NEW Product Snapshot: 3 Peek-a-Boo Toys & Bonus Extended Play Activities

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Peek-a-boo—it’s one of the first games you can explore with your baby, a simple, joyous playtime activity that can bring hours of entertainment and laughter. The delight a child finds in this “surprise” game was also the inspiration behind our new “Peek-a- Boo” Baby & Toddler toys! Crafted from select hardwood and accented with bright, child-safe [...]

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 [...]

5 New Ways To Use : Geometric Stacker

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This educational idea is brought to you by Melissa & Doug , written by our Blog Ambassador Allison McDonald. “Everyday play is what childhood should be about.” Geometric Stackers were always classroom favorites while I was teaching preschool. They offer so many ways to teach children in one simple toy. Now that I am a [...]

Creative Play Quick Tip: Sort It Out!

  Starting around 18 months, toddlers begin to notice differences and commonalities between objects—which means it’s time to sort and group!   HOW THEY PLAY: Preschoolers naturally seek to organize objects by color, size, shape, texture and type. Feed their hunger for this type of play by providing sorting toys like lacing beads, sorting cubes, [...]

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 [...]

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

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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 [...]

Team Up with Your Kids to Master School-Morning Routines!

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With the school year right around the corner (for some of you, it’s already here) now is the perfect time to practice school-morning routines. How can you get the kids (and yourself!) out the door on time? Add some planning, add some fun, and subtract some of the stress from the morning rush! PLAN Post [...]

State Stats: Fun Facts about the United States

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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 [...]