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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.


Thursday, April 30, 2015

ZOOB The Game

 

A ZOOB activity that has been very useful in my practice.

 
Work on finger strength and dexterity, visual motor integration, in-hand manipulation skills, bilateral integration, spatial relations, visual discrimination, figure ground, manual dexterity, motor planning, visual form constancy
 
In the box: 37 ZOOB pieces, 24 creation cards, 1 die, 1 game board, 4 board markers
Ages 6+, 2-4 players
 
Another ZOOB product that I have found very useful in my practice. I bought this game because of the pattern cards, I don't actually play the game, I just carry the cards and ZOOB pieces in a baggie. The pattern cards can be a good way to start working with ZOOBs on a smaller scale. Sometimes when someone just looks at a pattern with a lot of pieces they think it is too hard and they balk. These small models with pattern cards are also an introduction on how to read ZOOB assembly guides, which are usually just completed models and do not show step-by-step assembly. Some kids have a lot of difficulty creating from a completed picture, so I start by making the models with them. There are enough pieces included in this game to do that. I will talk out loud as I assemble, saying things like "let's start with this piece because...", to help them plan a strategy. I connect a piece and they copy. The pieces per model range from 7 to 10. They are not rated by difficulty, but I do that just by looking at the completed model, not the number of pieces. Also, at the bottom of each card, each colored piece is shown with a number of how many you will need of that color to complete the model. There is strength required to push ZOOB pieces together and to pull them apart. Just another reason for me to love ZOOBs.

Try this:
  • Make a model ahead of time and let the individual work from a 3D model instead of from the 2D model.
  • Find all the pieces needed for the card ahead of time if you want to focus on a single goal, such as hand skills or visual discrimination. This will help you save time and decrease frustration that might be added by requiring additional or too many tasks.
  • Ask the person to find each needed piece in the pile, using terms of ball and socket to describe what he is looking for.
  • Reverse roles. Tell the individual that you will follow his moves to make the item.
  • Ask the individual to turn the piece in-hand if he does not pick it up in the correct orientation.
If you are interested in purchasing this game or just want more information, click on the image below.

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