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, May 12, 2015

Backseat Drawing Junior

Are you really saying what you think you're saying?

Work on listening, following directions, spatial relations/position in space, visual motor integration, visual discrimination, visual closure, visualization, fine motor precision, using a writing tool, separation of two sides of hand, coordinated use of both hands,  manual dexterity, proprioceptive perception, values, executive functioning, social interaction,  

In the box: 168 challenge cards (336 objects), 4 dry erase markers, 2 erasable marker boards, 2 small erasers
Ages 7+, 3-8 players

Are you really saying what you think you're saying? Are you really hearing what you think your hearing? You will find out quickly when you play Backseat Drawing, a game that requires players to follow directions, literally, to a T. Each card has one object written and drawn on it, such as mitten, collar, or lollipop.  

One player chooses a card and the other player(s) draw. He does not let anyone else see the cards. The challenge for him is to give precise directions so that those sketching end up drawing what is on the card. Players will use a lot of directional and positional words such as left, right, north, south, east, west, diagonal, below, above, next to, inside, around, under, etc.  You will find out quickly that instructions such as draw a circle or draw a straight line may be far too vague to for the drawers to succeed. Those drawing are not allowed to ask questions and must be able to guess what the object is once the individual is done describing it. It really is a fun game that will make kids stop and think about spatial relations and positions in space. There is also an original version for more advanced play that does not give you a picture to work off of, only a word or two, such as turtle or French fries. Visual memory will be a must with this version.

Try this.
  • Start by drawing a few cards that everyone can see. Demonstrate the importance of clear and accurate directions.
  • Allow the use of a ruler for directions such as "draw a 4 inch horizontal line across the middle of the paper".
  • Use a white board so that if the instruction is not clear and the person describing can see he led the drawer astray, the drawer can erase and they can try again with new instructions.  
If you are interested in purchasing the junior version or just want more information, click on the image below.

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