Our Favourite Developmentally Appropriate Toys for 6-12 Months (& How We Use Them!)

I’ve been getting messages asking about developmentally appropriate toys for babies. Everything seems to be geared toward toddlers. Most boxes proclaim everything is for 12m+, leaving parents scratching their heads on what to get to entertain their littlest ones. Continue reading “Our Favourite Developmentally Appropriate Toys for 6-12 Months (& How We Use Them!)”

Homemade Guitar (& Extention Activities)

This time-buyer came about as I stood in my kitchen with Anderson pulling at my hem wanting to be in the meal prep action. I grabbed the elastics from my veggies, stretching them around the center of my loaf pan. Dinner gracefully made it to the table that evening as he plucked away at the strings, experimenting with the different sounds each elastic made and exploring the sensation of the tension and release as they snapped into place.

Continue reading “Homemade Guitar (& Extention Activities)”

Gift Ideas: Toys for Developmental Learning

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I have another article up on the Yellin Center Blog.  With Christmas just around the corner, my most current piece discusses some of the excellent play-based learning toys created by two of my hands-down favorite ethical toy companies, Melissa and Doug and Plan Toys.  My focus is primarily on tools designed for a special education setting.  However, the versatility of both toy maker’s developmental learning materials means they will benefit every child, regardless of ability.  Every child needs an interactive way to build key developmental skills.  So head over to my article for a discussion of the research that backs each toy’s development, and highlights of some of my personal favorite toys offered by each company.  Whether you are looking to improve a child’s gross motor function, speech and language skills, life skills or cognitive abilities there are a wealth of fun, engaging tools to help you do so. Learning can and should be playful.

plantoys1So whether you are shopping for a gift for your child’s teacher or your own child, you can’t go wrong with any of the exceptional resources created by either Melissa and Doug or Plan Toys. Happy shopping!

Playing Tourist: Arts, Food and Athletics in NYC

For the most part Jay and I save the “touristy” things to do until we have guests in town. This works out well since we never have to wait long since. We have had at least one set of visitors come stay with us every month since we moved to New York (and we wouldn’t have it any other way).

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This past week Keana and Teri brought a little bit of the west coast to us in the east.  We were so lucky to have them both, and we carved time out of our daily lives to dive into the arts, food and fitness cultures that pervade NYC living.   Continue reading “Playing Tourist: Arts, Food and Athletics in NYC”