Val’s Crafty Corner: Recycled Bead Tray Art Gallery

beadartgallery1.jpg

This recycled-art project idea is brought to you by Melissa & Doug, written by our Blog Ambassador Valerie Deneen. Have fun exploring art with your kids!   -Val We love our wooden bead sets from Melissa & Doug! The beads are high quality, and the girls enjoy making bracelets and necklaces. Once the beads are all used [...]

Camp Sunny Patch Session 2: Spray Bottle Freeze Tag

csp-header.jpg

CAMP SUNNY PATCH SESSION 2 is brought to you by Melissa & Doug, written by Camp Counselor (and Melissa & Doug Blog Ambassador!) Amy Mascott. Session 2 of Camp Sunny Patch is here! This week, we’re adding a blast of summer fun to an old favorite by adding spray bottles to the mix. Required Supplies: [...]

Val’s Crafty Corner: Big Messy Art

bigmessyart4.jpg

This summertime idea for creative play is brought to you by Melissa & Doug, written by our blog ambassador Valerie Deneen. This is a great activity for just before bath time!   -Val Recently I invited my kids to get super messy making lots of action-packed art. It was a fun-filled afternoon making lots of [...]

Teach Mama Talks: 5 Ideas for All-Ages Playdates

successful-playdates.jpg

This creative play idea is brought to you by Melissa & Doug, written by our Blog Ambassador Amy Mascott. It’s very common to have children of mixed ages during playdates, especially when siblings, cousins and neighbors join in on the fun.  The more (ages), the merrier, in my opinion!  –Amy Summer’s almost here, which often [...]

Val’s Crafty Corner: Beaded Necklaces for Mom

beadednecklaces1.jpg

This creative play craft and activity for Mother’s Day is  brought to you by Melissa & Doug, written by our Blog Ambassador Valerie Deneen. Make a beautiful bracelet or necklace for Mom with this pretty bead “bouquet!”   – Valerie These beaded necklaces are so much fun to make, and they would be such a special [...]

5 Pre-Writing Skill-Builders

5-prewriting-skill-builders.jpg

Build hand, arm and shoulder strength. Encourage your child to draw, paint and create on a vertical surfaces–like an upright easel, the walls of the bathtub (try watercolors or bath crayons!), or a refrigerator or magnetic board. This position helps strengthen hand, wrist and shoulder strength, all of which are needed for writing. Strengthen fine motor [...]

Rainy Day Fun: Number Hunt

rainy-day-number-hunt.jpg

Easter is over, but my kids are still eager to hunt for things. When the weather is nice we head outside and hunt for bugs and worms and heart-shaped rocks but when it’s raining we hunt for numbers! A number hunt is a great learning-and-playing rainy-day activity. Melissa & Doug Chunky Number Puzzle is the [...]

TeachMama Talks: Developing Language through Play

language-and-play.jpg

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

skill-building-through-sand-play.jpg

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 [...]