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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.


Thursday, August 6, 2015

Lacing & Learning Opposites


Work on visual discrimination, figure ground, spatial relations, eye-hand coordination, sequencing, manual dexterity, pincer grasp, finger strength, in-hand manipulation, fine motor precision, palmar arch support/strength, separation of two side of hand, intrinsic muscle development, tool use, using both hands in a coordinated manner, motor planning, opposites, sustained attention, play exploration and participation

In the box: 8 cards totaling 40 pairs of opposites, 8 36" tipped laces
Ages 3+

The cards were smaller than I expected, approximately 4 1/2" X 7", but it is still an interesting activity and a different take on lacing than I have seen before. Each card has five pair of opposites, one on the right side, one on the left side. The object is to lace between the two, instead of drawing a line like you would on paper. After you make one set, choose another picture and find its opposite, until all five pairs have been made. The laces are plastic tipped, brightly colored and plenty long enough to do the job. Some of the pairs of opposites include:

pull - push
shallow - deep
few - many
tied - untied
day - night
happy - sad

The back of the cards tell you where to start and where to finish, and the pattern you will create, if you are going to work from top left to bottom left.  

Try this:
  • Take this natural opportunity to practice tying knots.
  • Allow the individual to start where he wants and end where he wants, making sure that he chooses one from each column to make a set.
  • Ask the individual not to turn the card over as he laces, instead feeling for the hole to lace through from the bottom or the lace tip as it is pushed through the top.
  • Correct the individual as he goes if he chooses an incorrect image, as you will end up with other unmatched images in the end if you don't.
If you are interested in purchasing this item or just want more information, click on the image below.

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