Creative Play Quick Tip: Keeping Games Fresh!

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Breathe new life into group games by changing up the rules! Declare today “opposite day” for your kids’ favorite yard games, then set them free to explore new ways to play. Old standbys like tag, Simon says, leapfrog and follow-the-leader will seem completely new when kids have the power to turn them on their heads. [...]

Creative Play Quick Tip: Camp In!

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Make your next sleepover a camping adventure . . . indoors! Set up a tent and sleeping bags in the living room or playroom, then add special touches to fill your campsite with fun. Add balloons to bounce around the tent, provide flashlights for shadow puppets, pack some trail mix in single-serve baggies . . [...]

Skill Building: Help your Preschooler Develop Healthy Friendships

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Encourage problem solving. Give children the opportunity to figure out resolutions to their conflict. Pose the question, “What can we do about this?” Reinforce Positive Behavior. When children are playing together, try to catch them engaging in appropriate behavior. Comment on how nice it was that they shared the buckets or that they took turns [...]

Skill Building: 5 Ways to Promote a Happy Team-Sports Activity

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Make a Game Plan. Talk with your child about what to expect: The length of the season and frequency of practice, for instance. Explain that being part of a team is a commitment, and the team will rely on him/her to be there every time. As encouragement, make a chart or checklist where your child [...]

Creative Play Quick Tip: Water Balloon Group Fun

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Need a simple group play idea that won’t cost a fortune but will bring a million laughs? Keep a bag of balloons on hand. The key to long toss-and-catch games is underfilling the water balloons! Keep them small, only filling them until they begin to expand, and you’ll have a group of happy kids playing [...]

Creative Play Quick Tip: Beach Detectives

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Wearing your sunglasses and beach hat, become a sleuth of the shore! Use a shovel to scoop sand onto a sifter, then shake away the sand to reveal “clues.” Take a closer look with a magnifier, collect clues in a bucket or beach bag, or record findings in a detective notebook. Then use your imaginations [...]

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 [...]

Val’s Crafty Corner: Patriotic Note Cards

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This crafty activity with Melissa & Doug art supplies is brought to you by Melissa & Doug, written by our Blog Ambassador Valerie Deneen. Put your stamp on a thoughtful thank you!  -Val With Memorial Day soon upon us, I thought it would be the perfect time to invite my daughter to create some handmade patriotic [...]

Creative Play Quick Tip: Sandbox Full of Dinos!

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Turn your sandbox into a dinosaur hunter’s dream! Bury toy dinos under the sand and invite your little paleontologists to the big dig. You can make a map depicting where the dinosaurs are hidden, leave a trail of dinosaur “footprints” to follow, or just let your kids dig, dig, dig to their hearts’ delight! If [...]