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, March 14, 2015

Dog Dice

In the box: 4 Bingo cards, 2 dice, 48 bone markers

Work on visual discrimination, figure ground, visual closure, arch strength, manual dexterity, spatial relations, finger dexterity

A fun Bingo-dice game that features 4 mischievous dogs and their owner. Throw the dice and look for that match on your Bingo card. Will it be the yellow dog by the food dish, or the grey dog in his dog house, or the brown dog making off with a string of sausages? If you have a match, lay a bone marker on it. Once you have 4 bone markers in a row... BINGO!

Try this:
  • Shape the palm before shaking the dice by putting a small ball or round object in the individual's hand and forming the hand around it. Model the cupping position and how to shake the dice before starting to play - fingers squeezed together, making a rounded cup in the palm. Often the child will just squeeze the dice tight in the hand and shake the hand, thinking the dice are moving around when they are not. I constantly monitor this.
  • Cup the hand, squeeze the fingers together, and see how long the dice can be shaken before one falls out.
  • Forget the dice and use the cards to identify categories. Find all the pictures with a yellow dog. Find all the pictures with a bone. How many pictures have a blue doghouse?
  • Ask the individual to identify where on his card he is one bone short from having a BINGO when he is close to winning. Usually it is more than one. Can he pick out the patterns?
  • Use the card only and ask directional/positional questions. What picture is to the right of the yellow dog by his house? What picture is below the brown dog stealing sausages?
  • Label the card with coordinates A-D and 1-4. Call out sets of coordinates on which to place the bone markers (A3, C4, etc.)
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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