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.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Memory Challenge Holiday

Work on visual discrimination, visual memory, spatial relations, figure ground, eye-hand coordination, manual dexterity, in-hand manipulation, social interaction skills, attention, turn taking, following directions, play and leisure exploration and participation

In the box: 100 picture cards, 10 Naughty or Nice cards

I love pulling out seasonal and holiday games each year when the time rolls around. Images in this game include seasonal and Christmas. Snowball fights, sledding, hot cocoa, carolers, fruit cake, Christmas cookies, Christmas tree, and snowmen are just a few of the sets you will be making. The Memory Challenge line includes challenge cards with special directions that elevate the traditional memory game to a new level.  This game includes Naughty and Nice challenge cards which include special directions for each player who turns one over. Naughty cards include force another player to lose a turn, mix up five cards at the end of your turn, and steal a match from another player. Nice cards include peek at surrounding cards, take another turn, and turn over four cards to remain visible for the rest of the game and/or until each is taken as part of a set. 

Set up:
Mix all cards and lay them in a grid on the table. The cards are a little thicker than regular playing cards, so they are easier to grasp and turn. 

the first player turns over two cards. If they match, he takes them off the grid and takes another turn. As long as he turns up matches, he can keep playing. Once he turns up a mismatch, he turns the cards back over in their original position and his turn is over. The next person plays. Continue until all matches have been found. The person with the most matches at the end, wins. 

Make sure that all players can see each card that is turned over before it is turned back. This is a fun Christmas game that I have given as a gift also, as it is only around $10.

Try this:
  • Turn several cards face up to start and leave them up until they are taken as part of a set. This will make a long game shorter.
  • Prompt the individual to remember the locations and always turn the cards back over in their present locations to end his turn.
  • Start with fewer sets and work your way up to 50. Fifty sets is a lot.
  • Play alone to help develop concentration and memory skills. Count the number of plays it takes you to finish or time yourself. Play again and try to beat that number.
  • Play teams. One member turns over one card, the other team member turns over the second card to make the match.
  • Turn the cards all face up and make sets. Start with fewer cards if 100 is too many to look at.
  • Take the 50 sets, putting one of each set into one of two piles. Turn one pile of 50 face up on the table. Hand the individual one card at a time from the remaining 50 and ask him to find the matching card on the table.
  • Mix the cards before setting up the game, making sure some are upside down or facing a side. Ask the individual setting up the grid to turn each card in-hand to right it while building the grid.
If you are interested in purchasing this game or just want more information, click on the image below.

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