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 8, 2015

Fun at the Farm Puzzle App by Tiltan Games

Fun on the Farm Puzzle App, 36 puzzles
Work on finger isolation, app use, visual discrimination, visual closure, spatial relations
A jigsaw puzzle for kids who have resisted the conventional type or who just like to work with apps. For beginners, these colorful and whimsical jigsaw puzzles can be easily programmed to have anywhere from 2 to 30 pieces. You choose and change the number of pieces in the settings section. There are six different sections of farm pictures and each section has six puzzles. These is a lighter picture (silhouette) of the puzzle that will show that you can build on top of, but you can remove that in the settings section if you want. The puzzle will show three random pieces down the left side and they will always be in the correct orientation. As you place one piece, another piece will appear in this column. Put your finger on a puzzle piece and drag it to the correct place on the puzzle before letting go. You are not able to move the puzzle pieces with a stylus and hand-over-hand was not very effective. Each time a puzzle is complete, applause and balloons that can be popped are set free.  I consider this a good investment for $1.99.  There is also a vehicle themed app that works the same way. 
Try this:
  • Start with two pieces and, over time, work the person up to a 30 piece version of the same puzzle.
  • Set the settings to random and get a range of pieces.
  • Prop the tablet on a slant board for better viewing or to work on an elevated surface. I had a stand on the back of my tablet that broke within a few days and other tablet stands seem to collapse if the person is not able to steady it.  I have a very tall 3 ring notebook that I use with good results. However, I always keep one hand on the edge of the tablet to avoid any unexpected surprises.
  • Start with the background picture and then remove it to up the difficulty as the individual learns to match colors and patterns. 
If you are interested in purchasing this or the cars app, click on one of the images below to go to Amazon.com.

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