There’s More to Good Eyesight Than Just Good Vision

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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

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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

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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 [...]

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 [...]

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

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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

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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

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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 [...]

How to Build a Recycled Box City

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This recycled box city craft is provided for our Summer Fun calendar from guest blogger Melissa of Fireflies and Mud Pies. Does your child love cars, parking garages, crafts, and cardboard? If your answer is yes, than consider spending time together on a cozy afternoon to build a Recycled Box City! We created our Recycled Box [...]

How to Host a “Let’s Have a Ball” Playdate!

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This playdate idea is provided by special Guest Blogger Julie Kieras from A Year with Mom & Dad. Playdates can be sanity-savers when your kids are on summer break, but not when the kids are saying “I’m bored!” To help keep kids entertained, try picking a theme for their playdate. Recently, we gathered a few friends [...]