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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.


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Bed Bugs

Can you remove the bed bugs with tweezers while the bed vibrates?

 
Work on manual dexterity, in-hand manipulation, fine motor control, tool use, visual discrimination, figure ground, visual tracking, eye-hand coordination, sequencing, social interaction, values, play and leisure exploration and participation

In the box: Plastic bed that shakes and jiggles, 48 plastic bugs, 4 sets of tweezers
Ages 4+, 2-4 players
 
Games with tweezers and tongs almost always get a second look from occupational therapists, and this one is no exception.  However, I am almost never crazy about the tweezers that come with these games, although they can often be used. Tweezers that you don't want to give kids are ones that do not open wide enough to pick up a desired item, or that do not pop back open wide enough once an item is dropped. These tweezers look smooth in the picture, but they have raised grooves at the bottom on the inside, making it easier to grab and hold. The object of the game is to be the first player to remove all your colored bug from the bed. The bed and the bugs are made of plastic. There is an on/off switch on the bed that vibrates the bed and makes the bugs move. To play the game, give each player a set of tweezers, turn the bed switch on and, while the bed shakes, all players try to take their color of bugs off the bed.  

Try this:
  • Start with just one bug color on the bed when it is not moving to get used to picking up the bugs with the tweezers. Then turn the bed on and pick up the bugs. Then turn the bed off and mix all colored bugs on the bed and pick up only your color. Lastly mix all colored bugs together on the bed and turn the vibration on. 
  • Place all the bugs on the bed. Turn the bed on and time yourself to see how long it takes you to clear them all. Play again and try to beat your score.
  • Play alone and take the bugs off by color. Use the yellow tweezers to take off the yellow bugs, the green tweezers to take off the green bugs, etc.
  • Play alone and take the bugs off and build a pattern: purple, yellow, green, orange, purple, yellow, green, orange, etc.
  • Sort the bugs into four piles by color. Pick up a few bugs in the dominant hand and bring them to the fingertips, one at a time without dropping, to place into piles by color.
  • Squirrel the bugs into the palm while putting them away. Scatter the bugs on the tabletop. Pick up one bug and push it into the palm with the thumb. Pick up a second bug and do the same, without dropping either bug. How many bugs can you squirrel into the palm without dropping any?
If you are interested in purchasing this game or just want more information, click on the image below.

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