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.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Monkey Mixup

Work on visual discrimination, visual memory, visual closure, figure ground, spatial relations, in-hand manipulation, manual dexterity, thinking skills, play and leisure exploration and participation

In the box: 20 two-sided colorful plastic tiles, a graduated tray, a pattern book with 10 different puzzles

I consider this puzzle a good investment. The 20 pieces are printed on both side, sturdy plastic, brightly colored, and kids like the monkey subject matter. This puzzle can be used many times without repeating. In the pattern book, there is a grid printed over each picture that divides it into 20 equal size pieces, 5 across, 4 down.  

Try this:
  • Complete the puzzle by row or column
  • Point to a random square on the picture and ask the individual to find that piece and place it on the grid in that location.
  • Hand the individual a piece in the wrong orientation and ask him to orient it correctly for placement.
  • Put the puzzle together in advance and make sure all the correct sides are showing for an easier puzzle (no flipping to look at pictures on back).
  • Give the pieces for only one row at a time for beginners.
  • Clue the individual to look for a piece with a small white flower, or a monkey smiling with no teeth showing, etc.
  • Allow the individual to make his own picture.
  • Use a piece of paper to cover all but one square if the individual cannot isolate a single picture from the whole. I used tracing paper so the picture can still show through.

If you are interested in purchasing this puzzle, or just want more information, click on the Amazon.com image below.

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