Take a “Time-In”: Teaching Your Child to Self-Regulate

These ways to help kids self-regulate are provided for the Melissa & Doug blog by Cindy Utzinger, pediatric Occupational Therapist. “Go to time out.” Those are words that probably most of us parents have said at least once in our time as parents. I want to tell you about an alternative to time out that I […]

There’s More to Good Eyesight Than Just Good Vision

These fine motor activities are provided for the Melissa & Doug blog by Cindy Utzinger, pediatric Occupational Therapist. What do kicking a soccer ball, hitting a baseball, copying from the blackboard (or smart board), and reading all have in common?  These activities all require a child to have good visual motor and visual perceptual skills. By […]

Building Blocks: A Level-By-Level Infographic

If you loved building blocks as a kid, you probably want to pass on the joy of playing with blocks to a child you know. Our new Building Blocks Infographic is the perfect tool to help you decide which blocks are right for that special child on your list. Plus, we’ve included play tips for every age in our handy guide; […]

Developing Your Child’s Gross Motor Skills: Ages 1–6

Whether you need help encouraging Baby to walk or are just looking for exciting ways to teach your child to hop, balance, and throw with ease, we’ve got you covered with gross motor games and activities for ages 1–6 years. Gross motor activities engage the LARGE MUSCLES in the body — the arms, legs, and […]

Professional Development Day – Activities for Kids!

Your kids may soon have a day off from school so their teachers can participate in a Professional Development Day, but do not assume this day need only be for the teachers‘ professional development! Take the day to learn about different professions with your child. It’s a great opportunity for him to see and appreciate […]

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 […]

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 & 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 on! […]