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 12, 2015

Chocolate Fix

 Work on logic, deduction, problem solving, manual dexterity, visual discrimination, spatial relations, visual closure, play and leisure exploration and participation

In the box: Plastic base, 9 pieces of plastic candy, puzzle book, bag for storage
This game would be perfect for the high functioning individual who has basic problem solving skills and would like to build on that. The puzzle book has 40 puzzles that range from Beginner to Expert.  There are 9 candy pieces - 3 caramel, 3 chocolate, 3 strawberry. Each flavor has 3 shapes - 1 triangle, 1 circle, 1 square. The puzzle book will give you the location of some pieces, by color only, shape only, and in some cases color and shape are given. You job is to place all 9 pieces into the base - completing the puzzle from the clues. The answers are on the back of the cards. It does get difficult, so not for beginners. The set I have has light brown pieces, not white, and does not have those coin shaped pieces. The puzzle book folds out to a convenient easel stand. Below is a photo of a puzzle and the solution (found on the back of the card). This is puzzle 10 out of 40.
Try this:
  • Look at the answer key and place a few of the pieces. Let the individual figure out the rest. As he gets better, reduce the number of candies you place until he is doing it alone.
  • Use the game in a simpler way to promote spatial awareness. Show each answer page to an individual and have him line up the chocolates in the tray in the same locations.
  • Go through the reasoning steps verbally to help the player learn how to eliminate certain possibilities.
  • Complete a puzzle yourself, reasoning out loud as you go, as your child watches. After completing the puzzle, take the pieces out and see if the individual can solve the puzzle again on his own. 
If you are interested in purchasing this item or want more information, click on the image below.

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