Val’s Crafty Corner: Mini Movie Theater

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This recipe for creative play and building fun is brought to you by Melissa & Doug, written by our Blog Ambassador Valerie Deneen. Enjoy building and exploring with your kids! -Valerie We are experiencing a major heat wave, and one of our favorite ways to escape the heat is to go see a movie. My girls [...]

Val’s Crafty Corner: Beaded Necklaces for Mom

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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 Ways for Kids to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo

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Learn to count to cinco. Today’s the perfect day to learn some Spanish numbers! Help make a Mexican meal. Burritos, tacos, cornbread . . .  olé! Tonight’s dinner can be a delicious Mexican feast. (Even toddlers can help with a sprinkling of queso.) Make your own piñata. A simple version can be just a paper [...]

Rainy Day Fun: Number Hunt

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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 [...]

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 [...]