4 Ideas for Getting Creative with Sidewalk Chalk

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This tips for Getting Creative with Sidewalk Chalk are brought to us by guest editor Carrie Anne from EverythingMom.com. Just like crafts can keep the kids occupied on a rainy day, a bucket of colourful sidewalk chalk can keep the kids engaged outside on a nice day. We used our chalk to expand our creativity and [...]

Using Play to Promote Core Strength and Handwriting Skills

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These tips 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 that seems so simple yet, so [...]

Painting with Kids: Still Life, Landscapes, and Portraits

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This post is brought to us by guest editor Carrie Anne from EverythingMom.com. 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 new way [...]

Sensory Benefits of Sand Play

Sensory Play Sand Play

It’s that time of year again. The sun is shining, the temperatures are rising and the kids are starting to stir. What could be a better summer activity than Sand Play? We all know how fun sand play can be, but did you know the sensory benefits that can be found from a day at [...]

Crossing Midline – Developing Important Skills

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These 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 to be [...]

5 Tips for Raising a Musically-Minded Child

There is a lot of research that shows how music can help children in multiple ways: academically, socially, and creatively. The trick is getting them to want to learn about and become interested in music in the first place. Here are some tips and other ways you can help bring music into your home and [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]