PURPOSE-DRIVEN TOY BRAND MELISSA & DOUG FORMALIZES ITS SUSTAINABILITY STRATEGY WITH FORESTRY AT THE FOREFRONT

Project Restore formalizes the company’s longstanding commitment to “making timeless, sustainable toys for a thriving and inclusive world.”

(WILTON, CT – August 10, 2021) – Melissa & Doug, the toy company known for its more than 30-year commitment to open-ended play through its mostly wooden toys, announced today a major new sustainability initiative focused on both environmental and social measures. The initiative, called “Project Restore,” will guide the company in its existing work on environmental responsibility, social equity, and inclusion, as well as its ambitious new plan to make the world a better place.

Project Restore formalizes Melissa & Doug’s continuing commitment to its vision “to make timeless, sustainable toys for a thriving and inclusive world” and more deeply integrate sustainability culture and practices across the organization. There are three major pillars the company will continuously build initiatives against, with Thriving Forests at the forefront:

  • Thriving Forests:  Wood is an essential part of Melissa & Doug’s heritage and because it’s both natural and renewable, the company uses wood as an important component of its toys. To contribute to thriving forests globally, Melissa & Doug aims to make several commitments in this space by:

    • Partnering with One Tree Planted, a global reforestation program that will plant a tree for every tree used by the company each year.

    • Ensuring 100% of paper products and more than half of its wood products will come from sustainable, responsibly managed forests and be FSC® certified by 2025.1

    • Further understanding its impact on the planet and making a commitment to become carbon neutral in its operations by the end of 2021.

  • Timeless Toys:  Melissa & Doug will continue to focus on its mission to make high quality, fun, and timeless toys that are made to be passed down from generation to generation or shared from family to family. By keeping toys in the hands of children and out of landfills, the company makes it possible to reduce waste. Melissa & Doug is also committed to continuous packaging improvements, including source reduction, recyclable materials, use of recycled materials, and partnering with the Sustainable Packaging Coalition® to add How2Recycle information to its labeling in 2022.

  • Inclusive World:  Melissa & Doug will continue its alliance with the American Academy of Pediatrics to encourage open-ended play and strong parent-child relationships for all children, and inclusivity by race, gender, and abilities is a central focus. In addition, the company will aim to drive greater representation of all children across its marketing content and within its innovation program.

“We understand that children are growing up aware of issues around them like climate change and inclusivity,” says Fernando Mercé, Chief Executive Officer of Melissa & Doug. “Children and parents are searching for positivity and hope in the face of environmental and social uncertainty. Expanding our brand purpose beyond nurturing children’s imaginations to nurturing the environment is a natural step. By ensuring our products and packaging help forests thrive and contribute to an inclusive world, we lay a better foundation for restoring play and children’s futures for generations to come.”

Recognized by parents as the #1 preschool brand for sustainable toys and for wooden toys,2 Melissa & Doug is launching Project Restore to further build on over three decades of caring for the environment. Melissa & Doug is a leader in the industry in responsible supply chain management, using mainly sustainable materials, such as wood and paper, across most of its toys. Last year, the company was the first major toy brand in the U.S. to earn Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC) certification for its new stationery line, which was independently certified by SCS Global Services. Through its alliance with the American Academy of Pediatrics, it has committed to fostering early brain development in all children, regardless of gender, race, or ability.

“We’re extremely excited about this sustainability journey,” says Mercé. “It is something that has been part of our DNA as a company for years, and now Project Restore will help us take that commitment to the next level. We know consumers look to Melissa & Doug as a leader when it comes to wooden, sustainable toys and developmental learning and we take that position seriously. We look forward to sharing more details on what we think will be game-changing actions for our company, our retailers, the industry, and our greater Melissa & Doug community of families and children.”

1 FSC® C156584
2 Source: 360 Market Reach, January 2021

About Melissa & Doug
Timeless Toys. Endless Possibilities.

From classic wooden toys to crafts and pretend play, Melissa & Doug products provide a launch pad to ignite imagination and wonder in all children so they can discover their passions and their purpose. Melissa & Doug is proudly partnering with the American Academy of Pediatrics to foster early brain development and to champion the health benefits of open-ended play through their joint Power of Play alliance.

 

PRESS CONTACT:
Patricia Sabino
psabino@currentglobal.com

 

MELISSA & DOUG LAUNCHES PAW PATROL® AND BLUE’S CLUES & YOU! TOYS AS PART OF PARTNERSHIP WITH NICKELODEON PARENT COMPANY, VIACOMCBS

Co-branded items bring children's favorite characters to parents’ most trusted toys

NEW YORK – June 29, 2021Melissa & Doug, the purpose-driven global toy brand, and Nickelodeon today announced exciting new PAW Patrol® and Blue’s Clues & You! co-branded toys that are available globally in stores and online now. Children who know and love these characters on-screen now have a hands-on way to interact with them off-screen, whether it’s going on rescue missions with Chase or searching for clues with Blue.

“Melissa & Doug and Nickelodeon are both champions of children’s development, which led to a natural partnership. Our vision is to offer products that not only entertain, but engage and educate children, in a way that helps them develop essential life skills,” said Bridgette Miller, Global Head of Marketing of Melissa & Doug. “The characters of PAW Patrol® and Blue’s Clues & You! featured in our toys will inspire children to create their own storylines while engaging in hands-on, skill-building play.”

The multi-year partnership launches with 50 items in 2021, including:

  • PAW Patrol® Rescue Mission Wooden Dashboard - Realistic play steering wheel mounted on a sturdy wooden dashboard with lights, sound effects, and moving parts, including a scrolling GPS. Press the paw print “mission start” button to hear Ryder give mission instructions based on the pups chosen for the job—there are hundreds of possible combinations, and kids can choose to hear him in English, French, or Spanish. Age 3+

  • PAW Patrol® Wooden ABC Block Truck - PAW Patrol® is on a roll with this jumbo wooden truck and trailer built to haul 28 wooden early-learning blocks. Age 3+

  • Blue’s Clues & You! Wooden Take-Along House - Take-along Blue's Clues & You! shape-sorter house with built-in handle, three gears to spin, bungee-hinged flaps, and a nine-piece double-sided flip puzzle. Age 18M+

  • Blue’s Clues & You! Wooden Mailbox Play Set - With this 27-piece play set, it’s always Mail Time as kids use wooden stamps with self-stick tabs to “mail” a wooden postcard, reusable invitations, and shipping pouch. Age 4+

  • See product offering and prices: https://www.melissaanddoug.com/whats-new/

“We are excited to be working with a brand like Melissa & Doug, which is known for its dedication to creating high quality toys that support children’s development. Collaborating with them to create educational toys based on the beloved PAW Patrol® and Blue’s Clues & You! characters and themes gives kids around the world a new way to learn through open-ended play featuring their favorite preschool friends,” said Dion Vlachos, Executive Vice President, Hardlines and Retail, ViacomCBS.

Melissa & Doug PAW Patrol® and Blue’s Clues & You! items will be available at independent and major retailers and e-commerce sites in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, UK and Germany. Parents and gift-givers can find the products at MelissaAndDoug.com, Amazon, Zulily, Walmart, Learning Express and Smyth’s, among others. Plus, they can learn more about the launch through an integrated campaign featuring useful content, such as free print-and-play activities, blog posts with play tips, social media engagement, and more.

PAW Patrol® is one of the most popular preschool shows on television in the U.S. The CGI-animated series, produced by Spin Master Entertainment, follows a pack of heroic rescue pups—Chase, Marshall, Rubble, Skye, Rocky, Zuma, Everest and Tracker—who are led by a tech-savvy boy named Ryder. Together, they work hard to show the people of Adventure Bay that “no job is too big, no pup is too small!” The series features a curriculum that focuses on citizenship, social skills and problem solving.

A remake of the groundbreaking, curriculum-driven interactive series Blue’s Clues, Blue’s Clues & You! has a new generation of preschoolers searching for clues with beloved puppy Blue, fellow pup Magenta, and new live-action host Josh (Josh Dela Cruz). The series features new CG-animation for Blue and Magenta, brand-new elements and refreshed iconic items from the original series including an updated Handy Dandy Notebook equipped with smartphone technology and the return of fan-favorite characters.

About Melissa & Doug
From classic wooden toys to crafts and pretend play, Melissa & Doug products provide a launch pad to ignite imagination and wonder in all children so they can discover their passions and their purpose. Melissa & Doug is proudly partnering with the American Academy of Pediatrics to foster early brain development and to champion the health benefits of open-ended play through their joint Power of Play alliance.

About ViacomCBS Consumer Products
ViacomCBS Consumer Products (VCP) oversees all licensing and merchandising for ViacomCBS Inc. (Nasdaq: VIACA, VIAC), a leading global media and entertainment company 
that creates premium content and experiences for audiences worldwide. Driven by iconic consumer brands, VCP’s portfolio includes a diverse slate of brands and content from BET, CBS (including CBS Television Studios and CBS Television Distribution), Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Pictures and Showtime. With properties spanning animation, live-action, preschool, youth and adult, VCP is committed to creating the highest quality product for some of the world’s most beloved, iconic franchises. Additionally, VCP oversees the online direct-to-consumer business for CBS and Showtime programming merchandise, as well as standalone branded ecommerce websites for Star Trek, SpongeBob, South Park, and MTV.

About Spin Master Corp.:
Spin Master Corp. (TSX:TOY) is a leading global children's entertainment company creating exceptional play experiences through a diverse portfolio of innovative toys, entertainment franchises and digital games. Spin Master is best known for award-winning brands PAW Patrol®, Bakugan®, Kinetic Sand®, Air Hogs®, Hatchimals®, Rubik’s Cube® and GUND®, and is the toy licensee for other popular properties. Spin Master Entertainment creates and produces compelling multiplatform content, stories and endearing characters through its in-house studio and partnerships with outside creators, including the preschool success PAW Patrol and nine other original shows along with multiple short-form series, which are distributed in more than 190 countries. The Company has an established digital presence anchored by the Toca Boca® and Sago Mini® brands, which combined have more than 40 million monthly active users. With close to 2,000 employees in 28 offices globally, Spin Master distributes products in more than 100 countries. For more information visit spinmaster.com or follow on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter @spinmaster.

CONTACTS:

Rachel Sandler Rachel.Sandler@nick.com

Jennifer Halperin jhalperin@MelissaAndDoug.com

 

PURPOSE-DRIVEN TOY BRAND MELISSA & DOUG AND JACK & JILL LATE STAGE CANCER FOUNDATION PARTNER TO BRING WOW! TO YOUNG LATE STAGE CANCER FAMILIES

Partnership provides cherished, indispensable family memories to children who are facing the imminent loss of a parent

(ATLANTA,GA – June 24, 2021) – The Jack & Jill Late Stage Cancer Foundation (JAJF) today announced its partnership with beloved toy brand, Melissa & Doug, to bring joy to families facing the terminal illness of a parent. JAJF, a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit, treats children facing the looming loss of their young Mom or Dad to cancer to WOW! Experiences®— a prescribed timeout as part of treatment protocol together as a family away from their late stage cancer — to create positive, cherished, (indispensable) memories . . . while they can. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, JAJF could not fly families to WOW! destinations such as New York City, Florida, Nashville, San Diego, and Hawaii. The foundation had to pivot. Enter Melissa & Doug.

Melissa & Doug helps JAJF bring the WOW! to each young family prescribed a timeout from cancer. In fact, Melissa & Doug has become the “official toy company of WOW!” by providing care packages of its timeless toys to families in need of an uplifting experience of surprise and delight.

When cancer strikes a parent, the whole family is affected profoundly. Melissa & Doug supports JAJF in its belief that these children and families deserve a timeout to connect in playful ways that can be experienced and captured as lasting memories. It’s about providing opportunities for fun times together now that can become sources of comfort later.

“We are honored our toys play a part in putting smiles on the faces of families going through such a challenging experience,” says Fernando Mercé, CEO of Melissa & Doug.

Across the United States, oncologists are prescribing JAJF as part of the treatment protocol for young parents diagnosed with late-stage cancer. Treating the families as well as the cancer has been described as vital “preventative care,” addressing the psychosocial health of the children, caregiving spouse, and the parent (patient). 

“You rarely see or hear the word ‘family’ in descriptions about cancer care,” says Jon Albert, JAJF’s Founder. “These children and families benefit greatly from a timeout to truly connect with one another in a positive and fun way. It’s an essential part of their treatment. For most families facing constant chemo and radiation treatment, this is their first chance to gain a sense of normalcy away from cancer in years and is the primary reason oncologists value and praise the impact of JAJF and Melissa & Doug as immeasurable.

“We call it the POWER OF WOW! Melissa & Doug calls it the POWER OF PLAY! Together, we can’t be more proud and inspired when we see the joy and smiles,” says Albert. “Family after sweet young family, smile after wonderful, happy smile, the joy says it all.”

Melissa & Doug and JAJF look forward to continuing to partner to help families create cherished, special moments during such vulnerable times.

About JAJF
As a national 501(c)(3) public charity, JAJF operates with the support of generous donors, corporate partners, and oncologists. Since 2006, JAJF has provided WOW! Experiences® and thousands of smiles (and joy) to children and their Moms and Dads across the United States.

About Melissa & Doug
From classic wooden toys to crafts and pretend play, Melissa & Doug products provide a launch pad to ignite imagination and a sense of wonder in all children so they can discover their passions and their purpose. Melissa & Doug is proudly partnering with the American Academy of Pediatrics to foster early brain development and to champion the health benefits of open-ended play through their joint Power of Play alliance.

CONTACTS:

Jennifer Kanter jkanter@jajf.org

Jennifer Halperin jhalperin@MelissaAndDoug.com

 

PURPOSE-DRIVEN TOY BRAND MELISSA & DOUG LAUNCHES “TIMELESS TOYS. ENDLESS POSSIBILITIES.” BRAND CAMPAIGN

To celebrate the magic of imagination, new Melissa & Doug campaign showcases the joy of discovering the extraordinary in the ordinary

(CONNECTICUT – June 3, 2021) – The purpose-driven toy brand, Melissa & Doug, launched its first-ever campaign today, “Timeless Toys. Endless Possibilities.” The new campaign touts the brand’s value-driven mission inspiring children to explore the world around them.

For more than three decades, parents, caregivers, and educators have turned to Melissa & Doug’s colorful and wide-ranging portfolio of hands-on, screen-free toys to help foster creative thinking and learning in their children. Known for its thoughtfully designed wooden pretend play toys, developmental products, puzzles, and crafts, Melissa & Doug believes passionately in championing the benefits of kid-powered play. It’s this kind of play that builds open-minded thinking, prompting children to approach the world with curiosity and flexibility. The brand views this campaign as a way to further support parents and others in helping children see the wonder in the everyday through the magical world of Melissa & Doug.

The new imagination-fueled campaign aims to reach parents who are searching for a simpler—but still engagingly fun—kind of play for their children. For the last 30+ years, Melissa & Doug has grown its global brand awareness thanks to word-of-mouth recommendations and the long-lasting quality of its products. This campaign will give voice to the brand in a way that consumers have not seen before, adding a new dimension to the brand they love. For parents unfamiliar with the brand, the campaign will introduce them to its mission and the variety of wonder-filled products in its assortment. The campaign is launching digitally on Amazon, Hulu, and YouTube, as well as social platforms, including Pinterest and Instagram.

“With this campaign, we’re hoping to reach even more families with our message about the power of open-ended play,” said Bridgette Miller, Global Head of Marketing at Melissa & Doug. “We know parents are always looking for those screen-free options that make learning more fun and tangible. We aim to be a resource for parents by offering healthy, hands-on toys that actively engage kids’ imaginations.”

Melissa & Doug’s “Timeless Toys. Endless Possibilities.” campaign reflects the company’s mission of inspiring kids to play in their own unique way and discover the possible in the impossible. Melissa & Doug toys are developed to empower children to play freely, without instruction, as they make sense of the world around them. When playing with a Melissa & Doug toy, imagination runs wild—a toy broom isn’t just a broom, it’s a rocket ship heading to the moon.

The creative for the new campaign, developed by Edelman New York, evokes these feelings of magic and wonder as it follows a young girl through her day taking inspiration from the scenes she views out her window, then creatively incorporating them into her own extraordinary play. With Melissa & Doug, it’s not just about the toy, it’s about how the child is inspired to bring the toy to life in new and unexpected ways.

For more information on the brand and its toys, visit MelissaAndDoug.com.

About Melissa & Doug
From classic wooden toys to crafts and pretend play, Melissa & Doug products provide a launch pad to ignite imagination and a sense of wonder in all children so they can discover themselves, their passions, and their purpose. Recently, Melissa & Doug announced it is proudly partnering with the American Academy of Pediatrics to foster early brain development and to champion the health benefits of open-ended play through their joint Power of Play alliance.

PRESS CONTACTS:
Jennifer Halperin jhalperin@MelissaAndDoug.com

Patricia Sabino Psabino@currentglobal.com

 

PURPOSE-DRIVEN TOY BRAND MELISSA & DOUG AND VIACOMCBS ANNOUNCE LANDMARK GLOBAL LICENSING PARTNERSHIP

Co-Branded Product Line Slated to Hit Retail Fall 2021

(NEW YORK – November 19, 2020) – ViacomCBS Consumer Products (VCP) and Melissa & Doug, the purpose-driven global toy brand, have signed an exclusive licensing partnership to deliver PAW Patrol® and Blue’s Clues & You! co-branded toy product lines for Fall 2021. The toys will be designed to educate and empower preschoolers through active engagement with a focus on problem solving and creative thinking.

This global partnership with ViacomCBS is the largest licensing agreement Melissa & Doug has ever signed, marking a major milestone for the company. Through the partnership, Melissa & Doug will bring innovative and imaginative toys to retail that will span multiple categories focused on learning and education.

“Melissa & Doug has been at the forefront of children’s toys for over 30 years. We are thrilled to collaborate with them to create products based on the beloved PAW Patrol and Blue’s Clues & You! IP that continue to inspire imagination and hugely impact children’s growth and learning,” said Dion Vlachos, Executive Vice President, Licensing & Retail, ViacomCBS.

From its beginning, Melissa & Doug has been a purpose-driven company committed to providing a launch pad to ignite imagination and a sense of wonder in all children so they can discover themselves, their passions, and their purpose. Recently, Melissa & Doug announced their alliance with the American Academy of Pediatrics to champion the health benefits of open-ended play and provide tools and resources for parents to make it an essential part of children’s everyday lives.

“We’re excited to work with a company as iconic as Nickelodeon, one that shares in our mission to make the world a more playful place through thoughtfully researched and designed products and content,” said David Henderson, Chief Commercial Officer of Melissa & Doug. “The characters of PAW Patrol and Blue’s Clues & You! will help us introduce our hands-on, skill-building toys to an even greater number of children.”

PAW Patrol is one of the most popular preschool shows on television in the U.S. The CGI-animated series, produced by Spin Master Entertainment, follows a pack of heroic rescue pups—Chase, Marshall, Rubble, Skye, Rocky, Zuma, Everest and Tracker—who are led by a tech-savvy boy named Ryder. Together, they work hard to show the people of Adventure Bay that “no job is too big, no pup is too small!” The series features a curriculum that focuses on citizenship, social skills and problem solving.

A remake of the groundbreaking, curriculum-driven interactive series Blue’s Clues, Blue’s Clues & You! has a new generation of preschoolers searching for clues with beloved puppy Blue, fellow pup Magenta, and new live-action host Josh (Josh Dela Cruz). The series features new CG-animation for Blue and Magenta, brand-new elements and refreshed iconic items from the original series including an updated Handy Dandy Notebook equipped with smartphone technology and the return of fan-favorite characters.

About Melissa & Doug
From classic wooden toys to crafts and pretend play, Melissa & Doug products provide a launch pad to ignite imagination and a sense of wonder in all children so they can discover themselves, their passions, and their purpose. Recently, Melissa & Doug announced it is proudly partnering with the American Academy of Pediatrics to foster early brain development and to champion the health benefits of open-ended play through their joint Power of Play alliance.

About ViacomCBS Consumer Products
ViacomCBS Consumer Products (VCP) oversees all licensing and merchandising for ViacomCBS Inc. (Nasdaq: VIACA, VIAC), a leading global media and entertainment company that creates premium content and experiences for audiences worldwide. Driven by iconic consumer brands, VCP’s portfolio includes a diverse slate of brands and content from BET, CBS (including CBS Television Studios and CBS Television Distribution), Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Pictures and Showtime. With properties spanning animation, live-action, preschool, youth and adult, VCP is committed to creating the highest quality product for some of the world’s most beloved, iconic franchises. Additionally, VCP oversees the online direct-to-consumer business for CBS and Showtime programming merchandise, as well as standalone branded ecommerce websites for Star Trek, SpongeBob, South Park, and MTV.

About Spin Master Corp.
Spin Master Corp. (TSX:TOY) is a leading global children's entertainment company creating exceptional play experiences through a diverse portfolio of innovative toys, entertainment franchises and digital toys and games. Spin Master is best known for award-winning brands PAW Patrol®, Bakugan®, Kinetic Sand®, Air Hogs®, Hatchimals® and GUND®, and is the toy licensee for other popular properties. Spin Master Entertainment creates and produces compelling multiplatform content, stories and endearing characters through its in-house studio and partnerships with outside creators, including the preschool success PAW Patrol and 10 other television series, which are distributed in more than 160 countries. The Company has an established digital presence anchored by the Toca Boca® and Sago Mini® brands, which combined have more than 25 million monthly active users. With over 1,800 employees in 28 offices globally, Spin Master distributes products in more than 100 countries. For more information visit spinmaster.com or follow on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter @spinmaster.

PRESS CONTACTS:
Rachel Sandler Rachel.Sandler@nick.com

Jennifer Halperin jhalperin@MelissaAndDoug.com

Melissa & Doug receives Forest Stewardship Council® certification for its new stationery line

Certification lets customers know products are sourced from FSC®-certified responsibly managed forests

(WILTON, CT – May 12, 2020) – Melissa & Doug, the trusted toy and children’s product company known around the world for its commitment to open-ended play, announced that their first stationery line, which includes a variety of sticker and activity pads, among other products, has met the requirements for the internationally recognized Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) Chain of Custody (CoC) standard. This FSC CoC certification communicates to customers through product labeling that materials in that product have been sourced from FSC-certified responsibly managed forests. The third-party audit and certification was conducted in April by SCS Global Services (SCS).

“At Melissa & Doug, we believe in giving close attention and scrutiny to the materials used in our products,” says Fernando Mercé, CEO of Melissa & Doug. “It is part of our overall commitment to quality and safety in our manufacturing processes. Not only do we care deeply about creating the healthiest and most beneficial toys and other products for children, we are also committed to being a steward of the environment when it comes to our ongoing business and production decisions. Currently, we implement all the industry and regulatory best practices for our materials, including our wood, and we continue to adopt sustainability measures that help us in our role as a good corporate citizen in our industry and community.”

An FSC CoC certification requires a business to demonstrate detailed documentation and adherence to certain processes in the handling and identification of materials throughout a product’s manufacturing.

“As one of the first major toy brands in the U.S. to earn FSC certification, we applaud Melissa & Doug for recognizing that sharing the ‘Power of Play’ includes protecting the world’s forests for future generations,” said Chris McLaren, Chief Marketing Officer of the Forest Stewardship Council U.S. “By making this commitment – and by telling their customers about it – Melissa & Doug is building a movement to protect forests by choosing products that keep them intact and healthy, for people and animals, for all, forever.”

Melissa & Doug received its certification following an audit by third-party certifier SCS Global Services, an internationally recognized inspection and verification company accredited by Assurance Services International (ASI) to certify responsible forest management around the world, as well as companies purchasing forest and wood products from certified sources.

“With this certification, Melissa & Doug has demonstrated its commitment to responsible sourcing,” says Maggie Schwartz, Director of Chain of Custody Services in SCS’ natural resource division. “For parents and kids alike who treasure our forests and want to make purchases consistent with their values, this certification will be especially meaningful.”

About Melissa & Doug
From classic wooden toys to crafts, pretend play, and games, Melissa & Doug products provide a launch pad to ignite imagination and a sense of wonder in all children so they can discover themselves, their passions, and their purpose. According to NBC News, “The [Melissa & Doug] brand of low-tech, mostly wood toys has become the gold standard in early childhood play.” In February 2020, Melissa & Doug announced it is now proudly partnering with the American Academy of Pediatrics to foster early brain development and to champion the health benefits of open-ended play through their joint Power of Play alliance.

PRESS CONTACT:
PR@MelissaAndDoug.com

About the Forest Stewardship Council
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an independent, non-governmental organization established to promote the responsible management of the world’s forests. Since FSC’s Founding Assembly held in Toronto in 1993 and its first certificates issued, a lot has been accomplished and much more needs to be done. In 25 years, FSC has certified over 200 million hectares of forest, in over 80 countries worldwide. An FSC chain of custody certification verifies that FSC-certified material has been identified and separated from non-certified and non-controlled material, as it makes its way along the supply chain. For more information visit https://us.fsc.org/en-us.

PRESS CONTACT:
B.Kahn@us.fsc.org

About SCS Global Services
SCS Global Services is a global leader in third-party environmental and sustainability verification, certification, auditing, testing, and standards development. Established in 1984, its programs span a cross-section of industries, recognizing achievements in forestry, green building, product manufacturing, food and agriculture and more. SCS was among the first third party conformity assessment bodies accredited by the Forest Stewardship Council, and has been conducting such audits for more than 25 years. Headquartered in Emeryville, California, SCS has representatives and affiliate offices throughout the world. Its broad network of auditors are experts in their fields, and the company is a trusted partner to many environmental NGOs due to its dedication to quality and professionalism. SCS is a chartered Benefit Corporation, reflecting its commitment to socially and environmentally responsible business practices. For more information visit www.scsglobalservices.com.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) announces new alliance partnering with Melissa & Doug to improve the health and well-being of all children

The AAP, an organization of 67,000 pediatricians, is joining forces with Melissa & Doug, the trusted toy company, to champion the health benefits of open-ended play, and provide tools and resources for parents to make it an essential part of children’s everyday lives

(ITASCA, IL – February 19, 2020) – The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has chosen Melissa & Doug, the toy company known for its 30-year commitment to open-ended play, to work together in a nationwide, multi-year undertaking. The alliance, called the “Power of Play,” will support parents and caregivers in helping children build important life skills through play, manage screen time, and connect with others on a deeper level.

The alliance is built on the findings that play is essential for healthy growth and development. And as with food, play has healthy and less healthy options, which contribute to children’s well-being. Just as parents strive to make nutritious food choices for children, they should choose the types of play that research has demonstrated to encourage hands-on engagement, foster social interactions, and nurture imagination.

In recent years, the AAP has published a series of policy statements that highlight the powerful role of play in children’s cognitive and social development, including recommendations that pediatricians write a prescription for play,” and guide parents in setting limits around their children’s use of digital media. In a 2019 policy statement on choosing toys for young children, the AAP recommends caregivers choose more traditional toys to facilitate children’s cognitive brain development and foster language-building caregiver interactions.

The goal of the Power of Play alliance is to educate parents, caregivers, and professionals on the importance of these three principles to improve children’s health and well-being:

Prioritize hands-on play
Play is essential when it comes to children’s health and development. Look for toys that inspire imaginative, open-ended thinking, and can be used in different ways to grow with children.
Read the research >
Find toy-buying tips >

Enjoy screen-free time
Limit screen time to no more than 1 hour per day of high-quality programming for children ages 2-5. For children younger than 2, media use should be very limited. It’s best when an adult is standing by to co-view, talk, and teach.
Read the research >
Create a Family Media Use Plan >

Interact & connect through play
Children learn best from parents and other caregivers. Use play as an opportunity to talk, read, and sing with children, all of which will build their vocabularies, reduce stress, create connection, and develop foundational skills for learning.
Read the research >
Check out age-specific play ideas >

Since its founding 90 years ago, the American Academy of Pediatrics has been a champion for children, including promoting ways to nurture the strong parent-child relationships that are critical for early brain development.

“As a pediatrician, I know how essential creative, open-ended play is for young children’s brain development, language acquisition, problem-solving skills, social interactions and physical activity,” said AAP President Sally Goza, MD, FAAP. “When children and parents play together, that’s when we see those magical moments that are so important for children’s growth. We are so pleased to be embarking on this new alliance with Melissa & Doug. Together we can help millions of families understand what they can do in terms of play to foster the best health outcomes for their kids.”

For Melissa & Doug, the alliance offers an opportunity to share the science behind the benefits of play. Melissa & Doug is the only major toy brand to have never added apps or screens to its products. The company also has never advertised its products to children.

“In today’s fast-paced world, so many of us are grappling with how to navigate our family’s relationship to digital devices, manage media consumption, and find time to forge meaningful connections with one another,” says Melissa Bernstein, co-founder with husband, Doug Bernstein, of their namesake company, and a mother of six.

“There’s a sense that childhood has changed over the last decade — with less time and space for kids to just be kids. Couple that with research showing how tech may be rewiring our brains and reports about rising rates of anxiety and depression in young people, and it’s easy to see why parents are looking for answers. We have the opportunity to help people radically rethink the way we approach childhood and play. I’m incredibly excited to be partnering with the AAP to help parents, teachers, and caregivers embrace the power of play.“

The Power of Play will offer practical ideas to parents, caregivers, and professionals who work with children. Some highlights:

Proven play advice, resources, and messaging for parents on how to inject play into children’s lives — online in social media and videos, in toy stores — based on science, and translated into action-oriented tips easy to put into practice

Developmental guides of play-based solutions to common childhood concerns (managing big feelings, making friends, paying attention, etc.)

“Play to the Rescue” ideas for avoiding the tempting tech trap of handing over a phone or tablet to a child at restaurants, in cars, on bad-weather days, and during everyday errands and routines

Through this alliance, Melissa & Doug and the AAP are working together to educate parents and caregivers to recognize the scientific importance of play not focused on performance or outcomes; to embrace boredom as a catalyst for creative thinking; to adopt the idea of playfulness as a mindset useful for better understanding a child; and to learn how play can help children work through difficult emotional moments, become better problem solvers and more resilient, all while lowering parents’ stress levels.

About the AAP
The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 67,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit www.aap.org and follow us on Twitter @AmerAcadPeds
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About Melissa & Doug
From classic wooden toys to crafts, pretend play, and games, Melissa & Doug products provide a launch pad to ignite imagination and a sense of wonder in all children so they can discover themselves, their passions, and their purpose. According to NBC News, “The [Melissa & Doug] brand of low-tech, mostly wood toys has become the gold standard in early childhood play.”

PRESS CONTACT: Karen Myers
PR@MelissaAndDoug.com
917-349-9155

Kids Don’t Need a Cellphone; They Need a Digital Diet

WASHINGTON — Dressing up as firefighters, building forts out of pillows and organizing games of tag are memories most adults associate with childhood. But kids today might not have that same connection.

According to new research, children between the ages of 2 and 10 are spending more time on devices than they are spending engaged in either indoor or outdoor free play.

In a study conducted by Melissa and Doug and Gallup, researchers found that children spend an average of 18.6 hours of their free time engaged in screen-based play per week and 14.6 hours on indoor screen-free play. An average of 10.6 hours are spent on outdoor play.

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The More Time Your Kids Spend With Screens, the More You’ll Worry About Them

A new survey suggests that the amount of time children spend with screens is connected to how much their parents worry about their stress, social skills and grades.

Toy company Melissa & Doug partnered with Gallup on a new report that looks at how U.S. kids ages 2-10 spend their free time.

Unsurprisingly, they found children in this younger age group spend plenty of time in front of screens. Parents estimate that their children spend an average of 19 hours per week watching media or playing on electronic devices versus the 15 hours a week they spend playing indoors.

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A Study of Kids’ Screen Time Explains the Vicious Cycle that Makes Parents Unable to Say No

The relationship between parents and their kids’ tech is complicated. While they loathe the idea of their kids being glued to screens, they also appreciate the moments of relief screens bring.

The inner turmoil might help to explain a new study on screen time, which finds that although parents say the activity they prefer for their kids is outdoor play, more often than not, their kids end up inside on screens.

The study, conducted by US toy company Melissa and Doug and survey company Gallup, surveyed some 1,200 families from all 50 states including the District of Columbia (the surveys were administered in English and Spanish). It asked parents of kids aged 2-10 how they wished their children would spend their time.

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Melissa & Doug and How Low Tech Can Be State of the Art

“We want our products to be here tomorrow. We call them evergreen products,” Melissa says. “People call and ask, “What’s hot this year?’ And I say, ‘I have no idea.’ I’m looking backwards at what was amazing a century ago and trying to reinvent that.” Summer is upon us, the surest sign of which is the millions of children who have spent the last few weeks pouring out of classrooms as the school year comes to and end. Parents everywhere are thus faced with the annual two-headed dragon to slay: making sure their kids are adequately stimulated over the summer so as to not destroy the house from boredom; and to make sure their kids retain as much of the previous school year’s learning as humanly imaginable.

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The 20 Most Influential Moms of 2017

Show your kids that you love them dearly, but also that you adore what you’re doing when you’re not with them. And that doing both makes you happy and a better person overall.

I’ve known my husband for over 30 years, and he has been not only my life partner but my business partner. There’s no way I would have been able to handle the strain of running a large business and raising our six children without him by my side every step of the way.

Motherhood isn’t perfect and glorious every day. It’s a reflection of life—and anyone who is honest will have to admit that life and motherhood are both bittersweet.

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Meet Melissa and Doug, the Couple Behind a $400M Toy Company

Melissa and Doug Bernstein are the founders of the $400 million toy company that bears their name. Jenna Bush Hager reports for Sunday TODAY why even some of the toys that flop sometimes mean the most.

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