3 Simple Tips to Develop Your Child’s Oral Motor Skills

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Practicing oral motor skills might sound like “work,” but you can easily do it during everyday activities you already do with your child. Here’s 3 simple tips to practice oral motor skills during meal time and play time: Drinking through a straw: Have your child use a straw when drinking to strengthen oral motor muscles. [...]

A Springtime Sensory Walk for Kids

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This season, why not embark on a springtime sensory walk with your kids? Written for Melissa & Doug by special Guest Blogger Julie Kieras from A Year with Mom & Dad. You don’t have to look far for signs of spring. Warmer temps, a bit of green. The return of the birds. And rain showers, of course! We couldn’t help [...]

2 Play-Based Tools for Oral Motor Success!

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Children need to build their oral motor skills to eat, swallow, speak, and make facial expressions (to say the least!)  To do all of these properly, children must first develop awareness, strength, and control of the muscles in their face and mouth. Activities that require children to use pursed lips — such as playing certain wind [...]

Rainbow Rice Sensory Activity

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Sensory projects are the perfect activity to focus and calm children. In addition to creating sensory bins, an activity using a variety of materials that children can manipulate with their hands is also a fun after-school or weekend craft. This rainbow rice sensory activity is a quick and easy project, plus you can use the rice in a [...]

Top 20 Preschool Classroom Supplies

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At Melissa & Doug, we are always being asked: “What supplies do I need for homeschooling?” or “As a teacher, what preschool classroom supplies do I really need to stock-up on?” So, we asked our Blog Ambassador Allison McDonald (No Time for Flash Cards) – who has been teaching children in various capacities since 1993 – [...]

5 Reading Resources for Kids!

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March is National Reading Month, so to help you kick things off in your house we rounded up our top 5 resources from the Melissa & Doug blog to help foster a love of reading in your home! Check these out for activities, tips, crafts, and more in a variety of skill levels and ages: [...]

Stuffed Animals & Developmental Growth Benefits

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Stuffed animals are a very popular gift around Valentine’s Day, but did you know that, when you give the gift of a furry new friend, you’re actually helping a child’s developmental growth as well? Here’s how: 1)      Even very young children learn through all of their senses. Stuffed animals have a soft texture that is [...]

It’s SNOW time! 5 Snow-Inspired Activities for Indoors & Out!

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Winter storms getting you down (and giving your kids the “crazies”?) Here are some great ways to stay entertained indoors – and outdoors – when the snow starts to fall: Embrace the Snow! When the snow starts to fall, you may not necessarily need to stay indoors! As long as it’s safe (and not TOO [...]

Learning Letters with Clay Initial Hearts

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This educational idea is brought to you by Melissa & Doug, written by our Blog Ambassador Allison McDonald. “Everyday play is what childhood should be about.”  -Allison Learning letters is an exciting time for all kids, and my toddler is very excited to claim all the letter Ms she sees (” That’s MY letter!”) It was [...]