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!

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015


In the box: Game board, 40 game pieces, 1 color die, 1 shape die
Work on: visual discrimination, spatial relations, figure ground, palmar arch development, manual dexterity, in-hand manipulation, executive functions, social interaction skills, process skills, play and leisure exploration and participation
A color and shape matching game where each piece placement is determined by the throw of the dice. The game board is made up of 40 squares with background colors and cut out holes for specific shaped pieces. Throw the dice to determine the color and shape of each piece to place on the game board. One die will tell you the color, one will tell you the shape. Then find the piece and match it to a corresponding place on the board.  Each die also has a joker on it. When the joker is thrown, the player gets to choose his own color or shape. 
 Try this:
  • For a simpler game, play without the dice and randomly match the pieces to the board.
  • Play with only one die to work on just shapes or just color.
  • Model how to cup the hand(s) and squeeze the fingers together before shaking the dice. Shake the dice in one hand without dropping. Count to 10 before throwing dice to keep the hand in that position longer.
  • Place a plastic piece in-hand and ask the individual to rotate it to the correct positioning for placement.
  • Place one plastic piece in front of the player and ask him to rotate each die in the fingertips to find the corresponding sides on the dice.
  • Put the pieces on the board and, rolling the dice, take them off one by one.
  • Palm two or three plastic pieces in the dominant hand, bringing them to the fingertips one at a time and placing them on the board without dropping.
  • Place the pieces upside-down on the table top so that the individual will be required to pick each piece up and turn it in-hand to position it for placement.
  • Place the pieces in a pile when setting up the game so that they are in different orientations and parts of some are hidden to work on figure ground, visual closure, and visual form constancy.
  • Sort all pieces by color or sort them all by shape.
  • Place all pieces of one attribute on the board, such as all red. Then place all triangles, then all blue, etc. Take turns calling the color or shape to be added.
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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