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 [...]

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 [...]

Kickball Keep-Away

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This Summer Fun kickball game is provided by guest blogger Joyce from Childhood Beckons. Summertime often means more time spent outdoors! With so much extra time to spend outside, it’s great to have an array of games to choose from. One of my family’s favorites combines soccer with a game of keep-away and a whole lot of [...]

2 Scissor Skills Printables for Kids

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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 [...]

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 [...]