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

Knot So Fast

Work on spatial relations, visual closure, visual tracing, eye-hand coordination, hand and finger dexterity, fine motor precision, motor planning, social interaction skills, process skills, executive functions, play and leisure exploration and participation

In the box: 4 ropes, 4 rings, one timer, 40 challenge cards, tug of war score keeper/ challenge card holder

A knot-tying game that is challenging for many from the get go. I have used this in conjunction with teaching teens to tie their shoes. To play, give each player a rope and a ring. You will not need the ring on most of the challenges. Place a challenge card in the score keeper (see above). The same puzzle is printed on each side of the card and the score keeper is placed between the 2 players so they can both see and are both working on the same challenge. Turn over the timer if you are using it, and both players go to work tying the knot that is on the challenge card. Working from the cards players will tie a variety of knots that increase in difficulty as you advance. The ropes are approximately 42 inches in length.  The cards are graduated in difficulty, color coded for difficulty, numbered for difficulty, and rated from beginner to expert. Tying knots was always a challenge for me, so I was happy to make it to the last card by working in these graduated steps.

Try This:
  • Eliminate the score keeper or timer to reduce pressure.
  • Trace (you and/or the individual) the entire knot with the eyes and a finger before starting to tie.
  • Place the rope on the table top and tie there, instead of holding it in the air.
  • Sit next to the individual and, step-by-step, let him follow your movements.
  • Think out loud as you work using positional language consistently.
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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