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 16, 2015

Melissa & Doug Picture BINGO

Work on visual discrimination, visual closure, spatial relations, manual and finger dexterity
In the box: Plastic spinner, 4 bingo cards, 48 marker chips
Ages 3+, 2-4 players
A fruit themed bingo game with a new twist. Press down on the top of the plastic spinner with your palm or fingers to see the fruit to cover (apple, orange, lemon, lime, blueberries, plum). There are six fruit total, and a single card will picture anywhere from two to four of each fruit. This makes the game go fast when you are covering three or four squares in each turn. The chips and cards are lightweight card stock and the cards are small, only four by four inches. Be the first person to cover four in a row, vertically, horizontally or diagonally, to win.
Try this:
  • identify all the fruit pieces before starting the game.
  • Use different criteria to win - cover four corners, the whole card, all around the outside edge.
  • Choose a fruit and cover all of that fruit on your card. Place the remaining chips on a pile on the table. Spin the spinner to see if you get a match. If you matched, take the bingo markers and place them on your side. If you didn't match, return the markers to the pile. Take turns until all the markers are gone. Count your markers to see who has the most.

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