Open-Ended Play and Sensory Materials Gift Guide
MAC & Toys
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1y ago
I say this a lot and you will read it throughout this post, but how I wish I knew what I know now about open-ended play when my now 11 year old daughter was younger....I would have done things so differently. While she is a truly creative kid, I think that had I encouraged more sensory and open-ended play to her at a young age, she may not be so hooked to her electronics!  Open-ended play materials encourage children to be more independent and creative thinkers, help them make choices and really foster creativity and imagination. By definition, open-ended materials do not have a pre-deter ..read more
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Crafting Holiday Gift Guide
MAC & Toys
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1y ago
One of my favorite things to do in my therapy sessions is to hide the therapeutic aspects of things to my kids. Making therapy fun and engaging leads to increased engagement and less resistance to trying more challenging things. Over the course of my career, I have found that finding highly motivating craft activities can go a long way in getting kids to try things outside of their comfort zone. Being able to work on an activity for several sessions allows for the kids to learn about patience, flexibility and resilience and also makes them even more excited and proud of the final product. Belo ..read more
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2021 Stocking Stuffers and Small Stuff Guide
MAC & Toys
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1y ago
This is always one of my favorite gift guides to put together because I feel like we are always looking for small gifts for kids whether it be an add-on to a larger gift or to be used as a motivator or prize for a job well done. There are some gifts on here that make the list year after year (Thinking Putty, chopsticks, on-the-go craft kits) but most of these are new this year. There are so many clever gifts out there that can be used for therapeutic purposes without the kids even knowing. I tried to include gifts for various ages and many of these are appropriate for kids of all ages and are ..read more
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Baby and Toddler Holiday Gift Guide 2021
MAC & Toys
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1y ago
I haven't done a toddler specific guide before but I felt like it was really important this year. When you think about it, toddlers are entering a whole new world and even if they were born before Covid they don't remember life before it. One of the things I am seeing a lot with my younger kids is a lot of sensory seeking behaviors so I am including some gift ideas to help with that. The other thing I am noticing is that this particular group of kids hasn't really known anyone outside of their circle of people without masks so I am also including a handful of toys and games that will work on f ..read more
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2020 Holiday Gift Guides-Toys and Such
MAC & Toys
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2y ago
For some reason, it was harder to put this list together this year. As I am finishing it up, I am realizing that I was trying my absolute hardest to curate a list of toys that are not just for particular age groups, but also ones that would grow with your child and be good for family play. In this crazy year, I have heard from so many parents that they would rather get their children fewer but more meaningful gifts so as I was putting this list together, I was thinking about things that I would have wanted for my own daughter when she was younger. I was also mindful about sharing gifts this y ..read more
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2020 Gift Guide-Stocking Stuffers and the Small Stuff!
MAC & Toys
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2y ago
This part of my gift guide is one of my favorite to put together year after year. I try and add as many new items as possible each year but there are some things that are just so good that they must be included year after year. I have included all kinds of fun smaller gifts/stocking stuffers that can be good for kids of all ages and work on a ton of occupational therapy and other developmental skills. You will see there is a real mix of craft kits, sensory materials and toys, games and so much more. One of the things I did was find things that you can find in many of your local toy or gift sto ..read more
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2020 Holiday Gift Guide-The SEL Book Guide
MAC & Toys
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2y ago
The last several months have been so eye-opening on so many levels but the most incredible thing to me is how resilient and wonderful the children have been. We have asked them to make so many changes to their lives and while some of them have been good and exciting for some of the kids, it's also been really challenging and has brought up a lot of feelings and emotions. In my social skills group, I have found that discussing some of these difficulties can be a challenge so have turned to reading them children's books. It's amazing what kind of conversations can come from a thoughtfully writte ..read more
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Norman and Jules 2020 Holiday Gift Guide
MAC & Toys
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2y ago
For those of you who know me, you know that I am passionate about supporting our local toy stores. For many of these stores, they have been their heart and souls into their stores. Most importantly, these local stores end up knowing you and your children, they watch them grow up. If you are ever in Brooklyn, I can't stress how you should make sure to stop by their beautiful new store in Gowanus. It's between Park Slope and Carroll Gardens with many other stores and restaurants worth checking out.  Working with Courtney, one of the owners of Norman and Jules, we have come up with this list ..read more
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2020 Holiday Gift Guide-Game Time!
MAC & Toys
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2y ago
Winter always means more indoor times and with concerns about another wave of Covid-19 cases as we enter the holiday season, I anticipate people will be spending a lot more time indoors as a family. There are only so many television shows one can binge and I get the sense that people are looking for ways to connect that don’t involve a screen given amount of time people are spending with remote learning and work. Now seems like an ideal time to re-evaluate your game closet and make sure you have some games that will keep the whole family entertained. Below, I share a handful of this year’s fav ..read more
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Successful Online Sessions are Possible!
MAC & Toys
by
2y ago
It's been a while and every time I go quiet with blogging, I promise myself I will get better. The good news is the reason I took a break from blogging was because I was actually busy with work. The gratitude I feel for being busy during this crazy time is immeasurable. I love what I do and to be able to continue even remotely felt like such a gift. In July, I was able to slowly go back to my New York City office to see a handful of kids in person, but the majority of my caseload has been remotely and will continue that way with this new school year.  Unlike March and April when we we ..read more
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