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


Work on manual dexterity, precise fine motor, visual discrimination, visual closure, figure ground, spatial relations, eye-hand coordination, proprioception, thinking skills, problem solving, social interaction, play and leisure exploration and participation 

In the box: Bag of game pieces (rocks), score pads, 25 challenge cards, timer 

The object of the game is to build the rock formation on your challenge card before the timer runs out. The shape of the rocks are graded for difficulty with the white (#1) being the biggest and flattest, and the yellow (#5) being the most angled and hardest to balance.  Just when you think you have it, the last rock you place may tumble the formation and you will have to start over.  IF there is enough time! Not for those who are easily frustrated. Challenge card difficulty levels go from 3-10 (there is a junior version before this one). Challenge cards may also add a twist, such as use only one hand while building, change the position of 2 rocks, or use your non-dominant hand to build. Each color rock is worth a different point value and points are added for each rock that is still standing when the time runs out. This has been popular with older kids. Fun fact - each rock formation is based on a real-life formation somewhere in the world.

Try this:
  • Get used to the feel of the rocks and how they stack by just playing with them, no rules.
  • Build random formations or build the rock formations from the cards without competing or using the timer.
  • Eliminate the challenge twist if you know the individual will not likely be able to complete the formation.
  • Start by building the formation with the smoother, balanced rocks and work your way up to the variety of rocks and difficulties called for on the cards.
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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