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 […]

Painting with Kids: Still Life, Landscapes, and Portraits

Guest editor Carrie Anne from provided this post for the Melissa & Doug blog. Most times when my kids pull out the paint it is to create creatures, scenes, and images from their imagination. This is a great way to explore their creativity but painting to recreate something they see can also open a […]

Crossing Midline – Developing Important Skills

These skill development tips are provided for the Melissa & Doug blog by Cindy Utzinger, pediatric Occupational Therapist. It probably comes as no surprise that you have two sides of your body; a right side and a left side. What may come as a surprise, though, is how important it is for the right side […]

Boredom Buster: Sticky Sand Sensory Play!

This Sticky Sand Sensory Experience is from guest blogger Melissa of Fireflies and Mud Pies. When grey winter weather has my boys feeling cooped up and cranky, sensory bin experiences often save the day. Our Sticky Sand Sensory Bin provides hours of relaxing pleasure for my children as they dig, build roads, and “cook.” Best of all, […]

Fine Motor Development and Your Infant

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

2 Scissor Skills Printables for Kids

Often, a good pair of scissors and some paper are all you need for creative work to begin! Grab some child-safe scissors and print out these two Scissor Skills printables! Your kids will love having an excuse to make tiny scraps of paper appear everywhere, and you’ll enjoy watching them practice their fine motor skills! (Scissor crafts […]

Sneaking Therapy into Your Playtime

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 […]