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.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Excellerations Spatial Relations Playset

In the box: 4 grooved bases, 4 sets of 6 pieces (tree, bush, house, boy, cat, car), 20 pattern cards.
1-4 players

Work on spatial relations, visual discrimination, visual memory, visual closure, figure ground, manual dexterity, coordinated use of both hands, play exploration and participation

A favorite activity of mine, I've used this one a lot and most have been receptive.  Build 3D scenes based on 2D pattern cards. Looking at the pattern, individuals will have to decide what is behind, in front of, and next to, what. The 20 pattern cards are made of heavy card stock and have held up well. The patterns advance in difficulty and are numbered for quick sorting. They start out with 3 pieces to a scene and work up to all 6 pieces. Each tray has three groves and the pieces are easy to place in the grooves and easy to take out.  The pieces are paper on wood and have held up well. There are enough pieces for four people to work at the same time.

Try this:
  • Use consistent positional terms such as front, middle, back, in front of, behind, next to, etc.
  • Make a scene on a base and let the child copy yours if it is difficult building from a 2D model.
  • Let the child make up his own picture and describe it to you in positional terms.
  • Make up your own scenes and ask questions such as 1) What is behind the bushes?; 2) Where is the cat?; 3) What it next to the house?
  • Prop the card in a slot on one of the empty bases so that it stands upright if the individual has trouble building from the card flat on the table.
  • Turn the six pieces over (no picture on the back) and ask the individual to identify the pieces by shape only.
  • Ask the individual if his finished scene is correct. Check the pieces locations one by one with the pattern card. Guide the individual to help him identify the incorrect pieces and how to correct them without giving him the answers outright. 
If you would like to purchase this item or just want more information, click on the image below

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