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.

Friday, March 6, 2015

North Pole Camouflage

 Work on visual discrimination, spatial orientation, spatial visualization, visual form constancy, visual closure, manual dexterity, in-hand manipulation, logic, problem solving, trial and error without frustration, play and leisure exploration and participation

Includes: Plastic storage box with a lid that doubles as the holder for the puzzle, 6 transparent puzzle pieces, 48 challenges, instruction/answer booklet

A wintery one-person challenge that will help develop visual perceptual as well as logic and problem solving skills. The 48 challenges range from beginner to master and increase in difficulty as you go, pushing you a little harder with each new level. The first 12 challenges give you the location of a piece or two for each puzzle to get you started. After that you are on your own. Challenges are printed on nice card stock, one per side, on 24 cards. To play, choose a challenge card and lay it in the lid. You are required to use all six pieces for each challenge as you build on top of the card with the transparent pieces. Arrange the puzzle pieces over the challenge card following the game rules - 1) polar bears must always be on the white snow, 2) fish must only be in the blue sea, and 3) no picture can cover any person. Each of the six pieces must be used for each challenge and must fit inside the lid exactly (no overlapping, no hanging off the edge, etc.) The puzzle pieces can fit in the lid many different ways, but only one is correct for each challenge. You can also purchase an additional set of challenge/puzzle cards that features seals.

Try this:
  • Start backwards if working with a beginner - Solve the puzzle all but the last piece and let him place that.  Solve the puzzle all but the last 2 pieces and let him place them. Solve the puzzle all but the last 3 pieces, etc.
  • Work the puzzle yourself and talk out loud to model how to problem solve and eliminate pieces. Then take the pieces out and ask the person to complete the challenge.
  • Assemble the puzzle in the plastic tray but stand the picture up, don't put it in the tray. More difficult as the person will have to look up, remember, and visualize the pieces on top.
If you are interested in purchasing this game or you want more information, click on the image below.

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