Arts and Crafts Tip: Stick, Color, and Paint Your Way to Emotional Awareness

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This week on the Melissa & Doug blog, we’re exploring emotions and all the wonderful ways you can help your children build emotional intelligence. Yesterday, we highlighted 5 easy, everyday tips, like using the low-stress environment of playtime to talk about what different emotions look and feel like. Using the arts and crafts your child [...]

4 Keys to Customizing Your Child’s Chores

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Chore: the word itself sounds like a downer, but teaching your children about responsibility and good behavior is one of the most important lessons they will learn growing up. However, as we’re celebrating in Personality Week, every child is unique–with different attitudes, preferences, and abilities. So, how do you create a chore chart that is [...]

Let Your Kids’ Personalities Shine!

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Join us in celebrating this week’s play theme: personality! All week, we’ll talk about ways to nurture individualism, show off personal style, and honor our kids’ unique ways of learning. We’ll post special activity ideas designed to boost self-confidence, build communication skills, and customize learning. We’re so excited to share our ideas with you—check in [...]

Teach Mama Talks: Rockin’ Out with the Recorder

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This educational idea is brought to you by Melissa & Doug , written by our Blog Ambassador Amy Mascott. “Music is an incredible way to develop important academic and social skills. The recorder is a great stepping stone.” -Amy    We are not a musical family. We do a whole lot of singing and a whole [...]

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 [...]

Melissa & Doug Unit Blocks Week: Mixing It Up with Pretend Play

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Previously during our special “We Love Unit Blocks” week posts, we have shared a bit about the history of Unit Blocks, as well as some ways your little builders can play (and learn!) using various “Blueprint” activities.  Now, let’s have a little fun with pretend play! Blocks come in all shapes and sizes, all colors [...]

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

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Why Classic Toys Are More Important Than Ever

(By special guest blogger Julia Goodell) We live in a fast paced world, one in which we race to make things better and generally more complex than they ever were before. The toy industry, brimming with classic products, was quickly caught up in this process of kicking out the old and bringing in the new. [...]

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 [...]