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Power of Play
The American Academy of Pediatrics and Melissa & Doug have joined forces to champion the health benefits of open-ended play!
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.
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Time to Play
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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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.