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.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Melissa & Doug Bead Sequencing Set

Work on visual discrimination, visual closure, figure ground, visual form constancy, manual dexterity, eye-hand coordination, spatial relations, visual memory, stereognosis, thinking skills, sequencing, grasping/reaching/releasing
In the box: 46 wooden blocks/beads, 5 dowels, 5 two-sided sequencing patterns (10 total patterns)
Ages 4-8
Many OTs have a good set of wooden beads to stack and/or string. This is a quality set from Melissa & Doug. It comes in a sturdy wooden box and even has a slide-on plastic lid! The beads are solid wood and brightly painted, and are meant to be stacked on the five dowels. The five dowels fit into the five holes on the box so that you are stacking beads vertically. Behind the holes a groove runs the length of the box. Insert a dowel, stand one of the pattern cards in the groove, behind or next to the dowel, and start stacking. There are five different shapes and five different colors. Each sequencing pattern is a mix of different shapes and colors. One pattern is shapes only, no color.
Try this:
  • Use a cord and lace the beads horizontally on a table top. Set a pattern card on the table horizontally and string that pattern.
  • Use the shape only pattern card in different ways: 1) Let the individual choose the color and match the shape, 2) You call the color for each shape, 3) Study the beads, feel their shapes. Then put them in a bag and pull them out, one at a time without looking, to match the shapes.
  • Follow a pattern and carefully stack the blocks vertically on a table top without using the dowel.
  • Skip the pattern strip. Make your own pattern using your choice of shapes and colors.
  • Skip the pattern strip. Call out colors and shapes such as red, square, round, green, etc.
If you are interested in purchasing this item or just want more information, click on the image below.

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