cost a fortune but will bring a million laughs? Keep a bag of balloons on hand. The key to long toss-and-catch games is underfilling the water balloons! Keep them small, only filling them until they begin to expand, and you’ll have a group of happy kids playing [...]

Creative Play Quick Tip: Beach Detectives

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Wearing your sunglasses and beach hat, become a sleuth of the shore! Use a shovel to scoop sand onto a sifter, then shake away the sand to reveal “clues.” Take a closer look with a magnifier, collect clues in a bucket or beach bag, or record findings in a detective notebook. Then use your imaginations [...]

Creative Play Quick Tip: Sandbox Full of Dinos!

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Turn your sandbox into a dinosaur hunter’s dream! Bury toy dinos under the sand and invite your little paleontologists to the big dig. You can make a map depicting where the dinosaurs are hidden, leave a trail of dinosaur “footprints” to follow, or just let your kids dig, dig, dig to their hearts’ delight! If [...]

Teach Mama Talks: Beachy Learning

Play & Learn at the BEACH!

This creative play idea is brought to you by Melissa & Doug, written by our Blog Ambassador Amy Mascott. Learning at the beach? You better believe it! Disguised as play, beach time is a perfect time for sneaking in some learning!  –Amy There’s no better time than those long and lazy days at the beach [...]

Val’s Crafty Corner: Welcome to Trunki Town!

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This creative play activity is  brought to you by Melissa & Doug, written by our Blog Ambassador Valerie Deneen. Come roll with us!  –Valerie Looking for a simple idea to get the kids outside this summer? This recipe for summer fun could not be any easier, yet it inspires imagination, creativity, and plenty of active [...]