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.

Sunday, May 31, 2015


Work on manual dexterity, spatial relations, visual discrimination, visual form constancy, visual closure, figure ground, thinking skills, problem solving, play and leisure exploration and participation

In the box: 13 Wooden pieces, wooden game board, 48 challenges
Ages 3-6, 1 player

Build logic and problem solving skills with 48 challenges that increase in difficulty from starter to master. Each puzzle is made up of two layers, top and bottom, and uses all the pieces. The pieces fit into the wooden puzzle board, as pictured above. There are 24 plastic coated cards. The front of the cards (numbers 1-24) show you the two layers, side by side. Build layer number one on the bottom, and then build layer number two on top of it. Puzzles 25-48 are on the back of the cards and each puzzle is the compilation of the two layers from the front of the card. Without looking at the front, build the two layered puzzle. 
LEFT - The front shows the 2 layers separate. RIGHT - The back shows the 2 layers combined.
Sometimes you cannot see all the pieces when the two layers are complete and stacked on top of each other (back of card). Other pieces you will see portions of. The cards are 2D with no drop shadows to give any hints.

Try this:
  • Solve the puzzle from the single layer side (layers on top of each other) as the individual looks on. Talk out loud as you problem solve which piece goes where to teach the individual. Take the pieces out and ask him to solve the same puzzle.
  • Build the top layer, the pieces you can see completely, by the side of the puzzle board when working from the back. Then build the bottom layer on the puzzle board with the pieces that are left. First lay the pieces that you can see portions of, then lay the pieces you can't see determined by their shape and the remaining space. 
If you are interested in purchasing this or just want more information, click on the image below.

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