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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.


Thursday, February 19, 2015

Bunny Popper



 In the package: Plastic bunny, 6 hard foam balls
 
Work on hand strength, grading pressure, manual dexterity, eye-hand coordination, spatial relations, using both hands in a coordinated manner, visual tracking, visual discrimination, auditory memory, play and leisure exploration and participation
 
Poppers also come in seasonal characters!  Set up targets before you start for something to aim at. Then push a lightweight ball into the popper's mouth, aim, and squeeze the popper's belly to launch the ball.  Balls can travel up to about 20 feet, depending on how hard you squeeze.  The plastic is stiff and it will take some hand strength and two hands to put the ball into the mouth and to squeeze. Those with very weak hands will have difficulty.  There are a number of different animals and characters to choose from. I have found a slightly smaller version of this popper at Target during the holidays. Same company, although the balls from those are just a little bit smaller than these and there are four balls instead of six.
 
Try this:
  • Measure the distance you can pop the ball.  Go again and see if you can beat your distance.
  • Set up small targets and see if you can knock them over.
  • Set up targets on a level plane at equal distances, then a variety of elevated planes at equal distances, then on different planes at different distances.
  • Tell the individual which color to use before each pop.
  • Verbally state two colors. Ask the individual to launch those two balls in that order. Then state three colors, etc.
  • Ask the individual to track the ball with his eyes to see if it hit its target.
If you are interested in purchasing a popper/extra balls/target, or just want more information, click on one of the images below.


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