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.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Pop Bead Books

Pop beads can help strengthen fingers.

Work on finger and manual dexterity, distal finger control, in-hand manipulation, finger and hand strength, visual discrimination, visual closure, figure ground, visual memory, hand arches, pincer grasp, separation of two sides of hand, sequencing
In the container: Enough beads to make each character once, board story book.
Ages 4+ 
Each set includes a simple board book and assorted beads. The round beads are a bit smaller than the standard pop beads and thus a little harder to handle. The book is simple, with a few finished examples to recreate, and a few play background pages. There are not enough of the large specialty beads to make two of each, one for you to use as a 3D model or to demonstrate. The individual must be able to work from a finished model in the book. The beads do take a good push to snap together and a good pull to take apart. Not a starting place for weak hands.

Book - Pop bead people to make.
Book - Play pages for pop bead people.
Try this:
  • Copy the models inside the book or make up your own.
  • Roll the bead in-hand at the fingertips if it is not in the correct orientation for placement.
  • Lay each bead at the base of the fingertips and have the child use the thumb to push it up to the fingertips.
  • Memorize the sequence of colors for the arm or leg and see if you can put it together without looking at the book again. Rehearsing the colors in order out loud two or three times may help you remember.
  • Use a mechanical pencil with no lead or a closed pen (to avoid marking in the book) to point to each piece as you go if the individual cannot look down and up without losing his place.
  • Use a pointer and point to each piece to assemble if the individual does not know the order to snap beads together to create the model.
If you are interested in purchasing a book or just want more information, click on the image below.

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