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.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Creative Peg Board

Work on manual dexterity, precise fine motor control, eye-hand coordination, visual discrimination, figure ground, visual closure, visual memory, in-hand manipulation, grasp, play exploration and participation, spatial relations

In the box: Wooden peg board, 25 large wooden pegs, 25 small wooden pegs, 3 pattern cards

A brightly colored pegboard activity is hard to resist! This one consists of bright, colorful pegs and sturdy cardstock pattern cards.  I was disappointed to find only 3 pattern cards, one with five holes, one with ten, and one with fifteen. Fifty bright, colorful pegs and kids don't want to stop after only three pictures. The butterfly has 6 holes in the blue wings, so if you are matching colors, you will have to mix sizes as there are only 5 of each color of each size. There is a pamphlet in the box that also has 12 small basic patterns. I had my eye on this for a long time but thought it was too pricey, so waited for the price to drop.  I would not have felt it was a good value at $35, but I admit I have used it a lot. The round, painted pegs may be a little difficult for some to hang on to as they are very smooth.

Try this:
  • Make your own design or pattern. Find a few simple images online and print out in color on card stock.
  • Put a peg in the child's hand and ask him to bring it to his fingertips and rotate it for placement on the board. Start by putting it close to the fingertips, then gradually move it down toward the base of the fingers, and finally place it in the palm.
  • Put 2 or 3 of the small pegs in the person's hand and ask him to bring them, one at a time, to the fingertips and rotate for placement without dropping any.
  • Show one of the geometric designs to the person and ask him to memorize it. Turn it over while he builds it on the pegboard.
  • Make a color copy of the small geometric designs in the pamphlet and enlarge them. Cut them out and laminate them so you can use one at a time for those who would have trouble distinguishing it from the background.
  • Shape the palm by putting a small ball or round object in the hand and forming the hand around it. Ask him to squeeze his fingers together and keep them in this position. Drop the pegs one at a time in the player's palm. How many can he hold? 
If you are interested in purchasing this item or just want more information, click on the image below to go to Amazon.com.

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