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

Melissa & Doug Xylophone

In the box: Xylophone with pull out drawer for storage, 2 sticks, 6 plastic double-sided song cards (12 songs in all)
Work on visual discrimination, figure ground, visual scanning, manual dexterity, tool use, visual memory, eye-hand coordination, coordinated use of both hands, play and leisure exploration and participation
I am always on the look out for musical instruments that require playing from a pattern card, so I anxiously awaited the arrival of this new xylophone. However, I was quite disappointed with it and have not used it much.  When planning activities for therapy, my goal is to always set my kids up for success, and I feel this xylophone does not do that because of the color discrepancies.  The purple and pink colors on the music cards do not match the colors on the xylophone, and the 2 blues are so close in color that kids who aren't aware of the tones going up and down, don't know which one to play. And of course, my pet peeve with many Melissa & Doug toys, no box to store it in.  Even though the sticks and music cards store in the drawer, there is nothing to keep the drawer from falling open. I rubber band it. Sorry to be so negative on this one, but I spent $20+ and only used it with a couple of older kids who were able to figure out the colors and remember them throughout the songs.

If you are interested in purchasing this item or just want more information, click on the image below.

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