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 3, 2015

Pop Toob Set

Work on finger and hand strength, manual dexterity, eye-hand coordination, visual closure, motor planning, sensory awareness, proprioception, play exploration and participation

Fidget toys that may help increase finger and hand strength. These are lightweight, plastic tubes that can be stretched out and then can be pushed  or pulled (compacted) back together again. Compressed they are approximately 8 inches long and extended fully are about 32 inches long. I buy these individually in the toy aisle at my grocery store for $1 each. Compress them using both hands, or for a workout try holding the extended tube in one hand and compressing it with the fingers on that same hand. The tubes can attach to each other on the ends, and can wrap around and attach to itself, end to end. Makes noise as it is stretched and compressed. 

Try this:
  • Hold in one hand and close by reaching up with fingers and pulling down on the tube to collapse it. Expand only a few inches to start. Add a couple of inches at a time as the individual is successful. Can be tiring to begin with.
  • Hold one end in each hand. Pull apart as far as possible to move the arms away from the body.
  • Start by stretching only small distances until the individual gets used to collapsing it without crushing it.
  • Open one and bend it into a shape (see shapes above). Give the individual a tube and ask him to make the same model.
If you are interested in purchasing this or just want more information, click on the image below.

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