Melissa’s Playbook: The Power of Free Play – and Why I Believe in It

This is part of a series of posts from our very own Melissa where she shares her thoughts and tips on play and on nurturing the magic and wonder of childhood.   Play leads to brain plasticity, adaptability, and creativity. Nothing fires up the brain like play. —Stuart Brown, founder of the National Institute for Play […]

Sand Play On the Go: A Portable Sandbox for Kids

What’s a portable sandbox? Guest blogger Sarah Noftle of How Wee Learn knows. I love having my little ones in the veggie garden with me. Except for when I don’t love having them in the veggie garden with me. When I am getting the garden ready I don’t mind one little bit moving ten times slower, having holes […]

Fall Matching Activity for Kids (Printable)

Looking for a little Autumn-themed fun (that sneaks in a little learning, too)? Then enjoy this printable activity with your child that celebrates this fabulous Fall season. Click to download this Fall matching printable, then ask your child to identify the two leaves that match! Other ways to enjoy this printable are: Ask your child […]

How to Get Kids Excited About Homework

This DIY kids’ homework station idea is provided by Guest Blogger Kim Vij of The Educators’ Spin On It. School’s back in session, which means homework is starting to come home and become a part of our daily afternoon. Here are a few tips to get your child excited about homework, rather than viewing it as a challenge. […]

From Melissa: Do YOUR Kids Play with Neighborhood Friends?

Melissa shares her thoughts on the importance of outside play for kids: “Some of my fondest childhood memories are of lazy, carefree summer days spent playing outside with neighborhood friends. No one in my neighborhood had a nanny. Sending the kids outside to play was Mom’s FREE babysitter — and the only way she could […]

Make Summer Memories Last

The Summer is almost over! If you’re looking for an easy way to preserve some of those great Summer memories and keep the kids happily entertained at the same time, you’ll love this post by our blog ambassador Valerie Deneen from Inner Child Fun. Today, Valerie’s sharing a simple scrapbook project that kids can make. […]

“Traveling with Kids” Summer Series: A Look in the Rearview Mirror

Starting to feel the end-of-summer blues? There’s still PLENTY of time to squeeze in a Family Summer Vacation. Whether it’s a quick hotel stay, camping trip, or you’re just stealing away for a Family Dinner Date, we’ve got you covered. Check out the latest posts from our “ON the GO” summer series to learn about […]

Fine Motor Activities to Encourage Good Pencil Grip

These play-based fine motor activities are provided for the Melissa & Doug blog by Cindy Utzinger,  pediatric Occupational Therapist. Holding a pencil correctly- why does something that looks so easy seem so hard to teach our kids?  Using a mature pencil grasp (one that involves just the thumb and index finger or thumb, index, and middle […]

Quick Tips: Making Friends With Food

Remind kids (and yourself) why good food is good. Here are some tips for helping kids know…that Food is Good! Tie food to things your child cares about. Explain that protein in lean meats builds muscle and strength for sports. Whole grains and the vitamins in fruits and vegetables help our brains focus in school. […]