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, June 22, 2015

Cookin' Cookies

Work on visual discrimination, figure ground, visual closure, visual memory, visual scanning, eye-hand coordination, social interaction skills, process skills, play and leisure exploration and participation
In the lunch tin: 4 expandable spoons with suction cups, 8 recipe cards, 26 ingredient cards 
Ages 4+, 2-4 players
A baking-themed card game that will reward those who move the fastest. Each player is given one spoon and one recipe card. Each recipe card has a list of five ingredients. The ingredients are written but there is also a picture beside each one so you don't need to know how to read to play. The round cards (above) are the ingredient cards. The goal is to be the first to find the five ingredient cards that match the five ingredients on your recipe card. Cookin' Cookies requires players to pick up the ingredient cards in a unique way - with a spoon. Each spoon has a suction cup on the back of it and you can use the spoon in its short version, or you can pull on the spoon and lengthen it for a longer reach.
Short spoon                         Expanded spoon                         Suction cup
To play, spread the ingredient cards face-down on the table. When the signal is given to go, all players play at the same time. Smack your spoon onto an ingredient card to pick it up. Turn it over to look at the ingredient. Do you need it? If yes, keep the card and smack another card to try and match another ingredient. If you don't need it, put the card back in the pile, face down, and try again. Try to remember where the cards are that you have turned that you don't need to avoid wasting time turning them over again. If you are unlucky enough to pick up a card with a picture of a rotten egg, you must return all of your collected cards to the pile and start over. Speed and a little luck avoiding the rotten egg are required to win. Let me mention here that my game used to work, but now the suction cups will not pick up anything. Age, heat? Eventually you may meet that end too.
Try this:
  • Eliminate speed and let one person play.  Or two kids work to collect their recipe ingredients without competing.
  • Turn it into a simple matching game, with cards face down on the table and each player picking two, looking for a set. There are eight sets of two ingredients. Pick up the card where it lays on the table, do not pull it to the side of the table to pick up.
  • Pick out the four different recipe cards. Turn the ingredient cards face up on the table. Overlap some, turn some sideways and upside down. Ask the individual to assemble the ingredients for each recipe card. Use the spoon or don't.
  • Scatter the ingredient cards face up on the table. Give the individual one recipe card and ask him to find the necessary ingredient cards.
  • Follow one of the recipe cards and assemble the five ingredients. Give the individual a choice of recipe cards to pick from and ask them to pick the card that matches the ingredients.
  • Shuffle the ingredient cards and place them in a pile, face down. Ask the player to pick up one card at a time without toppling the pile, and sort them into piles by ingredient. 
If you are interested in purchasing this game or just want more information, click on the image below.

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