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.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Woodstock Percussion Chimalong

Work on eye-hand coordination, visual memory, sequential memory, crossing midline, tool use, visual discrimination, number or color recognition, figure ground, manual dexterity, coordinated use of both hands, executive functioning skills, process skills, leisure exploration and participation
In the box: 9 chime tubes, 2 mallets, a song book
This chime set is an 8-note mettalophone with an alternate B flat tube, tuned to C major, winner of multiple awards, and made by the Woodstock Chime company. It is also one of my personal Top Ten favorites. The sound is clear and can be played softly or quite loud, depending on how hard you hit the chime tube and how you are holding the mallet. It comes with a songbook and songs can be played by color, number, or note.  It has been a joy to watch the expressions on faces of individuals that struggle with everyday tasks as they pick up a mallet and play a song they know and enjoy, matching by color only.  Even individuals who cannot play along by the songbook enjoy playing hand over hand.  This item is a favorite of my clients.  Some of the songs included are London Bridge, Old MacDonald, Jingle Bells, Row Your Boat, Happy Birthday, Take Me Out to the Ballgame, B-I-N-G-O, and The Little Drummer Boy.  Go to www.chimes.com and download even more songs! Go to the very bottom of that page (in the blue box) and click on DOWNLOAD MUSIC.  Over 60 additional songs!
Try this:
  • Color code the songs on index cards for those who cannot use the songbook.  I add anywhere between one and four lines per card, depending on how far I have to break it down.  
  • Play with two mallets.  Takes coordination!
  • Hold the book in one hand and play with the other to engage both hands. 
  • Ask the child to look up and remember two notes (colors or numbers) at a time, then three. 
  • Color code new songs to add to the songbook.
  • Point to the appropriate note in the book as the individual plays to help him keep track of where he is.  There are 2 mallets included and I use the stick end of one of the mallets to point with.
  • Point to each chime the child must play if he cannot read the book.   
If you are interested in purchasing this item or in just learning more about it, click on the image below to go to Amazon.com.

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