Parent Watercooler: Weekday Mornings

Preparing for school routines

Prepping for school in the morning is a high-point of stress for many parents. You’re battling the clock while trying to keep your sanity. As children grow from kindergarten to early elementary school students, their daily responsibilities evolve. Their morning routine begins to include: homework assignments, school library books, milk money and more. “The essence [...]

Parent Watercooler: Starting Dinner Conversations

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These creative conversation tips are brought to you by Melissa & Doug, written by our Blog Ambassador Zina Harrington. Make everyday activities an adventure!  -Zina Kick off great conversations tonight to cement a family tradition of spending time with each other, and establish family habits of communicating face to face–instead of via high-tech gadgets. Try [...]

Creative Play Quick Tip: A Box Full of Surprises

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The Box Girls: Box of Questions There are no wrong answers to the thought-provoking questions in these sets—just lots of opportunities to stretch your imagination, laugh out loud and get to know your loved ones better! Think you already know your friends and family better than anyone? Tackle this challenge: Instead of answering a question [...]

(More!) Tricks for Developing Language through Play

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This educational activity is brought to you by Melissa & Doug, written by our Blog Ambassador Amy Mascott. Playtime should be full of fun, but it’s also a super time to sneak in some language learning! Did you totally dig the last Language & Play post? Sure you did! Here are two more tricks for [...]

Communicate without Words: 5 Nonverbal Tricks that Speak Loud and Clear!

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Eye Contact What to do: Look your child in the eye when he/she is talking to you. What it says: “I hear you, and I’m paying attention to what you’re saying.” Tone of Voice What to do: Keep your voice calm and steady, even when your child is overwrought. What it says: “You can trust [...]

Chat with Children: Talk, Listen and Learn

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This educational activity is brought to you by Melissa & Doug, written by our Blog Ambassador Amy Mascott. What better way to chat with children than while their hands are busy crafting?  -Amy It’s easy to forget that time with our kids–even if it’s just sitting next to them as kids are crafting or snacking–can [...]