4 Best-Kept Secrets for Sneaking Learning into Playtime–Any Day of the Week

This play-focused, build those super-important foundational skills idea is brought to you by Melissa & Doug, written by our Blog Ambassador Amy Mascott. Believe it. Four of the best-kept secrets for sneaking learning into playtime, any day of the week, huh? You bet. Whether you have 5 minutes before nap time or a long, unscheduled morning […]

Moving and Learning! Gross Motor Play

This Moving and Learning post is brought to you you by our guest writer and special needs consultant Dr. Melissa Liguori, Ed. D. Now that the weather is cooperating it is time to get the kids out and have some fun. Often children get bored with the same old outside toys. Getting a few new multi-purpose items […]

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 […]

5 Pre-Writing Skill-Builders

Build hand, arm and shoulder strength. Encourage your child to draw, paint and create on a vertical surfaces–like an upright easel, the walls of the bathtub (try watercolors or bath crayons!), or a refrigerator or magnetic board. This position helps strengthen hand, wrist and shoulder strength, all of which are needed for writing. Strengthen fine motor […]