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

The Dog's Meow

In the box: 49 playing cards
Work on spatial relations, problem solving, in-hand manipulation, manual dexterity
Let me say right off that this game, played with the wrong person, could be extremely frustrating. The reason I say that is because it requires you to identify above/below/left/right, and then do the opposite of what the card tells you to do. I use this game with kids who are learning left/right, but who are well on their way to identifying one from the other. Lay a directional card on the table and then put one picture card to the right, one to the left, one above, and one below. Turn over an action card and do just the opposite. The action cards will tell you to look left, look right, name the item, or make the sound the item makes. In the example below, the red action card indicates Above and Name. The player will then do the opposite, look below and make the sound that item would make (make a sound like a trumpet here). 
 Picture cards include a train, dog, alarm clock, horn, fish, duck, cat, piano, drum, frog, scooter, and rooster. Cards are a little thicker than standard playing cards. The instructions include a regular version of the game and an advanced version.
Try this:
  • Do exactly as the cards tell you to do, instead of doing the opposite.
  • Allow the individual to set up the game each round, picking up flat cards off a flat surface, picking up cards off a pile without disturbing the pile, dealing the cards by holding the deck in the non-dominant hand and pushing off the top one with the thumb for placement. 
If you are interested in purchasing this item or just want more information, click on the image below to go to Amazon.com.


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