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.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Gobblet Gobblers

Gobblet Gobblers brings fun and new rules to tic, tac, toe.

Work on spatial relations, manual dexterity, visual memory, visual discrimination, visual closure, grasp, figure ground, executive functions, social skills, values, play and leisure exploration and participation
In the box: 4 bars to build a playing board, 12 Gobblers (6 blue, 6 orange)
Ages 5+, 2 players 
Winner of numerous awards, Gobblet Gobblers brings new rules and fun back to that familiar 3-in-a-row game, tic, tac, toe. Like tic, tac, toe, get three of your colored pieces in a row - vertically, horizontally, or diagonally - to win.  That is where the comparison ends. Each person has two large pieces, two medium sized pieces, and two small pieces in a single color. Pieces are hollow and can cover smaller pieces already on the board (see the large orange piece over the medium blue piece above). To play, set up the grid with the four planks. Players will take turns placing one piece at a time on the board. On your turn you have several options: 1) place a new piece in any empty space, 2) place one of your larger pieces over any colored piece already on the board, or 3) move one of your pieces already on the board to any empty space or to cover any other piece on the board. If the piece you want to move is covering another piece, try to remember what is underneath that you will be uncovering. If you can't remember, you may inadvertently help the other player win! This is a fun game that moves fairly quickly. Always keep an eye on what pieces the other player has left and keep your biggest pieces for strategic moves, as they can cover both medium and small pieces. All parts are wooden, well constructed, and brightly painted. Blue Orange plants two trees for every one tree they use to manufacture games.
Try this:
  • Start with a paper and pencil tic, tac, toe game for beginners to teach the concept. Or teach with a single layer tic, tac, toe with this game, using color only to distinguish between the two sides.
  • Start slower by just placing new pieces on the board, not moving pieces already on the board or covering pieces.
  • Pick pieces up by the hair (felt piece sticking out of the top) or by grasping the piece itself.
  • Play for a win in one plane only, then two, until the individual can watch diagonal, vertical, and horizontal all at once.
If you are interested in purchasing this game or just want more information, click on the image below.

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