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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.


Friday, September 18, 2015

Fish or Cut Bait



Work on visual discrimination, eye-hand coordination, palmar arch development, in-hand manipulation, basic math, social interaction

In the box: 7 wooden game dice, 1 45-second sand timer, 1 "snag free" game chip, score pad
Ages 8+, 2+ players

A roll 'em fast and reel 'em in dice game. The game is played with seven dice - four "rig" dice and three "fishing" dice. Any time you play a dice game you have a chance to work on strengthening palmar arches. Good arch support aids in fine motor precision for many, many tasks.

The winner is the person who has caught the most fish after eight rounds. To play, each person will have 45 seconds to throw the dice. Before he can start "fishing" with the red, white, and blue dice, he must first throw a "fishing rig" with the tan dice. A rig consists of a fishing boat, a fishing pole, a lure, and a bobber. Throw the four tan dice quickly to assemble the rig as time is running out. If three of a kind are rolled while assembling the rig, the player earns a "snag-free" chip. Once the rig is assembled, set them aside and start fishing by throwing the red, white, and blue dice. Each fish die has six sides, five with a picture of a fish and a number, and one with a picture of a fishing pole with a boot on the end, called a "snag". You are trying for the highest score you can get when combining the three dice, but you don't want to throw a snag. If a snag is thrown, all fish you might has saved up to this point are lost and you must start over from the beginning, including assembling a new rig. If you have earned a snag-free chip while assembling your rig, you can ignore all snags that you throw on this turn. When you are throwing the three fish dice, if you throw a die with a large number, say five, you may set it aside and only throw the other two. Once you are satisfied with your score, or the timer runs out, your turn is over. Record your score on the score sheet and pass the dice to the next player.

Try this:
  • Forget the timer. Assemble your rig, then throw the three colored fish dice until you catch a boot which will end you turn. Count one point for each fish as you throw. Record your score.
  • Follow the instructions above, but count the actual number that shows up on each fish mentally as you go.
  • Cup two hands to throw the dice. Alternate placing hands side-by-side with top and bottom.
  • Assemble the rig by turning the dice instead of throwing them. Call an item, such as fishing pole. Then put one die in the individual's palm and ask him to bring it to his fingertips, with that hand, and turn it until he finds the correct item. When I place a die in an individual's palm, I often place the side they will be looking for at the bottom. This will ensure that the person will have to rotate the die to come up with the correct side.
If you are interested in purchasing this item or just want more information, click on the image below.
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