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.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Action Rhymes

Work on motor planning, gross motor skills, sequencing, executive functions, manual dexterity, bilateral coordination, crossing midline, balance, stability, body awareness, position in space, memory, eye-hand coordination, eye-foot coordination, memory, proprioceptive perception, vestibular perception, social interaction skills, play and leisure exploration and participation

In the book: 16 small children's board books

Action Rhymes is a charming collections of small books, each featuring a popular children's rhyme and multiple opportunities for movement. Below is an image of the large opened book that the small books are stored in. Each of the 16 squares in the middle is an individual, removable board book.

The books are 3.25" X 3.25" and they each have ten pages to tell their rhyme. In the bottom right hand corner of each page is a small square with a character depicting movement. Here is an example from Hickory Dickory Dock:
Pages 1-2 reads Hickory dickory dock. The character in the bottom right corner is clapping.
Pages 3-4 reads The mouse ran up the clock. The character in the bottom right corner is pretending to climb up.
The stories are timeless children's classics and include Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, Itsy Bitsy Spider, Hey Diddle Diddle, I'm a Little Teapot, Row, Row, Row Your Boat and Ring Around the Rosie.
Try this:
  • Promote body awareness by always including the body part when describing the action, such as "clap your hands", "stomp your feet", and "point your finger".
  • Allow the individual to name the body part by finishing the sentence after reading a few books, such as "stomp your..." or "clap your...".
  • Read a rhyme and practice the motions. After the individual has practiced, repeat the rhyme without the book and perform the actions from memory.
  • Choose a book the individual has not seen. Read the rhyme on each page and let the individual look at the action character. Can he describe the motion the character is doing, based on the picture and the story?
  • Use directional language such as "point with your left finger" or "pretend to brush your teeth with your right hand".
  • Show the picture, model the action, and give verbal directions to include multiple methods of learning. 
  • Go through the story allowing the child to hold the book and turn the pages as you perform the actions.
If you are interested in purchasing this item or just want more information, click on the image below.

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