Creative Play Quick Tip: Thinking Game to Play in the Car

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Long road trips (and any significant drive) can be tough for little ones used to moving all day! Refocus their energy by playing “What Am I?” Each person takes a turn describing an animal (or insect or object) without naming it. Younger children may need some help giving a description that will allow the players to [...]

Val’s Crafty Corner: Beaded Necklaces for Mom

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This creative play craft and activity for Mother’s Day is  brought to you by Melissa & Doug, written by our Blog Ambassador Valerie Deneen. Make a beautiful bracelet or necklace for Mom with this pretty bead “bouquet!”   – Valerie These beaded necklaces are so much fun to make, and they would be such a special [...]

5 Ways for Kids to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo

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Learn to count to cinco. Today’s the perfect day to learn some Spanish numbers! Help make a Mexican meal. Burritos, tacos, cornbread . . .  olé! Tonight’s dinner can be a delicious Mexican feast. (Even toddlers can help with a sprinkling of queso.) Make your own piñata. A simple version can be just a paper [...]

5 Tips for Making Rainy Days the Best Days

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Make it a “Kids in the Kitchen” day! They’ll not only get some delicious results, but they’ll be using math (measuring and counting), observing scientific principles (effects of heat, what happens when different ingredients are combined) and using their senses (smelling the food cook, touching the ingredients and, of course, tasting the food!). Some easier [...]

Gardening Playdate with Melissa & Doug

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This playdate idea is brought to you by Melissa & Doug , written by our Blog Ambassador Allison McDonald. “Everyday play is what childhood should be about.” “Can we have a playdate?”  How often do you hear that? For us it’s about every day at 1pm as I pick my son up from school. I [...]

Val’s Crafty Corner – Indoor Puddle Jumping!

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This creative energy-burning activity is brought to you by Melissa & Doug, written by our Blog Ambassador Valerie Deneen. Enjoy some active indoor pretend play with your kids! Has the weather been a little too sunny for you? Do you miss the rain? Have you been struck with a sudden urge to sing and dance [...]

Val’s Crafty Corner: Last-Minute Easter Bookmarks

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This arts-and-crafts activity is brought to you by Melissa & Doug, written by our Blog Ambassador Valerie Deneen. Enjoy creating handmade bookmarks with this quick and easy activity for Easter! These last-minute Easter bookmarks are a great way to keep the kids busy while creating a little gift for their friends or family! To create [...]

Skill Building Through Sand Play

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Large Motor Skills Large motor skills develop and strengthen as children dig, scoop, sift, and pour. The whole body can get involved in sand play! Hand-eye Coordination Children develop better control over their small muscles as they practice manipulating sand play toys like funnels, mills, shovels, scoops, and sifters. Social & Emotional Playing together in [...]

Val’s Crafty Corner — Sand Play Bakery!

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This springtime recipe for creative play is brought to you by Melissa & Doug, and is written by our Blog Ambassador Valerie Deneen. Enjoy taking your kids’ creativity outdoors! One of the activities my kids look forward to the most every spring is playing outdoors in the sandbox! They can spend hours happily playing together, engaged in [...]