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

Ravensburger Puzzle Ball

In the box: 1 plastic dome to build on, 24 plastic pieces
Work on spatial relations, visual closure, visual discrimination, visual form constancy, figure ground, visual scanning, sustained attention, manual dexterity, in-hand manipulation, coordinated use of both hands, separation of sides of hand, fine motor precision, sequencing, crossing midline, body awareness, leisure and play exploration and participation
Even kids who resist jigsaw puzzles have liked this activity.  Build one half at a time on the plastic dome, then snap the two halves together to make a sturdy, ball shaped puzzle.  The very bottom row that is showing in the picture is one piece.  The plastic pieces are curved so they fit fairly snug onto the dome.  These puzzles are available in different pictures and with different numbers of pieces.
Try this:
  • Play I SPY with the completed puzzle. Instruct the child to hold the ball in two hands while turning and looking.
  • Spin the completed ball on the table top with one hand.
  • Orient a piece for placement by turning it in-hand - without the aid of the other hand, laying it on the table top to turn, or holding it against the body to turn.
If you are interested in purchasing one of these puzzles or just want more information, click on an image below. 

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