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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, July 27, 2015

Money Dice


Work on money skills, hand arch strength and support, in-hand manipulation, manual dexterity, visual discrimination, figure ground 

In the bag: 10 money dice

Not exactly a game, but if it's dice, I look. Using coins and dice are both good for working on hand skills, so this one is a double win. The dice are a tad bit smaller than typical game dice. Each die has the same denominations on it - 1 cent, 5 cents, 10 cents, 25 cents, 50 cents, and the dollar sign (see image above). I'm sure there are hundreds of ways to use these dice, but here are just a few that I use.

Try this:
  • Shape the palm before shaking the dice by putting a small ball or round object in the individual's hand and forming the hand around it.
  • Cup the hand and shake as many dice as you can comfortably hold without dropping any. Hold in this position and shake for several seconds before throwing. Throw the dice. Using play or real coins (I prefer real), pick the coins off a flat surface that match the dice.
  • Throw 50 cents and pick up 50 cents worth of coins of your choice.
  • Use the dollar sign as a wild card. Pick a random number and ask the individual to count out that much change.
  • Pick up the coins, one at a time, and squirrel them in the hand until all coins are in-hand.
  • Bring the coins from the palm, one at a time, and count the money out onto the table, into someone else's hand, or drop into a bank.
  • Choose an amount, such as nickels, and cup the hand, shake, and throw the dice until you have all 5 cents showing. Take out all nickels you throw on each turn.
  • Choose an amount, such as 10 cents. Pick up the dice, one at a time, and rotate the die in-hand until you see that amount. Place it on the table and repeat until all the dice are turned to 10 cents.
  • Divide the dice between two people (five dice each). Each player cups the hand and throws one die. The person who throws the highest amount gets the dice. Repeat over and over until someone runs out of dice. Make the dollar sign a wild card. If there is a tie, each player throws two dice and adds their total. Highest total wins all four dice.
If you are interested in purchasing this item or just want more information, click on the image below.

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