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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.


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Raging Rapids

 
 
 
Work on spatial reasoning, visual closure, manual dexterity, executive functions, leisure exploration and participation
 
In the box: 1 plastic raft, 12 plastic paddlers, 1 pamphlet with challenges
Ages 8+, 1 player
 
Let me say up front that I was surprised to find that there are only two challenges to this game.  Each challenge requires you to dump all the paddlers out of the raft, shake them up, and then fit them all back into the raft.  Each paddler has blanks and tabs similar to a jigsaw puzzle.
 
Challenge one requires you to place all the paddlers back in the raft facing forward. Challenge two requires you to place all the paddlers back into the raft facing in the opposite direction. Each challenge offers two hints. Sure that I would not need the hints, I go to work. Eventually I give in and look at hint number one. Each paddler has a small letter on the bottom, from A-L. This hint is the location of paddler E. I work awhile longer and start fearing that I will not be able to get the puzzle together and fit back into the box. Now I look at hint two. It is the location of a second paddler. Frequently when you are given the location of a piece or two from a brainteaser puzzle, the rest of the pieces fall almost effortlessly into place. Not with this puzzle. This game has one of those boxes that I hate - a big open hole on the front requires that you keep track of the plastic insert that is form-fitted over the raft and paddlers. If you don't get the paddlers into place, you cannot put the plastic piece over that keeps them from falling out of the box. Therefore, after you put it together once you might want to write the answer on the challenge sheet in case someone gets stuck and you don't have the time to work the puzzle to put it away. Overall I was not much impressed.
 
Try this:
  • Start by leaving all the pieces in the raft except two or three. Ask the individual to finish working the puzzle. Take one more out each time the individual works the puzzle to increase the difficulty gradually.
  • Record the location of each piece. Ask the individual to place each paddler into the raft by location, such as piece K is in the third row, far left.
  • Use consistent positional language such as left, right, middle, first, second, front, back, etc. 
If you are interested in purchasing this item or just want more information, click on the image below.

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