TeachMama Talks: Developing Language through Play

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This educational activity is brought to you by Melissa & Doug, written by our Blog Ambassador Amy Mascott. Spend a little focused playtime with your children, and help develop language as you play! One of my favorite parts of playing with my kids–aside from spending time with three of the coolest kids I know–is finding [...]

Skill Building Through Sand Play

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Large Motor Skills Large motor skills develop and strengthen as children dig, scoop, sift, and pour. The whole body can get involved in sand play! Hand-eye Coordination Children develop better control over their small muscles as they practice manipulating sand play toys like funnels, mills, shovels, scoops, and sifters. Social & Emotional Playing together in [...]

Val’s Crafty Corner — Sand Play Bakery!

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This springtime recipe for creative play is brought to you by Melissa & Doug, and is written by our Blog Ambassador Valerie Deneen. Enjoy taking your kids’ creativity outdoors! One of the activities my kids look forward to the most every spring is playing outdoors in the sandbox! They can spend hours happily playing together, engaged in [...]

Read & Play with Allie: Trucks

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Playing with puzzles is a teacher and parent favorite for quiet time, when kids need to calm down. When I taught preschool, after lunch but before nap was always a good time for puzzles because it calmed my students before rest time. But that’s not the only way you can use puzzles; they can be [...]

TeachMama Talks: Love the Letters of the Alphabet

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This educational activity is brought to you by Melissa & Doug, written by our Blog Ambassador Amy Mascott. Learning can be fun! My kids seem to go for anything I call a “game”—so whether it’s the “get your coat and shoes on” game, the “eat your breakfast” game or the “finish the puzzle” game, usually my [...]

5 Fun Ways to Teach Children the Letters of the Alphabet

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Name Rubbings: From cardboard cut out the letters of your child’s name and glue onto construction paper. Have your child put a piece of paper over his name and use an unwrapped crayon (on its side) to create a name rubbing! Tracing Letters: Use hard plastic (the kind that will crack if bent) paper plates [...]

5 Creative Play Ideas with Stickers

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The Neverending Story Game: All family members can participate! On a blank piece of paper, the first “player” puts a sticker down and describes the scene, beginning the story. The next “player” adds a sticker and adds to the story, continuing the general story idea. This goes on until you run out of paper, ideas [...]

Val’s Crafty Corner: Farm Blocks + Sidewalk Scenes

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Sometimes a little change of scenery is all it takes to make an old toy seem like new again. That’s exactly what happened with our Farm Blocks Set, which the kids have had for quite some time, when we took it outside and added a bit of sidewalk chalk!

TeachMama Talks: What IS Reading?

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This fun and educational activity is brought to you by Melissa & Doug, written by our Blog Ambassador, Amy Mascott. Learning can be fun! With Maddy in second grade, Owen in Kindergarten, and Cora in pre-K, I’m finding more and more that our  time together after school is one of my favorite times of the [...]