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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.


Monday, June 1, 2015

Sticker Scenes Fall


Work on finger dexterity, in-hand manipulation, pincer grasp, thumb opposition, fine motor precision, coordinated use of both hands, spatial relations, visual discrimination, visual closure, visual memory, figure ground, eye-hand coordination, visual scanning, tactile perception, creativity, play exploration and participation. 
 
Boy I wish we had had these when I was a kid! Sticker scenes have been a favorite of mine and my kids for a long time. First a word about where I purchase them.  Oriental Trading has long been a go-to resource of mine for craft kits, sticker scenes, and some art supplies. Sticker scenes come in a variety of sizes and prices. These are approximately 8.5 X 11 and cost roughly 43 cents each on the day I am writing this. Each scene is really a set - a page with stickers and a blank, colored sheet to put the stickers on.  Here is an example:
 
When you buy craft sets or stickers scenes like this from Oriental Trading, you typically buy them in sets of 12. A set of 12 of these sticker scenes is $5.25. If I am only buying one or two things, I wait for a free shipping on any order offer because the postage can cost you more than the item. If you sign up for their email, they will send you offers for free shipping. The stickers have always stuck well for me, the colors are nice and bright, and there are many pictures to choose from. I have bought a number of different sets that they do not sell any more, so they change their stock over time. 
 
Try this:
  • Complete a sticker scene ahead of time to use as an example. Ask the individual to make their scene look just like yours, placing stickers in the same locations, orienting them the same, etc. if they misplace something, ask them to look at their scene and your model and point out what they did differently.
  • If they have difficulty looking at the whole, cover up all but about a 1/4 or 1/2 of the scene and work it a section at a time.
  • Allow the individual to use the stickers any way they want to make their own scene so you can concentrate on specific skills, such as hand skills and sticker removal or spatial orientation.
  • Cut the sticker sheet in half or quarters if the individual is not able to fold and manipulate the 8.5 X 11 sheet.
  • Demonstrate how to take large and odd shaped stickers off the sheet by lifting the different corners before pulling the whole thing off to avoid ripping the sticker.
  • Point to a ransom sticker on your model and ask the individual to find it on his sticker sheet and place it on his scene.
  • Give verbal prompts, such as "where does the wagon go?" requiring the individual to find the wagon on your model, the sticker sheet, and then place it appropriately.
If you are interested in purchasing a sticker scene or just want more information, go to Oriental Trading.

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