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)

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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 [...]

6 Magical Magnetic Doll Activities For Kids!

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Dress-up dolls are a wonderful play activity, as they allow for emotional exploration, creative expression, imaginative play, and more! As an alternative to more delicate paper doll sets, our wooden magnetic dress-up sets are sturdy, reusable play companions that offer a variety of play options every time they are used! For a few play ideas [...]

Creating a Snow and Ice Winter Sensory Bin: Activity Ideas & Tips!

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Let’s face it, kids are fascinated by snow! The more of it the better from their point of view. But, for many of us, snow isn’t something our kids get to experience and explore as much as they’d like.  If you think your children would enjoy some winter sensory fun, then we suggest that you [...]

Teach Mama Talks: Learn and Play with Big Rig Building Truck

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This educational idea is brought to you by Melissa & Doug, written by our Blog Ambassador Amy Mascott. “When learning is disguised as play, everyone’s a winner.”  -Amy Fantastic learning opportunities can be found in almost any part of the day, whether it’s morning, noon, or night.  All you have to do is be ready [...]

“Junior Foodie” Activity: Lunchbox Creations

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This Junior Foodie Lunchbox Creations blog post is written by our special guest contributor, Sarah from Zoe’s Lunchbox! You know the old saying, “Don’t play with your food”? Well, there’s a reason it’s an old saying. Getting kids involved with what they eat can make mealtimes more exciting, educational, fun, and perhaps, even, adventurous. Fortunately, there are [...]

Teach Mama Talks: The Voting Process for Kids– Using Puzzles for Better Understanding

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This educational idea is brought to you by Melissa & Doug , written by our Blog Ambassador Amy Mascott. “Election time is an ideal opportunity to sneak in a little learning, no matter which candidate gets your vote.”  -Amy The voting process is so hard for kids–and even adults!–to understand, so what better way to [...]