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 21, 2016

Zoob DudeMaker

Work on thinking skills, following directions, sequencing, finger strength, visual discrimination, visual closure, visual form constancy, spatial relations, visual memory, figure ground, eye-hand coordination, in-hand manipulation, manual dexterity, hand arch strength and support, separation of sides of hand, using two hands together, play and leisure exploration and participation
In the box: 68 ZOOB pieces, 4 ZOOB Pieces with ZOOBDude Faces, 3  ZOOB pieces with attached working backpacks, 4 wheels with tires, 4 poseable ZOOBDude helmets.
A great activity that has a lot of therapeutic value. ZOOBs are hard plastic construction pieces that can he used to make as many things as you can imagine. The pieces take strength to push together and pull apart, one of my favorite things about them. The ends of each piece have either a ball or a socket. Because of this, most pieces can bend at the joints where they connect. This is my favorite ZOOB version because it includes heads, hats, and wheels! I have used these pieces over and over, with any and all ZOOB sets I own.  This construction set includes pieces and instructions for building a fireman, rock climber, skateboarder, and rescue ranger. Also included are a parachute so that you can throw the rescue ranger in the air and watch him float to the ground, a squirting water pack for the fireman to put out fires, and a zip line for the rock climber to climb.
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, using terms of ball and socket to describe what he is looking for.
  • Working side by side, build the model piece by piece while the individual watches and builds his own.
  • Ask the individual to move the piece in-hand for placement if he picks it up in the wrong orientation.
  • Take time for creative play after the model is complete.
For more information click on the image below.

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