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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, December 20, 2015

Picture Perfect Design Tiles



Work on in-hand manipulation, visual discrimination, visual closure, spatial relations, figure ground, manual dexterity, in-hand manipulation, separation of two sides of hand, body awareness, play exploration and participation

In the box: 9 X 10 plastic grid, 128 tiles in 6 colors, 8 double-sided pattern cards (16 patterns), activity guide
Ages 4+

I like this and have used it a lot. The goal is to recreate the pattern from the pattern card on top of the plastic grid.  The grid has raised lines around each square so the tiles cannot move around once placed. The tiles are plastic and about 1/8 inch tall. Tiles are either solid color, left slope, right slope, eye, black line and quarter circles. Left and right grid tiles have to be oriented appropriately, the are not interchangeable. The card is too long to fit under the plastic grid exactly, so I cut off the bottom strip that tells how many pieces the design takes and it fits comfortably. If the pattern is placed under the grid, once the individual places a tile he will not be able to identify if it is correct as it covers the picture. If they get it wrong, I usually prompt with "Are you sure?" or "Try again." The kids like this activity and I like it for working on left-right diagonals. Don't lose any tiles, there are exactly enough for some of the designs!

Try this:
  • Put one piece at a time in the child's hand so he can manipulate it in-hand into the correct position for placement.
  • Start easiest with pictures with only solid color tiles, and move up gradually adding patterns with more and more diagonal patterned tiles.
  • Place the picture next to the grid and ask the individual to complete the pattern by counting lines and squares for placement.
  • Prop the card in front of the grid so the individual will need to look up, find his place, and remember the tile long enough to look down and place it.
If you are interested in purchasing this item or just want more information, click on the image below to go to Amazon.com.

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