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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.


Saturday, August 1, 2015

My First Sorting Bears

Work on visual discrimination, figure ground, manual dexterity, play exploration and participation, crossing midline, eye-hand coordination, figure ground, spatial orientation

In the box: Four large bear cards (blue, red, yellow, green), 4 medium bear cards (blue, red, yellow, green), 3 large bears of each color, 3 medium bears of each color.

A first sorting set of cute and colorful bears. Bears are solid plastic and cards are thicker and good quality. Should hold up well. I chose to call these bears large and medium because I know there are small sorting/manipulative bears that many people use and they look somewhat like these, but are smaller. 

Try this:
  • Use consistent terminology throughout to avoid confusion, such as either big and little bears, or large and small bears, etc.
  • Place two large cards in front of the individual and one large bear. Place the bear on the matching color card. Repeat until all large bears of those colors are sorted.
  • Place one card in front of the individual, either large or medium. Place all of that color bears in front of the individual and ask him to pick out that size of bear and place them on the card.
  • Place all the bears of one color and a large and a medium card of the same color in front of the individual. Ask the individual to sort the bears onto the two cards by size.
  • Place cards of choice and bears on table in front of child. Turn the bears so they are upside down, sideways, etc. Ask the individual to sort the bears onto the cards and place them all in a sitting position.

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