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 8, 2015

Ligretto Dice

Work on palmar arching, precision fine motor, in-hand manipulation, manual dexterity, visual discrimination, figure ground, spatial relations, sequencing, social interaction, play and leisure exploration and participation, processing speed
In the box: Dice board, dice cup, 6 dice each of 4 different colors
Forget the dice cup and use this opportunity to cup the hand(s) and develop arch strength and support! To start, each player chooses a color of dice. He will be playing on that color on the board. The board shows six dice of each color, numbered from 1 to 6. Players all play at once, throwing their dice and matching them to the dice and their color on the board. Dice that don't match are thrown over and over until someone places all six dice.
Try this:
  • Ask the person to squeeze the fingers together and keep the hand(s) cupped while shaking the dice until the count of 10 or until you say a simple rhyme.  
  • Ask the individual to pick up one die at a time, roll it in the fingertips without using a support surface (table, body) and place it on the matching square on the board.
  • Place one die at a time in the individual's hand (base of fingertips, moving back toward the palm). Ask him to move it to the fingertips, rotate it, and place it on the board.
  • Place 2 dice in the individuals palm, ask him to bring one to the fingertips to rotate for placement while keeping the other one held in the palm, without dropping. Then move it to the fingertips for placement.
  • Pick up the dice one at a time and squirrel them in the palm while putting the game away. How many can you hold?
  • Add the dice cups back in. Sort the four colored dice into the four cups and practice using graded movements to pour out only one die at a time to empty the cups.
If you are interested in purchasing this game or just want more information, click on the image below.

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