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 [...]

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 [...]

5 Tummy Time Tips: It’s Not Just for Babies…

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Our guest writer and special needs consultant, Dr. Melissa Liguori, Ed. D., shares her tips for encouraging “Tummy Time” in bigger kids. Most parents have heard and read about the importance of giving infants “tummy time.” Traditionally, we think of this as an activity for babies, that comes along with a whole host of benefits [...]

Sneaking Therapy into Your Playtime

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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 [...]

Introducing Two New Special Needs Resources

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We are thrilled to share with you a very special project that is close to our hearts: a catalog custom-made for families of children with special needs. As a valued member of our community, we wanted you to be among the first to see it! The Melissa & Doug Special Needs Toy Guide: A Resource [...]

3 Simple Tips to Develop Your Child’s Oral Motor Skills

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Practicing oral motor skills might sound like “work,” but you can easily do it during everyday activities you already do with your child. Here’s 3 simple tips to practice oral motor skills during meal time and play time: Drinking through a straw: Have your child use a straw when drinking to strengthen oral motor muscles. [...]