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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.


Sunday, March 29, 2015

Exact Change


 
Work on making change, learning coins, visual discrimination, manual dexterity, coordinated use of both hands
 
In the box: 110 cards
Ages 5+, 2+ players
 
Winner of multiple awards: Dr. Toy's 100 Best, iParenting Media Award, Creative Child Magazine Seal of Excellence, The National Parenting Center Seal of Approval. It seemed odd to me that a game about making change didn't include any play money. Since I have a couple of kids with this goal right now, I bought it to take a look. The goal of each hand is to be the first to play all your cards. To win, the game you must accumulate $2 in the bank, which may or may not take more than one hand. Deal seven cards to each player and put the rest of the deck face down on the table. Turn up one card. The first player must either match the color of the card (any coin value, just match the color), or match the coin (any color, just match the coin value), or play multiple cards and make exact change for the card (any color mix). For example, if a quarter is played, you can play two dimes and a nickel, or you could play a dime, two nickels, and five pennies. If you cannot play, you must pick cards, and keep picking until you are able to play. The Loose Change cards have odd values on them (11 cents, 56 cents, $1.01) and can be used to help you make exact change. Wild cards can be used for any coin value. If a bank withdrawal card is played, choose another player to pick one of your cards and add it to his hand. If a Collect Tax card is played all players, except the one who played the card, must draw a card from the draw pile. When the hand is over the winner of the hand chooses one person, adds up the values of all the cards in his hand, and the winner puts that amount into his "bank" (keep score).

UPDATE: The kids weren't thrilled with it and neither was I. I would much rather work with the real thing (or a plastic version thereof).

Try this:
  • Skip the color matching, just make exact change.
  • Take out all the word cards and play without them.
  • Have a pile of real change handy and after making change with the cards, make the same change with real coins.
For more information, click on the image below.
 

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