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.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

ZOOB 125 Piece Set

In the box: 125 Plastic ZOOB pieces, 5 instruction guides with 20 creations
Work on thinking skills, problem solving, following directions, sequencing, visual discrimination, visual closure, visual form constancy, spatial relations, visual memory, figure ground, eye-hand coordination, in-hand manipulation, manual dexterity, precise fine motor control, hand arch strength and support, separation of sides of hand, using two hands together, finger strength, play and leisure exploration and participation
I love ZOOB! A great construction activity if you are working on finger and hand strength, as the pieces do need a good push to snap together and a good tug to pull apart.  I like this activity for working on spatial relations also, but the instruction guides may be hard to interpret for some, as some of the models don't show step-by-step pictures, just show the finished product. Some of the pieces might be obscured or at least hard to see.  This may make this activity difficult and frustrating for some. To be honest, I have several ZOOB sets and I move the books around, so I cannot tell you exactly which books came with this set, but the books do increase in difficulty. One book might be models that take 20 pieces, the next book 35, then 50, and so on. There are so many skills that can be addressed with ZOOB that it is one of my favorite construction toys.

Try this:
  • Make a model ahead of time and let the individual work from a 3D model if they cannot interpret the 2D picture.
  • Find all the pieces needed for the model ahead of time if you want to focus on a single goal, such as hand skills or visual discrimination. This will help you save time and decrease frustration that might be added by requiring additional tasks.
  • Ask the person to find each needed piece in the box of pieces.
  • Use terms of ball and socket to describe the pieces.
  • Work side-by-side, building the model piece by piece while the individual watches and builds his own.
  • Ask the individual to turn the piece in-hand if he picks it up in the wrong orientation for placement.
  • Use positional terms consistently, such as above, right and left, under, etc.
If you are interested in this item or just want more information, click on the image below to go to Amazon.com.

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