Your cart
Close Alternative Icon
We're Open! Free Shipping on Orders Over $35* We're Open! Free Shipping on Orders Over $35*
Down Arrow Icon
Bag Icon

Top Toy News

Helping Kids De-Stress

Helping Kids De-Stress

It's tough juggling being adults and parents. But what about what are children go through? Kids have to deal with pressure from school, social pressure, test-taking, and the list goes on. That can be very scary. As parents, we care about the well-being of our children.

This raises the question of what can we do to help? Here are some tips from Becky Mansfield who published this article on helping kids de-stress.

1. Go Outside.
When we feel gloomy, it helps to go outside for a bit of sunshine. Encourage your kids to take a breather or a walk, not just with a lap around the living room, but in the backyard or front porch. Fresh air is always good for everyone.

2. Talk It Out.
One of the best things about being a parent is connecting with your kids. Be there for your child when something’s wrong, or the going gets tough, by listening to them. People need to air out their thoughts, and kids can find relief when talking about how they’re feeling, especially with their parents. Don’t worry if you don’t have advice or a response. Listening and affirming what your child feels is enough to alleviate some pressure. If there are underlying issues that require attention, therapy is an encouraged route to take.

3. Unplug.
This world is hugely connected and overstimulating, all thanks to the internet. The drawbacks of that is it imprints a highly unrealistic expectation of what life ought to be. People on social media often posts the best parts of their lives, leaving the audience to ask, “why isn’t my life like that?” Kids see the same thing, and can feed into a negative outlook on their own personal lives. To alleviate this, encourage your child to shut off from their phones and computers. That lets the mind rests, if even for a day.  

4. Exercise.
By taking care of the body, we take care of the mind. The two are tightly connected, in that whenever we exercise, our body releases endorphins, or chemicals, to our brains that make us feel better. Kids can play outside to help with the stresses of the day. It doesn’t have to be a cardio-heavy game of tag; casually shooting the ball or walking the dog will do wonders for the mind.

5. Family Time.
It’s easier to go through life when you’re surrounded by a great support system. That’s what families are for. Do activities with your kids that include interaction, like playing board games or throwing a ball. For one, it helps take the mind off things, and what better way to do it than with the family.

As a parent, you love your children and want what’s best for them. Whenever appropriate, you can apply and encourage these tips to your children to help them manage stress.  

Continue reading

Classic Toys are the Best Educational Toys, Doctors Say

Classic Toys are the Best Educational Toys, Doctors Say

Looking for the best, most educational toys this holiday season? The American Academy of Pediatrics just released a clinical report titled “Selecting Appropriate Toys for Young Children in the Digital Era.” In it, the authors recommend toys that inspire hands-on engagement, imaginative play, and rich interaction with parents and caregivers as the best choice. They say traditional toys (not electronic) are the ones pediatricians should be recommending to parents, as well as featuring in their waiting rooms.

The report went on to state that high-quality toys in categories such as pretend play (dolls, cars, housekeeping), hands-on/manipulative play (blocks, puzzles), arts and crafts, language and letters, and physical play can facilitate caregiver-child interactions, peer play, and the growth of imagination. At Melissa & Doug, for more than 30 years we’ve believed in the power of imaginative, child-led play, and we’re proud to offer a wide variety of toys in each of those categories mentioned in the report.

Here’s our age-by-age round-up of the best toys and gifts for kids this holiday season!

Continue reading

Screen-Time and Children

Screen-Time and Children
Our world has become highly connected, and some would say even frantic, all thanks to the technologies we have today. We have phones, laptops, tablets, and even watches that keep us looped in with the world around us. Our children live in this world. 

Recent studies have shown that there is a link between screen time and mental conditions including anxiety, depression, and loneliness. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has provided an excerpt regarding media usage and children. Continue reading