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.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Cranium Puzzle Plus

Work on figure ground, visual discrimination, manual dexterity, in-hand manipulation, tripod grasp, visual closure, spatial relations, eye-hand coordination
In the box: 24 puzzle pieces, dry erase marker, 30 Seek & Find activity cards (15 beginner, 15 advanced)
A 24 piece puzzle that kids LOVE because you get to write on it with a dry erase marker!  First, put the puzzle together. The pieces are large, colorful, and fit together securely. Second, use the activity cards to seek and find. There are  beginner cards that say find something pink or find something green, and advanced cards that say find 8 dogs or find 4 fire hydrants.  Once the person finds the item, he gets to circle it with the dry erase marker.  That's everyone's favorite part! Some of the items can be quite elusive, similar to Where's Waldo.  Once you have found all of one item, erase the marks you made on the puzzle and start a new card. This puzzle comes in three different pictures: Let's Go to the City, Come on Down to the Country, Take Me to the Carnival (3 separate purchases). Finished size 14" X 20". Does not come with an eraser. I have cut an old towel into small squares and use that.
Try this:
  • Rotate the puzzle piece in-hand if it is not in the correct orientation when picked up.
  • Ask the individual to mark the items with whatever you are working on, such as circle closure or X's.
  • Start with the cards for the fewer and easier to find items, to avoid the child possibly getting frustrated by starting too hard. 
  • Point out something about the picture that is close to the needed item if the individual needs a little help. That will guide the eyes to the area without giving away the answer.
  • Start with the frame if the child has not learned that the pieces with a straight edge go on the outside.
  • Ask the person to refer to the box while putting together the puzzle. Match the area on the box to the area on the exact puzzle.
If you are interested in purchasing this item or just want more information, click on the image below.

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