5 Ways for Kids to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo

5-ways-kids-cinco-de-mayp.jpg

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 [...]

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 [...]

(More!) Tricks for Developing Language through Play

language-play-cover-2.jpg

This educational activity is brought to you by Melissa & Doug, written by our Blog Ambassador Amy Mascott. Playtime should be full of fun, but it’s also a super time to sneak in some language learning! Did you totally dig the last Language & Play post? Sure you did! Here are two more tricks for [...]

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 [...]

Parent Watercooler: 5 Creative Ways to Play with Goop!

zina-goop.jpg

This rainy-day activity is brought to you by Melissa & Doug, written by our Blog Ambassador Zina Harrington.  Keep the light of curiosity alive! Goop. Gak. Flubber. Call it what you wish. This slimy, stretchy, science recipe is ideal for experimenting on a rainy day.  When there’s a lull in the action, introduce these ideas [...]

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 [...]

Val’s Crafty Corner — Sand Play Bakery!

sandplaybakery1.jpg

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

read-and-play-cover-with-text.jpg

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 [...]