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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!

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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Buy It Right!

Includes 3 skill levels for improving money skills.

 
Work on finger and manual dexterity, in-hand manipulation, visual discrimination, making change, hand arches, problem solving, finger isolation, separation of the two sides of the hand
 
In the box: Game board, 3 dice, 4 game markers, 1 calculator, 4 shopping cart cards, 40 item cards, 40 play money bills, 100 plastic money coins
Ages 6-9, 2-4 players
 
Take turns purchasing products, adding up prices, and making change. The first player to fill his shopping cart wins. The bottom of the game box is a cash register tray so that you can sort coins and bills.
The bottom of the box "cash register".
  • LEVEL 1 - Follow the same directions as Level 3 but use bills only. Use only 1 die to represent dollars.
  • LEVEL 2 - Follow the same directions as Level 3 but use coins only. Use 2 dice to represent coins.
  • LEVEL 3 - Play with both coins and bills. Use three dice to represent dollars and cents. Be the first person to fill your shopping cart with two item cards in each color (eight total) and win. To play, roll one die and move your marker ahead that many spaces. Follow the board directions for the spot you land on, using the calculator to add prices and make change. Board directions include:
    • ATM - Roll the number dice and collect that much from the cash register.
    • Find Money - Roll the number dice and collect that much from the cash register.
    • Lose Money - Roll the number dice and put that much back into the cash register.
    • Buy one item, buy up to two items, buy up to three items from the item cards to help you fill your shopping cart. Use the calculator to figure the total owed and/or figure change.
    • Buy 1 item from a friend - Choose an item to buy from another players cart. Throw the dice to see how much to pay him.
    • Give a gift to a friend - Choose an item card to give a friend. Throw the dice to see how much to pay the cash register.
A game that can support academics while working on a number of OT goals at the same time.

Try this:
  • Shape the palm before shaking the dice by putting a small ball or round object in the individual's hand and forming the hand around it. Model the cupping position and how to shake the dice before starting to play - fingers squeezed together, making a rounded cup in the palm. Often the child will just squeeze the dice tight in the hand and shake the hand, thinking the dice are moving around when they are not. I constantly monitor this.
  • Skip the game, just use the cash register part of the box to practice sorting coins. Turn the box so that the coin sections are facing the individual.
  • Skip the game, just use the cash register part of the box to practice sorting bills. Mix the bills. Practice putting them in a neat stack. Can the individual fan the bills and use the thumb to let one go at a time? Or hold a small stack of bills and push them off one at a time with the thumb to separate? Turn the box so that the bill section is facing the individual.
  • Place several coins in the individual's palm. Ask him to push them, one at a time to the fingertips to sort.
  • Place several coins flat on a table top. Ask the individual to pick them up, one at a time, squirreling each one in his palm as he goes without dropping any.
  • Place several coins flat on a table top. Ask the individual to pick them up, one at a time, turn the hand over, and drop it into the palm. Close the fingers over the coin, turn the hand over and repeat.
  • Shorten the game. Instead of using the shopping cart card to collect eight items, first player to collect four items wins.
  • Make change without using the calculator.
  • Using just the cash register, hand the player a $1 bill. How many different ways can he make change for it?
  • Use just the cash register and dice. Throw one die and count out that many bills. Throw two dice, count out that much change. Throw three dice and count out that much in bills and change.
If you are interested in purchasing this game or just want more information, click on the image below.

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