Hands Free Kids

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These tips are provided for the Melissa & Doug blog by Cindy Utzinger, pediatric Occupational Therapist. Are you getting tired of looking at the top of your kids’ heads as they look down to play their electronics? Have you had enough of talking to kids only to get no response because they are so immersed in [...]

Fine Motor Development and Your Infant

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Today kicks off a new collaboration between The Playtime Press and Simply Real Moms, an online magazine dedicated to providing relevant information to parents. With backgrounds in education and early childhood development, Simply Real Moms’ editors will join us to share effective tips that you can actually use – now! You’ve brought your little bundle of joy home [...]

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 [...]

Summer Postcard & Pen Pal Projects for Kids

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Are your kids going away to a summer camp? Are you taking a family road trip? Do your kids miss their school friends ALREADY? Here’s a “bushel and a peck” of ideas to keep everyone feeling connected & cared about this summer — all while practicing writing, spelling, & storytelling skills!   3 Writing Ideas [...]

Teaching Storytelling Skills: 3 Story Starters (Plus Printable!)

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Sometimes, a simple story prompt is all you need to inspire hours of creative, imaginative play with your child. Whether you’re telling silly stories, or recapping a past event, the art of telling a good story is one every child should practice as they continue to develop their reading and writing skills. This Story Starters [...]

“Make-Your-Own-Memory” – Free Printable!

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How do you practice memorization skills with your child? As your child gets older, their memory will be a fundamental part of how they achieve success in school: They will start to recognize patterns, remember key facts, and start to problem-solve. A memory game is the perfect way to practice these skills in a fun, [...]

3 Easy Ways to Get Kids Organized for 2013

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This past week on the Melissa & Doug blog, we shared a few fun activities to get your kids excited about the New Year. Now that 2013 is finally here, it’s time to turn those resolutions into plans! Here are 3 easy ways to get your kids organized for (and excited about!) the year ahead. [...]

Daylight Savings is Back: 6 “Timely” Activities to Fill Your Extra Hour!

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Daylight Savings is upon us already! What will you do in your extra hour? The concept of “telling time” can be tricky for kids to comprehend—but that doesn’t mean they can’t have fun while learning! And what better way to explore these concepts than during Daylight Savings? If you’re looking for some easy, fun ways [...]

5 New Products to Help Kids Express Personal “Style”

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This week on the Melissa & Doug blog, it’s all about style! Helping kids learn how to identify and express their personal style can help build powerful communication skills and inner confidence, and this week we’ve been sharing some crafty activities that can help facilitate these conversations. In the spirit of “style week,” we’d love [...]