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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

I Scream Memory Game


Work on visual memory, visual discrimination, figure ground, manual dexterity, in-hand manipulation, coordinated use of both hands

In the box: Cards picturing frozen treats.

There are a million memory games out there, of which I own more than a few.  I am adding this one because it has been a long-time favorite due to the subject matter - frozen treats!  I have had it for quite awhile and I can't believe you can even still buy this game. In case you are not familiar with matching (memory) games, here are the rules:

1. Turn all the cards face down on the playing surface (table, floor, etc.)
2. Each player takes turns turning over two cards. If the pictures match, the player takes the cards and plays again. If they don't match, the cards are flipped back over.


After all the cards are matched, the one with the most matches wins. Fairly simple.

Try this:
  • Instruct the individual to hold the stack of cards in the non-dominant hand, push the top one off with the thumb, and  take and place with the other hand.
  • Reduce the amount of sets you play with if using all cards is too challenging. Add back in one set at a time to increase the challenge over time.
  • Turn all the cards face-up and find the sets for a simpler matching game.
  • Lay one card from each set face up on the table. Place the remaining cards face down on the table. Choose one face down card, look at it, and see who can find its match first.
  • Ask the individual to turn the card over, in its place, without pulling it to the side of table to assist. Require that cards are left in their original positions so that all have a chance to remember where they are.
If you are interested in purchasing this item or just want more information, click on the image below.

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