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.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Erasable Geoboard Pattern Book

Work on visual discrimination, visual closure, near visual memory, spatial relations/position in space, fine motor precision, tripod grasp, separation of the two sides of the hand, manual dexterity, use of helper hand to stabilize, motor planning, executive functioning skills

A valuable tool for working on visual perceptual skills. This flip book contains 120 patterns to draw on the laminated grid. Flip the book so that the laminated grid is next to the pattern. The laminated grid pages each have 4 possible blank grids. One grid has 25 dots (5 X 5). The other 3 grids are also each 5 X 5, but some of the dots are missing. This will make drawing the patterns more challenging. The patterns are all drawn on grids that have 25 dots. There are 16 grids with 25 dots and no patterns, so that you can copy the sheets and make up your own patterns. Patterns start simple and increase in difficulty. I have found that Expo dry erase markers come off the laminated sheet a lot better than the Bic erasable markers, which smear and leave color behind even if you use the EXPO eraser fluid. I have a clear piece of plastic, such as used for overhead projectors, that I lay on the pattern that the individual is copying from. The pattern book is paper, and eventually someone will start to draw on the paper sheet instead of the laminated sheet. This protects it. If you are interested in purchasing this book or

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