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


Work on eye-hand coordination, manual dexterity, proprioception, spatial relations, visual tracking, arch support, motor planning, play and leisure exploration and participation, problem solving
In the box: Electronic Cuponk cup, 6 ping pong balls, 30 challenge cards, sweatband, 5 stickers
An electronic ball toss game that awards you with lights and sounds when you sink a shot.  The ping pong balls may be hard to control for some because they bounce high and easily, but a great challenge for others.  My experience has been that a practice period is necessary before each challenge can be completed. Many of the shots can be performed in a seated position, but some require standing.  The challenge cards are rated from 1-5, with one being the easiest and 5 the hardest to complete. There are a couple of blank cards so that you can add your own custom challenges.  This game comes in a number of versions so you can add to your collection if you like it. You will need to come up with your own box for storage (a pet peeve of mine ;).
Try this:
  • Demonstrate first so that the individual knows what is expected and how to plan the movement.
  • Show the cards and let the individual choose the cards and the order in which he wants to try the challenges, as some of them may look a little intimidating.
  • Encourage through failed attempts as it will take some trial and error. The ping pong balls are very light weight and bounce with the slightest effort. It may take practice to learn to grade the force with which you throw/bounce them.
  • Remove cards you feel will be too challenging until you get a feel for how the person will do. 
  • Hold the ping pong ball in one hand, with the logo up. Using the fingers, roll and turn the ball in the hand until the logo disappears and reappears. 
If you are interested in purchasing this item or just want more information, click on the image below to go to Amazon.com.

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