Bonding over bubbles

  In a blink, summer is over. While there is relief at having a little more time during my days to get things done, I miss my first grader during her time in class. Part of my job as mom is to get her off safely in the mornings, but equally important if not more […]

Playtime Tips for Building Self Awareness

These fine motor activities are provided for the Melissa & Doug blog by Cindy Utzinger, pediatric Occupational Therapist. “Where am I in space?”  “What is my body doing right now?” Those are probably not questions that you ask yourself very often. It is very important, however, that all of us have an awareness of where our […]

It’s MAGIC! Teaching Presentation Skills & Building Confidence in Kids

Provided by guest blogger Genny Upton (In Lieu of Preschool and Parent Teach Play). I’ve read that public speaking ranks as the number one fear in the minds of a majority of people in America, even over the fear of death and disease. With so many classes and careers in life that require public speaking, I aim […]

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 […]

6 Ways to Have Fun with Literacy in the Kitchen

This learning activity is provided by Guest Blogger Kim Vij of The Educators’ Spin On It. Let’s step into the kitchen for hands-on fun & learning with your child. Cooking with your child can be a memorable experience but you can also be encouraging your child to read at the same time! Here are a few […]

4 Activities to Help Prepare Your Child for Kindergarten

From guest blogger Katie Heap of Live Craft Eat. Summertime is coming to a close and that means only one thing – Back to School! For your child entering kindergarten this can be both an exciting experience and one that can make him feel a little hesitant. It is, after all, his first opportunity to put his budding […]

“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 […]

Balloon-Themed Games for Language & Artic Practice

Need a new way to practice basic language concepts? How about different places and manners of articulation? You can do BOTH by putting a new “spin” on the Press and Spin game Bye-Bye Balloon. Speech-language pathologist Kim Lewis, M.Ed., CCC-SLP, offers some clever ways she uses this balloon-themed game for articulation and language practice. Read […]