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

Feel & Find

Versatile - match with or without sight.

Work on tactile discrimination, stereognosis, manual dexterity, visual discrimination, sensory processing, in-hand manipulation, spatial relations, eye hand coordination

In the box: 20 wood pieces, 20 tiles with matching shapes cut out, carrying bag
Ages 3+

Put your hand into the bag. Without sight, can you name what you are feeling? Can you spot the matching tile? About half of the items are simpler geometric shapes and half are more detailed shapes such as animals, trees, and people. Pieces are solid wood and brightly painted. Bag is cloth and should last a long time. Each piece has a matching wooden tile with the pattern cut out.

Try this:
  • Start with deep pressure to the hands. Chair push ups would be great.
  • Spend time concentrating on how to feel, practice carefully feeling the item for clues. Ask the individual to close his eyes and put one piece in his hand. Ask him to use two hands and tell you about the piece. Cue him to use words to describe characteristics of the pieces such as bumpy, pointed, round, corner, square, legs, head.
  • Repeat the step above and use only the dominant hand to feel the item.
  • Close your eyes as above and let the individual put a piece in your palm. Model what you want him to do.
  • As you put the pieces in the bag, allow the individual to feel each one. Talk about the shape and describe how it feels.
  • If you want a more challenging activity, don't allow the person to see or feel the pieces. Lay the tiles on the table in plain view. Have him put his hand in the bag, pick up a piece, and without seeing the piece, find the matching tile on the table.
  • Use as a simple matching game. Put out several or all of the tiles and give the individual the wood pieces to match to the tiles.
  • Put one tile on the table. Give the individual 2, 3, or 4 pieces and ask him to find the piece that matches the tile.
  • Place only a few pieces in the bag and lay the matching tiles on the table.
For more information, click on the image below.

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