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.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Candy Memory Games


Memory games with bright, whimsical graphics.

Work on visual memory, visual discrimination, figure ground, spatial relations/position in space, visual closure, eye-hand coordination, visual scanning, manual dexterity, in-hand manipulation, coordinated use of both hands, executive functions, crossing midline, play and leisure activity exploration and participation, social interaction and participation
In the box: 24 sets (48 cards)
Ages 5+, 2+ players
If you are looking for Memory Games that have won Best Toys Awards, that have cards that are a little thicker than the average, that is made of recycled materials, and that have bright graphics, eeBoo may be the brand for you. These three memory games have been a fun and useful part of my collection. Cards are 2.25 X 2.25, plastic coated, and 1/8 inch thick. Because of this thickness, they are easier to grasp and turn than flat cards. If I am working with someone who has trouble picking up a card off a flat surface and flipping it in place, I might start with these games. I Never Forget a Face would not be a tool for reading facial expressions as they are almost all happy. I blogged separately about I Never Forget a Face here.
Try this:
  • Turn all the cards picture side up to make it a simpler version of matching without the memory component.
  • Start with fewer sets for beginners. Add in a few new sets at a time until you work your way up to a game using all the cards.
  • Turn six different cards face up on the table. Turn the rest of the cards face down. Take turns turning over one card. If you made a match to one of the cards turned face up, take it and place the set next to you. Try to remember which cards have been turned up and are not matches to avoid turning them over again. When the last match is made, the person with the most pairs wins.
  • Turn one card from each set face up on the table. Ask questions such as 1) how many candies have green in them, 2) how many kids have red hair, 3) how many cards show animals.
  • Separate out one card from each set and lay them face-up on the table. Stack the remaining cards and, one at a time, scan the face-up cards to find its match on the grid you created on the table.
  • Ask the individual to flip the card in place, not pull to the side of the table to pick up.
  • Empty the cards on the table. Ask the individual to place all the cards face-down in preparation for play. Pick each card up and, if necessary, turn it in-hand to orient it for placement instead of turning to orient it on the tabletop.
  • Put the cards away at the end by picking up one card and stacking it on top of another, pick up both cards and stack them on top of another, pick up all three cards and stack them on top of another, etc. How many cards can the individual stack and hold without dropping?
  • Create the grid for play by picking up a stack of cards in the non-dominant hand and, one at a time, push the top card off with the thumb for placement.
  • Play alone to improve memory and concentration. Count how many turns it takes you to complete the game. Play again and try to beat that score.
For more information or to purchase, click on the image below.

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