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.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Pattern Play by Mindware

In the box: 40 blocks, 40 pattern cards
Work on visual discrimination, visual closure, spatial relations, eye-hand coordination, visual form constancy, figure ground, manual dexterity, coordinated use of both hands, analytical and critical thinking skills, balance, sequencing, play and leisure exploration and participation
A great activity for working on spatial orientation. The pattern cards are numbered and increase in difficulty, from easy to complex. Each pattern will use all the blocks. 
The pattern blocks are wood, brightly colored, and have been easy to manipulate for most.  There is a very nice wooden tray to build in. Would highly recommend.
Try this:
  • Lay the pieces for the pattern card in different orientations on the table top so the person has to pick each one up and turn it to find the correct fit.
  • Use the same language while problem solving when working on spatial orientation, such as rotate, flip, or turn. 
  •  Divide the card into quarters and show only 1 quarter at a time by placing a piece of paper over the other 3/4.
  • Catch mistakes as they happen as they will impact everything that happens next. I give a vague comment such as "Are you sure" or "Check again" and let the individual figure out what he did wrong and correct it on his own if he can.
  • Keep the encouragement going as the puzzle gets more difficult, especially if the individual is prone to frustration.
  • Give the individual one piece at a time if he cannot plan how to build the structure.
  • Use consistent language while building when working on spatial orientation, such as rotate, flip, turn, above, right, left, under, etc.
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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