Drill and Kill for Toddlers

Where to start? Where to start? One needn’t looking any further than the first photograph in Kate Zernike’s recent New York Times article, “Fast-Tracking to Kindergarten.” The poor munchkin in that picture looks so overwhelmed. And why shouldn’t she be? Developmentally, her mind and body are not ready for this work. I’m all for enrichment Read More

Showing Emotions to Children

I recently wrote about how aware children are of what their parents are communicating through language and behavior. This is true both after extreme events and during the typical day. When a parent is anxious during separation at school, the child knows. When a grownup holds the child’s hand just a little bit tighter while Read More

Plan to Play: The Animals on the Bus

  For most children, farm animals are a standard toy chest item.  Two of my favorites are Soft Touch Baby Farm Animals and Aurora My Barnyard Friends Carrier with Sounds.  For a barn and animal set, the Fisher Price Little People Animal Sounds Farm is a favorite!  The problem is, one can only play with Read More

A Post About Bin Laden’s Death

Whether talking about his life or death, I struggle with giving this man more than his 15 minutes of fame.  To be sure, in my opinion, he didn’t even deserve that much.  Many people have strong feelings about last night’s events.  Many will be discussing them today and for days to come.  When doing so, Read More

A Plan To Play

After sitting down with another parent who felt self-conscious and unsure of how to play with her child, I had a thought:  Playing doesn’t come naturally to every grown up and that’s okay.  Why not use the Dana’s Kids blog to give parents a “Plan to Play?”  I want to be clear that feeling “unable” to play is a Read More

“Special Needs” Products for Everyone: Bubble Bear

Have a bubble lover in the house?  Pustefix Bubble Bear is a great product for children of all ages and abilities.   For babies, blow the bubbles so that they can track  with their eyes and reach out with their hands.  Toddlers love running to catch bubbles with different parts of their body.  As toddlers become 2s and Read More

A Special Educators’ Bag of Tricks

One of the first things any child receiving special services will learn to say, whether by signing or speaking, is “open bag.”  Special service providers (occupational, speech, feeding, and physical therapists, as well as special educators), come to work in homes and schools with a literal bag of tricks.  We bring novel materials to excite Read More