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.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Dog Pound

Work on visual discrimination, visual memory, eye-hand coordination, manual dexterity, shifting, turn taking, coordinated use of both hands, following directions, separation of two sides of the hand, social participation, play and leisure exploration and participation

In the box: 20 dog cards, 20 dog owner cards, 4 dog biscuit cards, 2 fire hydrant cards, 2 dog catcher cards
Ages 6+, 2+ players

Do you know any dog owners that bear a striking resemblance to their dogs?

This game is full of them! The dogs have gotten loose and it is your job to match the most owners to their dogs while avoiding the dog catcher. To begin, shuffle and deal out all the cards between players. Each player now has a face-down pile in front of him. Play starts by the first player turning over his top card and placing it in the center of the players. Play continues as each player, in turn, adds his top card to the central pile. When a dog card and the matching owner card are turned over in a row, the first to pound the card wins the stack. The next player starts a new stack and play continues. There are three special cards in the deck that require special actions:
  • Dog Catcher card - If you flip this over you get to take the entire stack Leave the dog catcher card behind to start the new central pile.
  • Fire Hydrant - If you flip this over you must add one more card to the central pile.
  • Dog Biscuit card - If you flip this over, anyone including you can pound the pile and take the entire stack.
The game ends when one person has all the cards. Seriously, as soon as you turn your card over, if it is a match, your hand is right there and pounding the deck first is not much of a challenge.

Try this:
  • Turn the dog and owner cards face down on the table and make a simple memory game out of it. There are 5 different owners and 5 different matching dogs.
  • Sort the cards. Hold the deck in the non-dominant hand and push the top card off with the thumb. Take it with the dominant hand and place it on the matching pile.
  • Sort the cards. Place the deck in front of you and pick the cards off, one at a time, and sort without toppling the deck.
If you are interested in purchasing this game or just want more information, click on the image below.

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