• Kristie Smith, M.Ed

Skills and Laughter

"Join them in their world when they're little so you'll be welcome in their world when they get big." ~L.R. Knost


My favorite place to purchase materials for our facility is obviously from Melissa and Doug (melissaanddoug.com)

Recently, they wrote their first installment on a new series, "The Pros of Play" where the creators truly understand the power of imagination and wonder to transform lives.

They make reference to the player of the year and to the hilarious movie, Big, with Tom Hanks as adults who get paid to play.


When children play, they are covering a variety of skills for school and the rest of their lives. When I observed our students playing with Melissa and Doug items - age 8, I noticed the following testing skills being covered through laughter, play and fun!

1. Money skills- exchanging bills and coins as well as interacting with a bank account and charge card.

2. Language and play dialogue- social skills teaching how to interact appropriately with each other.

3 Reading from a menus and comparing prices.

4. Sequencing and adding and subtracting combinations of items.

5. Recalling details and distinguishing fact from fiction.

6. Discussing the main idea of a toy magazine at the toy checkout counter.

7. Categorizing and sorting.

8. Using fine and large motor skills

9. Reading C-V-C and C-V-C-E word patterns

10. Creative play!


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@2020 Kristie Smith, M.Ed