DIY Dolls to Inspire Free Play (Craft Prompt)

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This creative DIY Dolls craft is provided for Melissa & Doug by Michelle McInerney,  founder and craft creator behind MollyMoo.  Cardboard dolls created to inspire free play – imagination starters from the most basic of craft materials….. cardboard and paint. Make your own DIY Dolls in two simple steps – cut out and paint -       First download [...]

It’s World Vegetarian Day! 4 Playtime Tips for Kids

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Break out the broccoli, because October 1st in World Vegetarian Day!  Even if you’re not a vegetarian or a vegan, you can still use this as a learning opportunity with your kids: Explore healthy foods, and some new nutrition tips with these four fun crafts. 1) Craft up some vegetables.  Use construction paper, glue and [...]

6 Ways to Have Fun with Literacy in the Kitchen

6 Ways to Have Fun with Literacy in the Kitchen

This learning activity is provided by Guest Blogger Kim Vij of The Educators’ Spin On It. Let’s step into the kitchen for hands-on fun & learning with your child. Cooking with your child can be a memorable experience but you can also be encouraging your child to read at the same time! Here are a few [...]

Fine Motor Activities to Encourage Good Pencil Grip

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These play-based fine motor activities are provided for the Melissa & Doug blog by Cindy Utzinger,  pediatric Occupational Therapist. Holding a pencil correctly- why does something that looks so easy seem so hard to teach our kids?  Using a mature pencil grasp (one that involves just the thumb and index finger or thumb, index, and middle [...]

Inspirational Art Activity: Paint & Play Like Monet!

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Sneak in a little summertime learning with this “Celebrity for a Day” art activity! Your child will learn some fascinating facts about the famous artist, Monet, and enjoy creating their own masterpieces as well. Begin your Monet holiday with a kid-friendly book about the famous French Impressionist painter. For extra giggles, consider using a faux-French [...]

Back to Basics: Using an Abacus to Teach Patterns

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Our guest blogger and homeschool expert Genny Upton (In Lieu of Preschool and Parent Teach Play) shares ways you can use your abacus to teach patterns. One item we use in our homeschool a lot is an abacus: We’ve been using it to practice counting and skip counting since our children were toddlers.  Just recently, we also began [...]

3 Simple Tips to Develop Your Child’s Oral Motor Skills

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Practicing oral motor skills might sound like “work,” but you can easily do it during everyday activities you already do with your child. Here’s 3 simple tips to practice oral motor skills during meal time and play time: Drinking through a straw: Have your child use a straw when drinking to strengthen oral motor muscles. [...]

4 Early Literacy Activities

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Preschoolers need to master a variety of skills to become fluent readers. The literacy activities listed below are so enjoyable; children do not even know that they are practicing several important early literacy skills: vocabulary development, print motivation, print awareness, narrative skills, phonological awareness, and letter knowledge. (By special guest blogger Melissa Lennig.) 1. Memory games [...]

New Shape Sorting Clock (and 4 Extension Activities)

Shape Sorting Clock

Earlier today on our Facebook page, we unveiled a new Shape Sorting Clock – available now on MelissaAndDoug.com! With bright new colors, a slim design, and lightweight pieces, the toy is a perfect tool to help preschoolers start to understand basic time-telling concepts. As with many of our products, we include extension activities in our packaging and on the [...]