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, June 27, 2015

Go Getter 2 - Land & Water

Work on visual discrimination, spatial relations/position in space, visual closure, figure ground, visual form constancy, executive functioning, manual dexterity, in-hand manipulation, leisure exploration and participation

In the box: 9 square removable tile pieces, a 12 challenge puzzle book, blue plastic board with clear plastic lid
Ages 5+, 1 player

A one person puzzle that challenges you to create paths to connect various people, places, and/or things. The nine pieces in the middle (above) are removable. The red paths represent roadways and the blue paths represent waterways. The challenge book has 12 puzzles that increase in difficulty as you go, and each puzzle will tell you what pathways to connect. Below is Challenge number 5. The red boat should be connected to the red fish through a blue water pathway, and the yellow car should be connected to the yellow boat through a yellow road pathway. Next to the challenge is the answer, which is on the back of each challenge page.

There is one answer provided for each challenge, but the makers state that there are up to four possible answers for each puzzle. The instructions say to concern yourself only with the pathways that the challenge book requires you to make, and you can place the remaining tiles wherever you want to fill in the board and finish the puzzle. This version is Go Getter 2, the intermediate level. There is a Go Getter 1 for beginners and a Go Getter 3 for expert players. There is also a cat and mouse version. BTW - The clear plastic thing on the left of the picture at the top is the cover that has been cut off the side of the picture.

Try this:
  • Separate out only the color of tiles needed for the path if the person is having difficulty identifying the correct tiles. For instance, if making a water path from the captain to the lighthouse, only give the individual the blue tiles to choose from.
  • Give the individual only the specific tiles needed to make one particular pathway for an even simpler version.
  • Work a puzzle while the individual watches. Talk through the thinking process so that it may help him form a strategy for playing.
  • Use positional language as you work with the individual, such as below, under, to the right, on the left, etc.

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