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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.


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Resonator Bells


Work on: visual motor integration, visual memory, sequential memory, crossing midline, tool use, visual discrimination, number or color recognition, figure ground, manual dexterity

In the plastic case: 8 bells and 2 mallets
Ages 3+

I was given this set of bells today by an awesome family and can't wait to start using them. The set includes eight bells, starting and ending with C. Each bell is removable from the case and stands alone. There are also two mallets included. I cannot say for a fact whether the bells are precision-tuned, but the tones are clear and vibrant. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow called music "the universal language of mankind." I have found that this holds true across ages, genders, cultures, and skill levels. Many who have never played a musical instrument are genuinely surprised and pleased when they find that they can "make music". 

Try this:
  • Color code songs on index cards. Instead of playing by notes, color circles to match the bell colors to play songs. I add anywhere between one and four lines of music per card, depending on how far I want to break it down.  
  • Play with two mallets.  Takes coordination!
  • Hold the card in one hand and play with the other to engage both hands. 
  • Play hand-over-hand or point to each chime the child must play if he cannot read a color-coded card.   
If you are interested in purchasing this item or just want more information, click on the image below.

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