Melissa & Doug Play Tips With Dr. Jenny: Wooden Shape Sorting Grocery Cart blog post

Power Of Play

Play Tips With Dr. Jenny: GO Tots Barnyard Tumble

April 12, 2023

Dr. Jenny Shares Playtime Tips for Parents and Caregivers

In the latest installment of our video series, Dr. Jenny Radesky—a developmental behavioral pediatrician, mother of two, and contributor to the Living Playfully blog—shares with parents and caregivers her tips and insights on how play creates a foundation for life skills.

Watch Dr. Jenny offer practical tips as she observes children playing with the Melissa & Doug GO Tots Barnyard TumbleAs Dr. Jenny says to encourage parents and caregivers: Remember, there's no one perfect way to play…give your child the freedom to take the lead and let them play how they want.

Now streaming on YouTube: Play Tips With Dr. Jenny! Watch the video below, and be on the lookout for more great video content from Dr. Jenny and Melissa & Doug!


  • Figure Play: Dr. Jenny notes how kids learn about empathy through figure play, which allows them to take another character's perspective, and see through their eyes.
  • Storytelling: Playing with figures or characters helps kids develop their narrative storytelling ability through pretend play. Storytelling also helps build kids' attention spans, as it's an engaging way to keep the play going: Who is this character? What did they do this morning? What did they have for breakfast? 
  • Social Referencing: When you play directly with your child, you're making eye contact, smiling, having fun together, taking turns, learning to think about other people's perspectives—these are all key skills that will help them when the reach school age and beyond.

Melissa & Doug Play Tips With Dr. Jenny GO Tots Barnyard Tumble video blog post

This web site is not an attempt to practice medicine or provide specific medical advice, nor does use of the site establish a physician-patient relationship. The use of this web site does not replace medical consultation with a qualified health or medical professional to meet the health and medical needs of you or others.