This episode is all about PLAY. We know that play is the language of preschoolers and that for young children it can be the key to learning, but play is also an powerful tool for supporting differently wired children of any age in developing skills, processing difficult situations, and learning about their own emotions and how to regulate them. It can also be a fantastic tool for parents to tap into as a way to move through the challenges of everyday life, from bedtime struggles to waiting in line at the supermarket. 

To tell us exactly how to best utilize play, I have Dr. Allie Ticktin on the show. Allie is a licensed occupational therapist with a specialty in sensory integration and early childhood development. Allie’s life work is to empower children to celebrate their differences through play, and she believes it is necessary to customize each child’s treatment to his or her needs. She is the founder of Play 2 Progress, a play-based learning center that guides children and their families through development while combining a nurturing environment with the just-right challenge. 

There are a lot of great nuggets to be gleaned from our conversation, including simple reframes that can not only help us have more success as parents, but also make life at home with our children more fun. 


About Allie: Dr. Allie Ticktin, founder of Play 2 Progress, is a licensed occupational therapist with a specialty in sensory integration and early childhood development. Allie enables every child to reach a new level of confidence through an individualized plan created through collaboration with the child’s family, teacher, and broader support network. Allie founded Play 2 Progress after recognizing the power of social play to facilitate individual progress. Through individual and group sessions with children, Allie is able to facilitate notable growth across both school and home environments.

Allie is certified in Sensory Integration (SIPT) and Neuronet Learning. She has received advanced continuing education in Neuro-developmental treatment, DIR Floortime and Beckman Oral Motor.



  • How “play” is defined and why it’s so critical for children of all ages
  • How parents can tap into a sense of play during difficult moments
  • Specific play-based strategies for challenging situations including waiting in line, bedtime, chores, playing games (and losing them), and more
  • Allie’s recommendations for toys that spark our child’s structure-free play and creativity
  • The ways in which kids learn through play
  • What play looks like at different ages, from infancy to the teen years





Read through the whole episode!






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