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

Peg Domino

Work on in-hand manipulation, finger strength, pincer grasp, manual dexterity, visual discrimination, figure ground, social interaction, eye hand coordination, thinking skills, play exploration and participation
In the box:  A round grip tray, 28 clips, 4 bowls, 1 bag

The only game of its kind that I know of. Use small clothespin type clips over and over while playing a game. A good finger workout. To play, place all 28 clips into the plastic bag. Each player draws out 7 clips and places them in his bowl. All players should be able to see the other players clips. Place the board between the two players. Draw one pin out of the bag and clip it anywhere on the board. The game begins. The first player has the choice of placing a clothespin on either side. For instance, in the picture below, if the red and while clip was the first clip, the player can either place a clip on the red side or on the white side. The clip must be placed so that the color of your clip matches the color of the clip already in play. As the game proceeds, the circle of clips will get wider, but each player will still only have two clips to play on, the end two. If a player does not have a matching color, he must draw one clip from the bag. If he can play it, go ahead and play it. If not, he puts it in his bowl and the next player goes. The last player to play a clip, wins the game. Sometimes that means the whole tray is filled, and sometimes a player will use a strategy of using a color the other player does not have and ends the game sooner. I thought this was a little pricey, but I have used it many, many times. I don't know of any other activities that are actually a game that require pinching and clipping pieces like this one.

There are exactly enough clips so don't lose any. I am in the habit of always counting my pieces before I put a game away.

Try this:
  • Keep the tray in one position during game play. This will require the individual to turn his arm and hand into different positions to place the clip, instead of turning the board to make clipping easier. 
  • Stand the pegs upside down on the table. Ask the individual to pick them up, one at a time, and turn them in-hand to the correct position for placement.
  • Place the pegs, one at a time, in the hand and ask the individual to turn the peg in-hand to orient it for placement.
  • Allow the individual to play alone. Placing the clips around the board, can he use all the clips? 
If you would like to purchase this game, or just want more information, click on the image below.


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