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, February 1, 2015

Chicks Go Boom!

Work on visual discrimination, spatial relations, eye-hand coordination, fine motor precision, pincer grasp, manual dexterity, arch support and strengthening, proprioception, play and leisure exploration and participation, social interaction 
In the box: A chicken coop with a slanted roof, a green base, 1 large die, 36 rubber chickens
Once you push the chicken coop down on the green base, it's a race to see if you can place all the chickens on the roof before the time runs out.  Throw the die to determine chicken color, and place one on the roof. Take turns and get all the chickens on the roof as quickly as you can because, without warning, the coop will spring back up and the chickens will fly the coop.  If you are the one holding the die, you get the extra chickens and you start again. The winner is the first person to place all of his chickens on the roof. 
Try this:
  • Play without setting the coop to spring if the unexpected surprise would be irritating or the player cannot move fast enough.
  • Push the coop down and wait for it to spring before playing so the child will know what to expect.
  • Practice picking up multiple chickens, palming them in one hand, and place them one at a time on the roof using only that hand.
  • Practice cupping the hand and rolling the die in the palm before throwing it.
  • Shape the palm by putting a small ball or round object in the hand and forming the hand around it. Ask him to squeeze his fingers together and keep them in this position. Start dropping chickens one at a time in the player's palm. How many can the player hold?
If you are interested in purchasing this game or just want additional information, click on the image below to go to Amazon.com.

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