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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!

The OT Magazine named The Playful Otter one of the Top 5 Pediatric OT Blogs.


Saturday, May 23, 2015

Ravensburger 35 Piece Shaped Mini Puzzle


Work on spatial relations, visual closure, visual discrimination, visual form constancy, figure ground, visual scanning, sustained attention, manual dexterity, in-hand manipulation, coordinated use of both hands, separation of sides of hand, fine motor precision, crossing midline, body awareness, leisure and play exploration and participation

In the box: 35 pieces
Ages 4+

When it comes to puzzles, nobody does it like Ravensburger. Sturdy construction, pieces that hold up a long time and feel good in your hand, colorful and interesting topics, sturdy boxes even. So when I saw these mini shaped puzzles by Ravensburger, I thought that this would be a great introduction for beginners to uneven shaped borders. Let me start by telling you that I really debated whether to tell you that it took me, an experienced puzzler, seven minutes to complete a 35 piece puzzle. But, I figured for anyone who is genuinely interested in the characteristics of this puzzle, I had to set vanity aside and fess up. Yes, seven minutes. First, the pieces do not feel like the Ravensburger pieces that I am used to. They are lighter, thinner, more like your run of the mill, every day puzzle. There is also a DK branding on the box, and I think they might have manufactured these. Second, many piece shapes are very irregular, not just the border. The pieces themselves, as well as the tabs and blanks, vary greatly in size. A few of the pieces just sit next to each other, like the 2 pieces with eyes below. If your child loves puzzles, it could be a great learning opportunity. If he doesn't, it could prove to be very frustrating. Just something to think about before you decide if these are the right puzzles for you.

If you are at all curious why I chose to put together the monkey instead of the ducks, it's because I love monkeys. When I was a kid, other kids wanted to be nurses or fire fighters when they grew up. I wanted to be a monkey! Some people say I made it. I think they're just jealous of the way I can climb trees and eat six bananas in one sitting. 

If you are interested in purchasing these puzzles or just want more information, click on the image below.

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