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.

Sunday, January 25, 2015


In the box: Wooden base with attached, but movable, wooden balls, 8 small pattern cards
Work on spatial relations, visual discrimination, visual closure, bilateral integration, manual dexterity, eye-hand coordination, thinking skills, play exploration and participation
The goal is to look at a pattern card and move the wooden balls to match the pattern. It can be used flat on the table or standing up because of the wider base. The pieces are movable, but not removable, so you have to think ahead so that you can maneuver balls out of your way but still not block them.  It is a little hard to move pieces around the square corners, although there is sufficient space to maneuver. I suppose if you used it a lot the corners would become a little rounder and smoother to pass. The pattern cards that are included with the board are small and on the back of the box and you have to cut them out. You can buy the large pictured cards (above) as a separate purchase. The same design is printed on the back of the large cards in black and white, so you could color in the circles in different colors on the back and double the amount of challenges you have. Kids I work with haven't liked this much and I have not used it as much as I thought I would.
If you are interested in purchasing this item or just want more information, click on the link below to go to Amazon.com.

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