Which Kind of Puzzle Is Right for My Child?

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For building fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and problem-solving skills, puzzles can’t be beat! But to many parents, trying to make sense of the huge variety of formats and styles can feel like a puzzle in itself. Feel like you’re missing a piece? Check out our puzzle primer to find the perfect fit for your [...]

Melissa & Doug Unit Blocks Week: Blueprint for Block Fun

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If your little builders are ready to take their block play to another level, try creating a set of “plans” for them to follow.  Here are a few “blueprint” activities we especially like: 1. FLOORPLAN: Trace a building (or wall, shape, or pattern) on a piece of extra-large construction paper and ask the child to [...]

Melissa & Doug Unit Blocks Week: The History of “Unit Blocks”

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Why Classic Toys Are More Important Than Ever

(By special guest blogger Julia Goodell) We live in a fast paced world, one in which we race to make things better and generally more complex than they ever were before. The toy industry, brimming with classic products, was quickly caught up in this process of kicking out the old and bringing in the new. [...]

Creative Play Quick Tip: Tell the Worst Story Ever

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It’s the silliest game of one-upmanship ever . . . and a great way to lighten the mood after school, or when things are getting a little too serious! The rules are simple: The first storyteller tells the group a made-up event in his or her day. Everyone after that has to top it. For [...]

The After-School Wind-Down: How to Open-Up with Coloring and Drawing Projects

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With the start of the school year comes whole slew of new social challenges: getting to know new friends, navigating different routines, and meeting the challenges of a brand-new grade level. What can parents do to help? Create a safe haven at home with the help of low-key creative play. Here are some ideas: what [...]

Get Ready to Write with Easel Art!

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How is your child getting ready to write?  To develop the strength and precision needed for writing, the best hand position is one with the wrist bent slightly back, allowing the fingers the greatest control and power. Wondering how to maneuver your wiggly preschooler’s hand into the “right” position? There’s one simple answer: Bring out [...]

Honor Counselor Bernadette’s Camp Journal: Olympic Triathlon

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  Camp Sunny Patch honor counselor Bernadette puts a cool  twist on our  Session 9 activity, Triathlon! Hello there! I am Bernadette from Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas and right now at my house the Olympics have taken center stage. My girls (age 6 and 5) have been watching the Olympics for the first time [...]

Camp Sunny Patch Session 12: Storytelling with Stamps

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Camp Sunny Patch Session 12 is brought to you by Melissa & Doug, written by Camp Counselor (and Melissa & Doug Blog Ambassador) Amy Mascott. (Click here for a printable version.) Stamps are often used for card-making, picture-creating, and rainy days. But we’ve stretched our stamp sets (and our imaginations!) for this Camp Sunny Patch [...]