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 23, 2015

Cup and Ball

In the bag: 6 ball and cups of different colors

Work on eye-hand coordination, spatial relations, visual tracking, motor planning, body awareness, balance, manual dexterity, play and leisure exploration and participation

A large version of the classic cup and ball. I never could master the small, cheapie ones they had when I was a kid. These are easier for those who need to start with a bigger target. The plastic cup is a little flexible if squeezed, but very sturdy. Have used for years with no sign of wear. A favorite of the kids.

Try this:
  • Model how to swing your arm and flip the ball. Practicing hand-over-hand works well with this activity if the child has trouble planning the movement.
  • Instruct the child to keep his eye on the ball and move the cup under the ball, instead of waiting for the ball to come to the cup.
  • Try different versions once the person has the knack of it: 1) Count the number of times you can get the ball in without missing, 2) Play with the non-dominant hand, 3) Play sitting down, 4) Swing the ball around two or three times before catching it. 

If you are interested in purchasing this item or just want more information, go to www.lakeshorelearning.com.

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