“Stack It Up” with Two New Toys from Melissa & Doug

newowltoy.jpg

Who’s ready for stacking fun? Check out these two new stacking toys for toddlers, recently added to our wooden toy collection at Melissa & Doug! Wooden Owl Stacker Toy This colorful new creature is a wonderful playtime companion for your child.  With the Wooden Owl’s  seven wooden pieces and sturdy base, your child can practice: [...]

Melissa & Doug Unit Blocks Week: Blueprint for Block Fun

we-love-blocks-week_blog2.jpg

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 [...]

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. [...]

The After-School Wind-Down: How to Open-Up with Coloring and Drawing Projects

3-projects-to-help-with-after-school-wind-down1.jpg

With the start of the school year comes whole slew of new social challenges: getting to know new friends, navigating different routines, and meeting the challenges of a brand-new grade level. What can parents do to help? Create a safe haven at home with the help of low-key creative play. Here are some ideas: what [...]

Get Ready to Write with Easel Art!

easel.jpg

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 [...]

Val’s Crafty Corner: Jellyfish Bookmarks

jellyfishbookmarks1.jpg

This idea for creative play and crafty fun is brought to you by Melissa & Doug, written by our Blog Ambassador Valerie Deneen. Enjoy crafting with your kids! -Valerie During a recent family outing to the National Aquarium in Baltimore, we spent a good deal of time at these giant bubble tubes and at the jellyfish [...]

Creative Play Quick Tip: A Box Full of Surprises

creative-play-quick-tip-box-girls-box-of-questions.jpg

The Box Girls: Box of Questions There are no wrong answers to the thought-provoking questions in these sets—just lots of opportunities to stretch your imagination, laugh out loud and get to know your loved ones better! Think you already know your friends and family better than anyone? Tackle this challenge: Instead of answering a question [...]

State Stats: Fun Facts about the United States

0440-51pcfloorpuzzle-usamap.jpg

Learn about the United States with trivia about its 50 parts! Start by pulling out a map, piecing together a USA Map Wooden Puzzle or USA Map Floor Puzzle, or grabbing a USA Learning Mat. Use the maps to point out and talk about the states as you read the trivia. Then add to the [...]

More Ways to Play & Learn: Road Trip Fun around the Clock!

more-ways-play-learn-road-trip.jpg

The car is packed, the tank is full, your seat belts are buckled . . . it’s time for travel games! To keep things interesting all the way there, remember to bring along options for different times of day as well as different ages. Daylight travel is perfect for visual activities such as Travel Bingo [...]