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


In the box: Game board, 4-color pattern cards 
Work on manual dexterity, spatial relations, visual discrimination, visual scanning, figure ground, social skills, play and leisure exploration and participation
Ages 8+, 2-6 players
I thought this would be a great game for working on spatial orientation and figure ground, and I guess it is, but my opinion is that it is tedious in a not-so-fun way. Playing this game gives the opportunity to spatially rotate a block of 4 colors in your head to see if it matches the pattern on the card. However, I found it can be easy to overlook your match and you end up going around and around the board in your head. I bought the game and played it myself, like I always do to ensure I am gearing it to the right people. Then I used it once in therapy and put it away. This game might be just what you are looking for, but it wasn't for me. The board does not lay flat and pieces slide. Maybe you could lay something heavy on it over night and flatten it better.
Try this:
  • Lay all the cards on the board as you go. They will fit exactly on the board, and there are just the right amount of tiles to fit exactly on the board
  • Look for one card but do not place the pieces on the board.
  • Place the card on the table in the correct orientation to match the board. Look at the top left hand color block and ask the individual to scan the board, row by row, looking for that color. Each time it is found, stop and see if the pattern in that location is the same as the card. 
  • Stop when/if the game gets tedious or frustrating.
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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