Transition Time: From Summer Days to the New School Year

This post about transitioning into the school year is contributed to the Melissa & Doug blog by guest writer and special needs consultant Dr. Melissa Liguori, Ed. D. Summer is now in full swing and the lazy days have settled in. Our children have more free time, less structure and are hopefully enjoying some time […]

Babies: Crawling and Learning to Walk

This baby play post was provided for the Melissa & Doug blog by guest blogger Cindy Utzinger, pediatric Occupational Therapist. “You have to crawl before you walk”…. I feel like I use that phrase a lot in my life and find it often holds true…. you can’t master step 2 until you have mastered step 1. For […]

Play with a Purpose: Doctor Visits with Kids

This Play with a Purpose post is brought to you you by our guest writer and special needs consultant Dr. Melissa Liguori, Ed. D. As parents, educators and caregivers we know the importance of pretend play. Children of all ages love to dress up and become one of their favorite characters, role model, or even an animal.  […]

Moving and Learning! Gross Motor Play

This Moving and Learning post is brought to you you by our guest writer and special needs consultant Dr. Melissa Liguori, Ed. D. Now that the weather is cooperating it is time to get the kids out and have some fun. Often children get bored with the same old outside toys. Getting a few new multi-purpose items […]

Family Game Night

This family game night post is provided for the Melissa & Doug blog by Cindy Utzinger, pediatric Occupational Therapist. Over the Thanksgiving holiday while we had family in town, I was reminded of how much fun “family game night” can be. In fact, I asked my kids what their favorite thing about having their Mimi and Grandpa […]

Fall is in the Air!

These outdoor autumn activity ideas are provided for the Melissa & Doug blog by Cindy Utzinger, pediatric Occupational Therapist. Ahhh!!!  Fall is in the air!! I love the feeling of the crisp air, the sight of school buses going by, the taste of homemade applesauce (or apple cake!), and the sound of football on the TV. Those things […]

Sensory Benefits of Pool Play

These five sensory benefits of pool play are shared with us by our guest blogger Dayna at Lemon Lime Adventures.   It’s that time of year again. The sun is shining, the temperatures are rising and the kids are starting to stir. What could be a better summer activity than Pool Play? We all know […]

Using Play to Promote Core Strength and Handwriting Skills

These core strength and handwriting skills tips for are provided for the Melissa & Doug blog by Cindy Utzinger, pediatric Occupational Therapist. When your children are playing, I’ll bet you don’t often stop to think about how important play time is for developing their handwriting skills. Handwriting . . . it’s one of those things […]

Car Trip Tips!

These handy car trip tips are brought to you by our guest writer and special needs consultant Dr. Melissa Liguori, Ed. D. For many of us, the summer is the time for long car trips to the beach, visiting relatives and traveling for a relaxing vacation. However, these car rides with children, especially children with special needs can […]