Family vacation tips: Keep the peace and connect with your kids!

Connecting with your Kids: Spending quality one-on-one time on vacation

Family vacations are one of my very favorite ways to connect with our kids. Getting away from the everyday routine and exploring new places together creates the most vivid memories. With a husband who travels for work and keeps crazy hours, our time with him is precious. When we head out on an adventure, my [...]

Keeping family dinner slow when life gets fast

Mom-tested, kid-approved slow cooker recipes to keep you fed for 4 weeks.

Anyone else out there a Soccer Mom?? (Or Football Mom, or Basketball Mom, or Dance Mom, or Fill In the Blank our Life is Just Plain Crazy Mom??) Juggling your family’s schedule and making sure everyone gets fed at the end of a long day has to be one of the most universal challenges in [...]

5 Tips for Dining Out with Kids

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This post is brought to us by guest editor Carrie Anne from EverythingMom.com. Our kids are like a blank canvas, unwittingly looking to us to help them fill this space with splashes of experiences and knowledge. Dining out is one way to add to this canvas, expanding their palate beyond the fast food family chains. [...]

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 weekday morning routine begins to include: homework assignments, school library books, milk money and more. “The [...]

The “Creative Play, Every Day” Challenge from Melissa & Doug and CafeMom

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We are excited to announce that—starting today—Melissa & Doug and CafeMom are launching our Creative Play, Every Day Challenge!   For the next 10 days, we’re inviting you to explore the joys of creative play with your children! Why “Creative Play”? At Melissa & Doug, we believe that “real play”—open-ended, non-judgmental playtime driven by imagination—is [...]

Arts and Crafts Tip: Stick, Color, and Paint Your Way to Emotional Awareness

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This week on the Melissa & Doug blog, we’re exploring emotions and all the wonderful ways you can help your children build emotional intelligence. Yesterday, we highlighted 5 easy, everyday tips, like using the low-stress environment of playtime to talk about what different emotions look and feel like. Using the arts and crafts your child [...]

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 [...]

Parent Watercooler: Have the Best Picnic Ever

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This collection of creative-play picnic tips is brought to you by Melissa & Doug, written by our Blog Ambassador Zina Harrington. Enjoy the grass between your toes!  -Zina There is something enchanting about picnics. They offer us a chance to “pause” our lives and enjoy the laziness of summer. This is one of my favorite shots [...]