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

Q-Bitz Extreme

Work on visual discrimination, spatial relations, figure ground, visual closure, visual memory, in-hand manipulation, distal rotation, separation of two sides of hand, palmar arch development, manual dexterity, executive functions, social participation and interaction, play and leisure exploration and participation

In the box: 80 pattern cards, 4 wooden trays, 4 sets of 16 cubes

Place your cubes in the tray to recreate the pattern on the pattern card. This version is more difficult than the regular version of Q-Bitz because some of the patterns on the cubes are curves (instead of straight diagonal lines.  Sixteen cubes are required to complete a puzzle and a tray holds 16 cubes. Each side of a cube has a different design on it. 

The 80 challenges get more difficult as you advance. There is not a grid printed on the pattern cards. Cards are printed in black and white, and the individual must be able to pick out each square from the background and substitute his color in place of the white. A real VP workout! I use both versions of this game quite frequently.

Try this:
  • Let the individual copy what you do as you place each cube in your tray if he is not able to read the card and separate the four cubes.
  • Make a design on one tray and let the individual use it as a pattern to make the same design (3D pattern to 3D pattern).
  • Cup the hand(s), shake, and throw the cubes on the table. Once all available for the design are used, pick up the remaining cubes and shake again. Keep going until you use all the cubes.
  • If the player has made an error, ask him to compare his pattern, cube by cube, with the pattern card and see if he can identify and correct it independently before assisting.
  • If placing a cube in the puzzle for the individual, show him how to orient it and then take it out and turn it. Give it back to him to place.
  • Use the cubes without the trays and make a pattern with all the cubes such as AB or ABB. Start the pattern and let the individual finish it.
  • Demonstrate and then ask the individual to turn each cube in-hand if he is using the tabletop, his body, or two hands to do it. 
  • Place one cube at a time in the individual's palm and ask him to bring it to the fingertips and then orient it for placement.
  • Use the back side of unused cards or a white paper to cover all the black and white squares except for the one you are working on if the individual has difficulty mentally separating it. Once he improves, move to covering all but one line, then two lines, etc.
  • Focus on the white if the player has trouble translating the black to his color. For instance I will say the cube has a white circle, or it is white across the top and down the right side.
If you are interested in buying this game or just want more information, click on the image below to go to Amazon.com. 

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