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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.


Friday, April 24, 2015

I SPY In Common

I SPY - A line of books & games that target visual perceptual skills.


Work on visual discrimination, manual dexterity, visual closure, figure ground, visual form constancy

In the box: 4 game boards, 32 double sided tiles, score pad, pencils, three minute timer
Ages 5+, 2-4 players

I SPY - a line of Scholastic books and games that target visual perceptual skills. The instructions offer two forms of play: 1) For ages 5-7, 2) For ages 7 and up. For ages 7 and up, the object of the game is to fill your game board using tiles that have something in common. The columns on the boards are marked A-D, the rows are marked 1-4, and diagonally they are marked X and Y. Try to find something in common for every tile in the A column, every tile in the B column, every tile in row 1, every tile in row 2, and so forth. The more matches you find, the more points you get. Matches can be anything you want. For instance things that are round, things that beep, things that have stripes, things with wheels, squishy things, animals. Encourage creativity. Included is a 3 minute timer. While I don't typically use timers, it might be prudent in this case since this game does not have any preset stopping point and could go and on.  For kids age 5-7, the object of the game is is to create a domino chain of commonalities using the tiles only. I went to the Scholastic website to try and find a better picture of this and found that they have a lot of I SPY resources including printables and online games.

Try this:
  • Use a single tile and name as many categories as you can before the timer runs out.
  • Use a single tile and name a set of two, then a set of three, then four. How high can you go? Can you find a commonality in all 8 items?
  • Spread several cards on the table. Name a category. As soon as you see a match, grab that tile. Who can get the most tiles? 
If you are interested in purchasing this game or just want more information, click on the image below.

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