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 [...]

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 [...]

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 Unit Blocks Week: Blueprint for Block Fun

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If your little builders are ready to take their block play to another level, try creating a set of “plans” for them to follow.  Here are a few “blueprint” activities we especially like: 1. FLOORPLAN: Trace a building (or wall, shape, or pattern) on a piece of extra-large construction paper and ask the child to [...]

Melissa & Doug Unit Blocks Week: The History of “Unit Blocks”

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Get Ready to Write with Easel Art!

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How is your child getting ready to write?  To develop the strength and precision needed for writing, the best hand position is one with the wrist bent slightly back, allowing the fingers the greatest control and power. Wondering how to maneuver your wiggly preschooler’s hand into the “right” position? There’s one simple answer: Bring out [...]

Camp Sunny Patch Session 9: Camp Triathlon

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Camp Sunny Patch Session 9 is brought to you by Melissa & Doug, written by Camp Counselor (and Melissa and Doug Blog Ambassador) Zina Harrington. (Click here for a printable version.) Do you have a little Olympian? This weekend the Summer Olympic Triathlon competitions begin. (Watch the women athletes Saturday, August 4, and the men [...]

Camp Sunny Patch is Always In Session

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Have you been reading our Camp Sunny Patch posts but just haven’t had the time to play along? Maybe because of family vacations or activities for your kids out of the house? Well that’s not a problem–because unlike registered camps that go by their schedule, Camp Sunny Patch is all about you and your schedule. [...]

Val’s Crafty Corner: Mini Movie Theater

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This recipe for creative play and building fun is brought to you by Melissa & Doug, written by our Blog Ambassador Valerie Deneen. Enjoy building and exploring with your kids! -Valerie We are experiencing a major heat wave, and one of our favorite ways to escape the heat is to go see a movie. My girls [...]