Playtime Tips for Building Self Awareness

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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 [...]

Fine Motor Activities to Encourage Good Pencil Grip

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These 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 fingers [...]

5 Tummy Time Tips: It’s Not Just for Babies…

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Our guest writer and special needs consultant, Dr. Melissa Liguori, Ed. D., shares her tips for encouraging “Tummy Time” in bigger kids. Most parents have heard and read about the importance of giving infants “tummy time.” Traditionally, we think of this as an activity for babies, that comes along with a whole host of benefits [...]

7 Easy Sand and Water Table Sensory Activities

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This sensory activity was created for our “Summer Fun” calendar series by guest blogger Rebecca (A Beautiful Ruckus).   Now that summer is in full swing, we find ourselves spending more and more time outside. The kids love it because they get to explore all that the big world has to offer, and Mommy loves it because they work [...]

How to Keep a Routine in Summer

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Our guest writer and special needs consultant, Dr. Melissa Liguori, Ed. D., shares her tips for keeping kids structured during the summer. Although summer is usually thought of as a time to run barefoot and fancy free, a summer without structure for some children, especially the special needs child, may be very difficult for both [...]

Sneaking Therapy into Your Playtime

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Integrating therapy practice into your everyday home activities is a great way to keep your child motivated and on task. Simply following the lead and interests of your child can open up exciting possibilities for reaching countless therapy goals. Pretending to grocery shop is one way that Anchel Krishna and her husband Dilip work on [...]

Introducing Two New Special Needs Resources

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We are thrilled to share with you a very special project that is close to our hearts: a catalog custom-made for families of children with special needs. As a valued member of our community, we wanted you to be among the first to see it! The Melissa & Doug Special Needs Toy Guide: A Resource [...]

Telling Time with “Bye-Bye Balloon Press & Spin Game”

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Last week, Kim Lewis, M.Ed., CCC-SLP (from Activity Tailor) shared some wonderful speech and language skill builders using our Bye-Bye-Balloon Press & Spin game. Today, she’s sharing some tips on using the game to help kids learn to understand the concept of telling time. Check out her ideas below, and share with us in the comments [...]

Building Key Developmental Skills for Kids…with Easter Projects!

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Written by our guest writer, and special needs consultant, Dr. Melissa Liguori, Ed. D. Hippity Hop Hop… Easter’s almost here! And, believe it or not, there are endless ways to reinforce some important developmental skills for kids with special needs in preparation for the holiday. In fact, children of all ages and abilities can enjoy getting ready [...]