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.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Cartoon It!

Work on visual memory, sequential memory, visual closure, visual discrimination, spatial relations, figure ground, thinking skills, manual dexterity, tripod grasp, precise fine motor control, eye-hand coordination, social interaction, play exploration and participation, visual tracking

In the box:  50 character cards, feature board, drawing pad and pencils, 30 second timer

The object is to look at a character card for 30 seconds, turn it over so you can't see it, and draw the six features with the aid of the feature board.  The six features are head, eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and extra (bow tie, flower, scarf, etc.).

The game includes a scorepad and pencils, and your finished result may look something like this. 

Although it is not necessarily about the drawing, playing the game this way will take the ability to at least rough sketch.  If you are keeping score, a point is given for each correct feature and a tie-breaker point is given to the person who finishes drawing first.

Try this:
  • Turn over the character card after studying it and present the feature board.  For individuals who can't draw, allow them to speak or point to the correct feature in each category.
  • Start by remembering one feature, then two, then three and so on.
  • Discuss the features as you are looking at them to aid in memory.
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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