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.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Construction Sandbox

Work on sensory processing, in-hand manipulation, manual dexterity, fine motor precision, eye-hand coordination, play exploration and participation
In the box: Sturdy wooden box, sand, construction toys
Wow, did this sandbox bring back memories : ) My sister and I spent many a beautiful summer day playing in the back yard sandbox of our childhood home. We imagined that sandbox to be all kinds of things from a city block to a bakery. One of my favorite things to do was make sand pies with "bird berries". On occasion my mom would hide pennies in the sand and we would sift through to find every one and then walk to the store to purchase penny candy. This smaller version is a sturdy wooden box containing ultra-fine sand and a variety of toys to manipulate. This item comes in a lot of different themes, and the theme I have is actually Garbage Works, not construction. But it looks like they don't have the Garbage Works on Amazon now. The wooden sandbox is sturdy and well made (shown above), but there is no lid for it. You must carry it upright in its cardboard outer box or you will spill the sand. The sand can also be bought separately if you want to add more or change the color. A good way to get tactile input from a lot of different items.  
Try this:
  • Add your own medium, such as dry beans or pebbles to turn it into a rock quarry, grass to turn it into a dinosaur stomping ground, or dried split peas to turn it into moon rocks.
  • Add any number of your own toys to the mix, or change them out completely and fill with other interesting items. Only limited to your imagination.
  • Increase the amount of medium (sand, dry rice, dry lentils or split peas) and hide small items to sift through and find. 
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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