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 [...]

Mother’s Day Message from Melissa

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The greatest moments of being a mother for me are the occasions when the expressions of love and appreciation come naturally. The gifts for me come in those wonderful drawings, stories and poems handed to me when I least expect it, or the “I love yous” that are said with such spontaneous intensity and passion [...]

Stacy Shares: The Reasons I Love Being a Mom

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This inspiring graphic is brought to you by Melissa & Doug, created by our Blog Ambassador Stacy Teet. What little moments end up being your favorite reasons for being a Mom? We’d love to hear them in the comments!  –Stacy Happy Mother’s Day, everyone!! I hope you get to do at least a few of [...]

Mother’s Day: Make It More than a Phone Call

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These ideas for making Mother’s Day special are brought to you by Melissa & Doug , written by our Blog Ambassador Allison McDonald. Mother’s Day (in one form or another) is observed in over 40 cultures. In some, it’s tied to International Women’s Day; in others, it relates to religious festivals. Here in the United [...]

5 Pre-Writing Skill-Builders

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Build hand, arm and shoulder strength. Encourage your child to draw, paint and create on a vertical surfaces–like an upright easel, the walls of the bathtub (try watercolors or bath crayons!), or a refrigerator or magnetic board. This position helps strengthen hand, wrist and shoulder strength, all of which are needed for writing. Strengthen fine motor [...]

(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 [...]

The Benefits of Being Outside by Melissa

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by Melissa for grandparents.com Spontaneous time spent outdoors can have benefits beyond your wildest dreams! Some of my fondest childhood memories are of playing outdoors. When I was young, no one in my neighborhood had nannies. Sending the kids outside to play was Mom’s free babysitter and the only way she could “get things done.” [...]