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.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Quercetti Filo Lacing

Work on visual discrimination, figure ground, spatial relations, position in space, eye-hand coordination, sequencing, manual dexterity, pincer grasp, finger strength, fine motor precision, palmar arch support/strength, separation of two side of hand, intrinsic muscle development, tool use, using both hands in a coordinated manner, motor planning, executive functions, play and leisure exploration and participation

In the box: 1 grid/carrying case, 4 tubes, 4 cords, 9 2-sided pattern cards (full size), 1 pattern book with additional patterns (not full size)
Ages 4+

This seems like an awesome tool every OT should own, and yet I rarely use it and have never recommended it. For starters, I feel the tool is just plain awkward to work with. The cord slides through the top of the tube, so it hangs out the top. The tube is tapered and is smaller in diameter than a pencil at the bottom. It is transparent so you can see how much cord is left once you get to the end of it. The ends of the cord are tipped and the first push into the white grid (soft plastic) anchors the cord. Pull the tube back out and leave the cord behind. Follow the pattern card and go from hole to hole, pushing the cord into the hole and pulling it taut as you pull the tube back out and push it into the next hole. The length of the cord usually just makes it to the last hole, if I am doing it. When kids do it they don't tend to pull it taut enough and they run out of cord before they run out of picture. Of course pulling it too taut will pull it back out. It is very disappointing to have two or three holes to go and run out of cord, or to have some one looking over your shoulder saying "a little tighter" over and over. And if the cord becomes lax for whatever reason, it has to be pulled back out the top to make it taut again. The pattern card sits off to the side of the grid, not on top of it. There are so many holes (18 X 12) that I find myself constantly counting across and down, up and over, etc. I have tried putting tiny colored circle stickers on each hole to push through and that was a disaster. I finally just put it away. I feel like I am setting my kids up for failure with this toy so I don't use it. May work fine for skilled or older individuals. Or you could allow a child to randomly push into holes and make his own picture to work on finger strength and dexterity and manipulating a tool. If you want more information or pictures of the pattern cards, comment and I will post some.

For more information, click on the link below.

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