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.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Bowling Dice

A handful of fun!

Work on arch strength, precision fine motor, finger and manual dexterity, visual discrimination, figure ground
In the box: 10 bowling pin dice, bowling score sheet tablet
Ages 5+, 2+ players

A handful of dice doesn't get much more fun than this! Follow the same rules for bowling, except throw dice instead of a bowling ball. Symbols on the dice include strike (X), spare (/ on the second turn), downed pin (blank), standing pin.
Try this:
  • Shape the palm before shaking the dice by putting a small ball or round object in the individual's hand and forming the hand around it. Model the cupping position and how to shake the dice before starting to play - fingers squeezed together, making a rounded cup in the palm. Often the child will just squeeze the dice tight in the hand and shake the hand, thinking the dice are moving around when they are not. I constantly monitor this.
  • Cup both hands, one on top of the other, when throwing all 10 dice. Squeeze the fingers together and hold them there for 20 shakes.
  • Ask the person to squeeze the fingers together and keep the hand(s) cupped while shaking the dice until the count of 10 when throwing fewer dice. 
  • Ask the individual to shake 2 or 3 dice in each and shake them at the same time without dropping
  • Pick up the dice and squirrel them into the palm, one at a time, when putting the game away. How many can be held without dropping any?
If you are interested in purchasing this game or just want more information, click on the image below.

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