Creative Play Quick Tip: Keeping Games Fresh!

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Breathe new life into group games by changing up the rules! Declare today “opposite day” for your kids’ favorite yard games, then set them free to explore new ways to play. Old standbys like tag, Simon says, leapfrog and follow-the-leader will seem completely new when kids have the power to turn them on their heads. [...]

Honor Counselor Marnie’s Camp Journal: Simple Is Best!

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  This Camp Sunny Patch journal entry was written by Honor Counselor Marnie, inspired by our Session 2 activity: Spray Bottle Freeze tag. As we were preparing for an intense game of Spray Bottle Freeze Tag, my three year old took the activity in a different direction. I didn’t realize this until I heard his [...]

Camp Sunny Patch Session 4: Cork Bug Creations

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Camp Sunny Patch Session 4 is brought to you by Melissa & Doug, written by Camp Counselor Allie MacDonald. (Click here for a printable version.) Camp Sunny Patch is in full swing and it’s time to hike over to the arts & crafts cabin and make something creative. These cork bugs are easy to make [...]

Val’s Crafty Corner: Patriotic Note Cards

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This crafty activity with Melissa & Doug art supplies is brought to you by Melissa & Doug, written by our Blog Ambassador Valerie Deneen. Put your stamp on a thoughtful thank you!  -Val With Memorial Day soon upon us, I thought it would be the perfect time to invite my daughter to create some handmade patriotic [...]

Val’s Crafty Corner: Welcome to Trunki Town!

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This creative play activity is  brought to you by Melissa & Doug, written by our Blog Ambassador Valerie Deneen. Come roll with us!  –Valerie Looking for a simple idea to get the kids outside this summer? This recipe for summer fun could not be any easier, yet it inspires imagination, creativity, and plenty of active [...]

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 Pre-Writing Skill-Builders

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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

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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 [...]