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.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Supercharged Raceway Game

Work on visual discrimination, directionality, cupping the hand, in-hand manipulation, distal finger control, manual dexterity

In the box: Game board, die, 4 place markers
Ages 2+, 2 players

A simple game with a Disney CARS theme and a unique die. Choose a car you would like to be. Place your marker on the Start position in the area for that car and throw the die. Throw a section of colored highway and move to the closest section of the same color on the board. Throw the word Stop and your turn is over. The first one to make it around the board and back to the area picturing his car, wins. The game moves counter clockwise around the board. There are several specialty spots you may land on including 1) Gas - take another turn, 2) Switch - switch places with another player and, 3) Road block (tipped tractors) - roll the same color of the pavement to move again. The markers in my game are more vertical than the ones pictured above. My game also came in a wooden box. I use this game with kids who are just learning to play games and move around a board as the rules are fairly simple.

Try this:
  • Ignore the instructions on the spaces on the board and just advance according to color.
  • Allow the individual to move to any space he wants by finding that color on the die and setting it on the table. Put the die in the player's palm and ask him to move the die to his fingertips and rotate for placement, using that hand alone and no support surfaces.
For more information, click on the image below.

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