Camp Sunny Patch Session 5: Fourth of July Windsock

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Camp Sunny Patch Session 5 is brought to you by Melissa & Doug, written by Camp Counselor Valerie Deneen. (Click here for a printable version.) These red, white, and blue windsocks are such a festive way to decorate for the Fourth of July holiday! To make your own, you’ll need a sheet of paper, stamps/stamp pad, [...]

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. [...]

From Melissa: My Sunny Patch Pool Toys Inspiration

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I’ve always loved watching my kids’ personalities shine as they get into the pool. There’s the toe-tester, the graceful diver, the cannonball blaster. . . . But soon after that thrilling first jump, it was always just a matter of time before they were drifting aimless and bored, asking, “What should we do now?” Swimming [...]

Stacy Shares: Swimming Games for Beginners

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These creative water-play games are brought to you by Melissa & Doug, written by our Blog Ambassador Stacy Teet. Family fun can be educational, too!  -Stacy                                 One of the items on my summer to do list, right up there [...]

Camp Sunny Patch Session 2: Spray Bottle Freeze Tag

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CAMP SUNNY PATCH SESSION 2 is brought to you by Melissa & Doug, written by Camp Counselor (and Melissa & Doug Blog Ambassador!) Amy Mascott. Session 2 of Camp Sunny Patch is here! This week, we’re adding a blast of summer fun to an old favorite by adding spray bottles to the mix. Required Supplies: [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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.” [...]