Embrace Make-Believe Play this Week!

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If toddlers and preschoolers kept to-do lists, a typical day might look something like this: Give a dragon a checkup. Give a baby doll a bath. Ride a horse to India. [Snack] Get married. Travel to outer space. Drive a dump truck. Run a hair salon. Save the world. Early childhood—especially beginning around age two—is [...]

5 Everyday Tips for Building Your Kids’ Emotional Intelligence

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Happy Columbus Day! It’s been over 500 years now since Christopher Columbus landed on American shores, “discovering” the New World and laying the groundwork for another October school holiday. Whichever side of the story you’re celebrating today, we wish you lots of happy family playtime! In the spirit of discovery, this week’s blog posts will [...]

Creative Play Quick Tip: Play Food Is Good for You!

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Want a fun after-school activity? Get your kids involved in meal planning by using play food to act out healthy habits! Here are three of our favorite ways to play with food toys—with a lunchbox spin for back to school! Pack it up: Encourage your kids to have fun with nutrition by letting them pack [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Teach Mama Talks: 5 Ideas for All-Ages Playdates

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This creative play idea is brought to you by Melissa & Doug, written by our Blog Ambassador Amy Mascott. It’s very common to have children of mixed ages during playdates, especially when siblings, cousins and neighbors join in on the fun.  The more (ages), the merrier, in my opinion!  –Amy Summer’s almost here, which often [...]

Val’s Crafty Corner: Create a Summer Bucket List

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This summertime idea for creative play is brought to you by Melissa & Doug, written by our Blog Ambassador Valerie Deneen. Savor every moment of the summer–it goes by so quickly!   -Val Soon the kids will be done with school. . . . It’s time to start making plans for summertime fun! One effective way [...]

5 Tips for Keeping Your Child’s Skin Healthy This Summer

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Apply sunscreen often. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that all kids—regardless of skin tone—wear sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Reapply about every 2 hours (more if your kids are sweating or swimming). Don’t forget about the tops of their feet, behind the neck and under bathing-suit straps. Cover up! What’s better [...]

Mother’s Day Message from Melissa

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The greatest moments of being a mother for me are the occasions when the expressions of love and appreciation come naturally. The gifts for me come in those wonderful drawings, stories and poems handed to me when I least expect it, or the “I love yous” that are said with such spontaneous intensity and passion [...]