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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

Pizza Party Dice Game

In the box: 10 dice with a pizza ingredient on each side, 40 slice pattern cards 

Work on strengthening arches, in-hand manipulation, distal finger control, manual dexterity, visual discrimination, figure ground, eye-hand coordination, visual closure, social interaction, play and leisure exploration and participation

Three things I have trouble resisting: games with dice, games with some sort of pattern card, and games that play fast.  Triple win!  Cup your hand and throw your 5 dice. If you matched any to your pattern card, set them on the card. Throw the remaining dice over and over until you have filled your card. Be the first one to fill your card to win. There are 10 dice, so two people can play. Probably only a vegetarian would notice this, but the pictures on the dice are bacon, sausage, pepperoni, shrimp, anchovies, and mushrooms. LOL  The dice are a little smaller than your standard dice.

Try this:
  • Shape the palm before shaking the dice by putting a small ball or round object in the individual's hand and forming the hand around it. Model the cupping position and how to shake the dice before starting to play - fingers squeezed together, making a rounded cup in the palm. Often the child will just squeeze the dice tight in the hand and shake the hand, thinking the dice are moving around when they are not.
  • Pick up one die at a time from the table top and rotate it in the fingertips, without using a support surface, to match the dice pictures on the card.
  • Place a die in the palm and have the individual move it to the fingertips and rotate for placement.  Then try 2, holding one back while positioning the first.
  • Cup the hand, separate the fingers slightly, and practice carefully shaking all 5 dice in one hand without dropping.
  • Orient the picture on each die in the same orientation as the one on the card before placing it on the card.
  • Turn over one card and both people try to be the first to match the dice. The person who matches first, gets the card. Go through 10 cards and the one at the end with the most cards, wins.
  • Shape the palm by putting a small ball or round object in the hand and forming the hand around it. Ask him to squeeze his fingers together and keep them in this position. Drop the dice one at a time in the player's palm. See if he can hold them all. 
If you are interested in purchasing this game or just want more information, click on the image below.

 

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