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 [...]

Suspend Game Wins Award for Best Games 2012: Video Review

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We are proud to announce that our brand-new family game SUSPEND just won Best Toys Guide: Best Games of 2012! What is SUSPEND? A family game of tricky hangs and steady hands! Suspend comes with 24 notched, rubber-tipped wire pieces to hang from a tabletop stand. Sound easy? Try adding another piece! Each time a [...]

The Benefits of Being Outside by Melissa

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by Melissa for grandparents.com Spontaneous time spent outdoors can have benefits beyond your wildest dreams! Some of my fondest childhood memories are of playing outdoors. When I was young, no one in my neighborhood had nannies. Sending the kids outside to play was Mom’s free babysitter and the only way she could “get things done.” [...]

Val’s Crafty Corner — Exploring Form and Balance

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This toy review is brought to you by Melissa & Doug, written by our Blog Ambassador, Valerie Deneen. Connect with your kids by playing new and fun games together! We have been having so much FUN with a new balancing strategy game by Melissa & Doug called Suspend! What a great family game for kids [...]

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 [...]