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.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Oodles of Doodles

If you have clients that love to doodle, this can be a fun game all around. Choose a category card, and on the back will be a list of items that fall into that category. The goal is to draw pictures of those items so that your opponent can guess them.  For instance, one category is 'things that smell good'.  The items listed are flowers, perfume, coffee, Christmas tree, shampoo, oranges, fresh bread, baby powder.  When I am playing a game like this, I always allow the individual to choose the category that he wants to draw to ensure that he feels he can draw the necessary items and understands what they are.  I have primarily used this game when working on reading body language.  I usually start by letting the individual choose any card or two he wants to draw, and I do the same. Now I introduce the cards that will be the core of our teaching: Wear it on Your Face, Parts of the Face, and Emotions.  Wear it on your face has a list of things like a clown nose, eye patch, and sunglasses, and can lead to a discussion about how the expressions people wear on their faces can tell a lot about what they are thinking or feeling.  Parts of the face include things like eyebrows, mouth, and forehead, and can lead to a discussion about parts of the face that are expressive and how. Emotions include things like happy, scared, sad, and can lead to a discussion about reading the whole face.
 If you are interested in purchasing this game or just want more information, click on the image below to go to Amazon.com. 

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