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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.


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Dora Fashion Tracing Plates

Work on visual discrimination, eye-hand coordination, coordinated use of both hands, manual dexterity, distal finger control, separation of sides of hand, efficient grasp, play and leisure exploration and participation

In the box: pink plastic box, 4 crayons, sticker sheet, 6 double sided tracing plates, 6 pieces of drawing paper

Still popular after all this time, Dora is quite the fashionista! This activity offers you the chance to be her personal designer. Six hard plastic, purple plates with raised lines on both sides, three top and three bottom, can be mixed and matched for lots of different looks. Pick one bottom plate (her outfit) and one top plate (her head with hat, flowers, sunglasses, etc.) and place them in the plastic pink box (where the colored picture of Dora is above). Place a piece of white paper on top. Hold the pink box with one hand and run the crayon back and forth over the paper with the writing hand. Push hard enough, and the form of Dora will appear. The harder you push, the darker the picture will be. Once you are done, take the plates and the paper out and admire her outfit. Then set up with different plates and design a different outfit. When you run out of the paper they provided, you can cut your own. I just use 20# white.  I use raised plates when a child writes lightly and I want them to press harder with a writing/coloring tool. I have seen these rubbing plates in different themes, I also had a Batman one.

If you would like to read more about games that require writing or drawing in some form, check out my post Games That Require a Writing Tool

Try this:
  • Color in each outfit with crayons or colored pencils when you are done with the tracing.
  • After finishing the picture, take your crayon and run it around the inside edges of the box. This will produce lines around your picture for a nice frame or that you can use to follow for cutting practice.
  • Cut the outfits in half and make 2-piece puzzles, interchanging the different bottoms with the different tops. See how many different outfits you can make for Dora.
  • Place several different colored crayons by the child. Tell them a color to start with, then call a different color. Switch several times on one drawing to practice identifying colors and for a rainbow picture effect.
  • Use the plates on the table top instead of in the box, if it is awkward. I think if you taped the plates together on the back and held them on the table with the stabilizing hand, this would work.
If you are interested in purchasing this item or just want more information, click on the image below.

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