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.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Bounce Off

Work on eye-hand coordination, manual dexterity, motor planning, visual discrimination, spatial relations, visual closure, figure ground, executive functioning, social interaction, play and leisure exploration and participation

In the box: A grid, 16 balls, 9 challenge cards, 4 ball holders
Ages 7+, 2 players

The goal of the game is to bounce your balls onto a hard surface and into the grid.  Be the first to match a pattern card and you win the card.  Win 3 cards to win the game. It has been a favorite with the kids.  It is easy to learn but harder to master.  I have been able to use it with many skill levels, with and without the challenge cards.  The challenge cards go from a 3 ball pattern to 5 ball patterns. The grid is lightweight plastic, but serves its purpose well, and the balls are like ping pong balls and are very easy to bounce.

Try this:
  • Choose a card and place the balls in that pattern in the grid before the game starts so the person can see what he will be looking for.
  • Bounce all the balls into the grid without a challenge card to practice just getting them into the grid. It takes a little forward push, aim, and graded force.
  • Make your own design cards with new challenges.
  • Play alone with one color for less background distraction.
  • Stop the game for a moment when someone is getting close to winning. Ask him to point out on the grid the possibilities and where he will have to land the ball to make the pattern.  See if he can pick the pattern out of the background and work on aiming for a specific location.
If you are interested in purchasing this game or just want more information, click on the image below to go to Amazon.com.


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