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.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Cartoon It!

Work on visual memory, sequential memory, visual closure, visual discrimination, spatial relations, figure ground, executive functioning skills, manual dexterity, tripod grasp, precise fine motor control, tool use, eye-hand coordination, socialization skills, process skills, play exploration and participation

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 score pad and pencils, and your finished result may look something like this.

Bottom: Character cards. Top: Drawings of character cards.
Although it is not necessarily about making perfect drawings, playing the game will take the ability to at least rough sketch. If you are keeping score, a point is given for each correct feature you remember and draw, and a tie-breaker point is given to the person who finishes drawing first.

If you would like to read more about games that require writing or drawing in some form, check out my post Games That Require a Writing Tool

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 looking at a card and requiring the individual to remember only one feature, such as the eyes. Ask him to point them out on the board. After he is good at this, then remember two features, then three, etc.
  • Discuss the features out loud as you are looking at the card, such as he has pointed ears and he's wearing a hat, to aid in memory.
  • Use a white board (to save paper) after you run out of the drawing sheets provided. Click HERE to read about my favorite white board.
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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