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 21, 2015

Whack A Mole Stack A Mole

In the box: 2 plastic hammers, 12 mole cups, 1 splat cup, 20 sequence cards
Work on sequencing, visual discrimination, spatial relations, visual closure, manual dexterity, crossing midline, eye-hand coordination, play exploration and participation 
I bought this for $2.21 as an Add-On with Amazon. I didn't expect much for that price, but was pleased when I received it.  Use the hollow hammer to bang and pick up each colored cup in sequence.  You do not have to hammer hard for the cups to stick together, and they are easy to pull apart.  The pattern cards are different from your typical bottom to top sequence, starting instead at the top and working down.  Follow the yellow arrow.  The pieces are lightweight plastic, but not flimsy.  The animal pictures on the top of the cups are stickers.  Satisfying for kids who like to bang things. :) I don't know why the box in the picture is in German, the one I bought, and the instructions, are in English.
Try this:
  • Show the person one color and ask him to remember it. Turn the card over and have him pick up that piece. Then ask him to remember two colors at a time, then three, and so on. Rehearse the colors verbally three times before turning the card over. 
  • Use the pattern card and line up the cones in order, without using the hammer.  The pattern card is not the actual size of the cups, it is smaller.  Therefore you will not be able to line them up exactly side by side with the card.
  • Randomly pick up three cones with the hammer.  Now look through the pattern cards and look for that sequence embedded on one of the cards.
  • Place the cones in positions so that the individual will have to cross midline to pick them up.
If you are interested in purchasing this item or just want more information, click on the image below.

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