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.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015


Work on spatial relations, manual dexterity, fine motor precision, visualization, visual closure, figure ground, analytical and critical thinking skills, attention
In the box: One plastic playing board,  white marbles,  black marbles
Ages 6+, 2 players

Winner of multiple awards internationally, Pentago is a two-player strategy game that will keep you thinking. Get five marbles in a row to win. For two players, there is one black set and one white set of marbles. On your turn, put one marble down and then turn one of the squares 1/4 of a turn. What looked like an unorganized group of marbles may now line up five perfectly for the win. You must visualize what the board will look like after you turn a square as well as keep track of what your opponents will look like. Winner of many awards and a quick, fun game to boot. There is even a book on it. I don't own it or plan to purchase it, but here is the title and link.  How to win at Pentago: The Complete Visual Guide for Advancing from Beginner to Master in the Five-in-a-row Board Game That's Sweeping the World.

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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