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 17, 2015


Work on visual discrimination, figure ground, spatial relations, visual memory, focus, manual dexterity, in-hand manipulation, social interaction skills, process skills, executive function, play and leisure exploration and participation
In the box: 96 small cards, 24 large matching cards, 1 timer
A great visual perceptual matching game that will require focus and concentration. The object of the game is to match more sets than your opponent. There are twenty four large cards, each with a different pattern (see below).  The 96 small cards have the identical patterns as the large cards, and there are four small cards to match each large card. Deal the small cards evenly between players. Divide the large cards into two piles and set them, face up, in front of the players.  When the word is given to begin, the timer is started and the players shift through their stack of small cards looking for the exact match to either of the large cards displayed. When a player finds a match, he takes the large card and sets it and the small card aside, revealing the next large card in the pile to match. This continues until the timer runs out. Four rounds like this is a game. The small cards have a number on the top and bottom border. This is the point value for that set. Add up your points. The one with the most points wins.
Try this:
  • Start slow by placing 2 large cards in front of the individual and giving him one matching small card. Ask them to find the large card that matches the pattern on the small card. Start with three large cards, then four, etc.
  • Skip the timer. Play until all the large cards have been taken. Count your sets, the one with the most, wins.
  • Start by putting the large cards in a 2X2, 3X3, or 4X4 grid. Give the individual a stack of small cards. As he matches a large cards and takes it, replace it with a new large card. Play until all the large cards have been taken. Start slow and make the grid larger as the player can watch more cards at once.
  • Take several sets of two small cards and play a game of memory.
  • Ask the individual to hold the cards in the palm of the non-dominant hand and pushing the top cards off one at a time with the thumb to deal.
  • Ask the player to stack his deck of small cards in front of him on the table top and take the cards off one at a time without tipping over the pile or sliding extra cards off.
  • Play with the small cards only and sort out several sets (four of each pattern will make a set). Place one of each set in a stack. Shuffle and place the other cards face up on the table. Give the individual one card and ask them to find all the matching cards (there will be three to find and the one the player holds will make four total). Either pick the cards up as you go, making the game easier and easier as there will be fewer and fewer cards, or leave them where they lay and point to them.
  • Place the large cards on the table (start with fewer for an easier game). Choose one of the small cards and verbally, without showing the card, describe the pattern. Can the player find it on a large card by the description. Use positional language such as there are three red crosses on the left and three on the right. Or there is a line of red crosses from the top left hand corner that goes to the bottom right hand corner.
  • Practice shuffling.
If you are interested in purchasing this game or just want more information, click on the image below.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for taking the time to comment.