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Mystery Birthday: Who traveled the United States with a bag of seeds? (Hint: apple-related play ideas below!)

Johnny Appleseed! He was born on September 26, 1774 as John Chapman. But, this produce pioneer earned his nickname many times over. He became famous for planting apple seeds, which he gathered from cider mills and planted during his travels. He tended his orchards on return trips, and happily shared with everyone he met. Celebrate Johnny […]

3 Days Only: FREE Plush Puppy with Purchase!

*FREE Sunny Puppy stuffed animal when you purchase $50 or more at MelissaAndDoug.com. Offer available through 9/27/12 OR while supplies last! Offer ends when stock runs out—don’t delay! SHOP NOW *Free gift will be automatically added to your purchase during checkout. Buy SunnyYellow Lab Puppy Stuffed Animal $14.99

Teach Mama Talks: Rockin’ Out with the Recorder

This educational idea is brought to you by Melissa & Doug , written by our Blog Ambassador Amy Mascott. “Music is an incredible way to develop important academic and social skills. The recorder is a great stepping stone.” -Amy    We are not a musical family. We do a whole lot of singing and a whole […]

Creative Play Quick Tip: Dance to the Music

We love looking for ways to build key skills through play—and music play is no exception! Experimenting with volume, rhythm, pitch, tone, movement, and repetition is a terrific way to build key skills such as fine motor, gross motor, auditory discrimination, patterning, matching, and much more. But we admit: When we see a collection of […]

Teach Mama Talks: Fun, Frugal Shape and Color Sorting

This educational idea is brought to you by Melissa & Doug , written by our Blog Ambassador Amy Mascott. The best, most meaningful learning takes place during games and play.  -Amy Often I’ve found that my kids love to play with items that are not necessarily toys.  Mirrors, ribbons, buttons, tissue paper, paper rolls, you […]

5 New Ways To Use : Geometric Stacker

This educational post of geometric stacker activities is brought to you by Melissa & Doug , written by our Blog Ambassador Allison McDonald. “Everyday play is what childhood should be about.” Geometric Stackers were always classroom favorites while I was teaching preschool. They offer so many ways to teach children in one simple toy. Now […]

Pretend Play for Talk Like a Pirate Day!

(by special guest blogger Crystal) Hello, my name is Crystal, and I am the writer of  Growing A Jeweled Rose, a children’s site where I share fun and educational play activities. I am so excited to be sharing this fun playtime with you here today! My little girl Rosie’s imagination has really taken off, and […]

Creative Play Quick Tip: It’s Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Arr, mateys! We’d be scurvy to miss wishing ya a HAPPY TALK LIKE A PIRATE DAY! Enjoy a day filled with giggles and pretend-play fun as you try out some of our favorite pirate words and sayings. A PIRATE PRIMER FROM BARNACLE BART Ahoy – hello! Aye – yes Booty – treasure Bounty – reward […]

From the M&D Playbook: The ABCs of Sorting Play

Blocks, beads, crayons, coins, toy cars . . . As any parent knows, children can find ways to sort just about anything. One of our all-time favorites for grouping and sorting play: letter magnets! These seemingly simple toys can fuel surprisingly rich play for kids of all ages, and they’re terrific for building pre-literacy skills […]