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Children learn through play. As an occupational therapist who works with children and youth, I use games and toys almost every day to help develop important cognitive, visual perceptual, motor, sensory, social, play and leisure skills. While many different types of activities can be used in therapy, this blog focuses on off-the-shelf games and toys that are accessible to most. Whether you are a therapist, parent, teacher, or a game lover like me, I hope you discover something useful while you are here. Learn a different way to play a game you already own or discover a new game for your next family game night. Either way, just go play. It's good for you!

The OT Magazine named The Playful Otter one of the Top 5 Pediatric OT Blogs.


Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Can You See What I See? Finders Keepers Game


Work on visual discrimination, visual closure, visual form constancy, visual memory, figure ground, spatial relations, visual scanning, manual dexterity, coordinated use of both hands, crossing midline, executive functioning skills, process skills, socialization skills, play and leisure exploration and participation

In the box: 40 Find Me tiles, 60 Keep Me cards

Until I started blogging about this game I thought it was by I SPY, because the cards are the same type, weight, look, and shape of the cards in I SPY games. But, this game is by Gamewright. The only pieces for this game are called cards and tiles. The tiles are smaller and each have one image, and the cards are larger and each have four images. They are both made of the same heavy-weight type material and are about 1/8 inch thick. (This doesn't sound like much, but that little bit of thickness makes it easier to grip and turn these cards than flat, flexible cards.) Matching images, like the clothespin below, may appear on the tiles in different orientations, different sizes, or partly hidden (like the tennis ball below). This will bring several different visual perceptual skills into play.

Left - Tile.  Right - Card.

The rule booklet outlines these two different games:

Game 1 - Finder's Keepers
  • Object - Be the first to collect all of your Keep Me cards in your Keepers Pile.
  • Set up - Mix the Keep Me cards and deal out 12 to each player. All players spread their cards, face-up, on the table in front of them. Mix and stack the tiles.
  • Play -The first player turns the top tile face-up. All players scan their cards to see if they can find this image on any of their cards. If you can find the image on any of your cards, remove those cards from your line up and stack them face-down next to you. This is your Keeper's pile. Play continues in this manner until one person has added all of his cards to his Keeper Pile. He is the winner.
Game 2 - Expert Finder's Keepers
  • Object - Score the most points by matching your tiles to the most cards.
  • Set up - Mix the cards and place 9 face-up to form a 3X3 grid. Place the remainder of the cards in a face-down pile near the playing area. Mix and deal all the tiles, face-down, evenly between the players. All players stack their tiles face-down near them, then turn 6 of them face-up in front of them.
  • Play - The first player will choose one of his face-up tiles and remove all cards from the grid that have that image on them. The player will get points for every card captured, so go for an image that is on multiple cards if you have that option. After playing, the player will replace the tile with another tile from his stack and replace any cards taken from the grid with new cards from the reserve stack. Play continues in this manner until no more cards can be taken from the grid. Players then count their points, one point per card captured, and the one with the most points wins. Note - There is an image of a man made from beads on some of the cards. His name is Seymour, and any card you win that has Seymour on it is worth 2 points.
Games that require setting up cards in a large grid, such as this one and memory-type games, offer a natural opportunity for crossing midline as you make your matches. Watch for strategies such as leaning to get to the other side or switching hands so they use the left for cards on the left and the right for cards on the right. ;)
 
Back of the box.

Try this:
  • Start simple. Place one card in front of the individual and then turn over one tile at a time and look for a match. Keep looking through tiles until you find the four on the card.
  • Line up face-up tiles and then give the player one card. Ask him to find the four tiles that are shown on the card. Start with fewer tiles and then advance to more tiles shown to look over.
  • Choose one card. Line up several tiles, only one of which is on the card. Ask the player which tile image is on the card.
  • Hold a small stack of tiles in the non-dominant hand and take them one at a time, with the dominant hand, as you deal or build the playing grid.
  •  Whenever turning over cards, ask the individual to pick it up and turn it in-hand, not pulling it to the side of the table to turn.
  • When placing new cards on the card from a stack, try picking the card up with the dominant hand and turning it - in-hand - before placing on the table.
  • Place the tile face-up on the table. Choose one card and study the four items. Name them out loud several times, then turn the card face-down and find the four tiles that were pictured on the card. Turn the card face-up and check to see if you are right.

50 Figure Ground Puzzles



Visual figure ground is a visual perceptual skill that allows you to be able to isolate and focus on a single figure from a busy background. A person who has a deficit in this area may struggle with

* Finding and keeping place while reading
* Copying from the board (looking down and then looking up and finding the place again)
* Finding things on a map
* Finding an item in a messy desk

This activity consists of 50 figure ground puzzles, 25 color and 25 black and white, alphabetically categorized. Each puzzle consists of one 4 item puzzle in color and one 5 item puzzle in black and white. The black and white puzzle has the same four items as the color picture, plus one. This extra item is in parenthesis (below). Use the color picture as a learning tool if the individual is not able to identify the five items in black and white. Concentrate on one colored item at a time, and ask the individual to trace the item with his eyes and identify it. The four items in color are not as overlapped as the five black and white items are and will be easier to visually separate. Once the individual can separate and identify the items by color, move to the black and white cards. There are 4 cards on one 8.5 X 11 page. Just cut them apart and laminate if you wish. This item can be found in my TPT store. Click here.

Here is the list of images for each letter. I broke it down into ABC order just to put them into a category. You would not need to focus on the letter if you don't want to.

A – apple, airplane, ant, arrow (alligator)
B – ball, boat, bee, bell (balloon)
C – chair, clock, chain, crab (candle)
D—Door, dinosaur, desk, drum (doll)
E-- elephant, envelope, egg, earth (easel)
F—fish, foot, fence, fire hydrant (flower)
G--glass, goat, glove, grapes (guitar)
H—hose, hippo, hand, heart (hammer)
I--ice cubes, igloo, ice cream, ice skates (iPad)
J--jar, jacket, jelly fish, jack-o-lantern (jacks)
K—kangaroo, key, knife, kite (king)
L—lock, ladder, lamp, leaf (lemon)
M--mitten, mop, mouse, moon (mirror)
N--net, nickel, nose, nail (nest)
O—otter, octopus, orange, ornament (oval)
P—pig, pear, purse, pencil (pie)
Q--question mark, quilt, quarter, queen (quail)
R--rabbit, rake, rug, ring (rainbow)
S—soccer ball, snowman, squirrel, snake (scissors)
T—turtle, toothbrush, tooth, truck (tree)
U—USA, unicorn, unicycle, umbrella (UFO)
V—Violin, nest, vacuum, vase (volcano)
W—web, walrus, watch, watermelon (wagon)
Y--yawn, yo-yo, x-ray, xylophone (yarn)
Z--zipper, zebra, zig-zag, zero

Images used to create this activity are used with permission by Scrappin Doodles. www.scrappindoodles.com