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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, September 30, 2015

Scaventure Kids

Work on visual discrimination, figure ground, visual form constancy, eye-hand coordination, spatial relations, manual dexterity, tool use, fine motor precision, sensory processing, in-hand manipulation, coordinated use of both hands, proprioception, reading, recognition of colors and shapes, kinesthesia, motor sequencing, motor planning, letter recognition, counting, attention, creativity, analytical and critical thinking

In the box: 150 cards
Ages 7+, 1+ players

Upon opening the box and looking at the contents I thought "Well this will never work!" Then I read the instructions and couldn't wait to play. Scaventure Kids is a scavenger hunt for kids that can be played at home - alone or in teams. The game consists of cards with each card listing four things to find or do. The reason I did not think it would work is because some of the items to find you would never find in my home or yard, such as a dandelion, a toy soldier, a cowboy hat, and a bath oil bead. Taking that into consideration, the directions instruct each person or team to draw eight cards and find or accomplish as many of the items on the cards as they can in 30 minutes. Considering that is 32 items, it is unlikely there would be time to complete them all. Here are three card examples:
  • Card 1
    • Get something with a dinosaur on it.
    • Make up a kit for making a snowman. Make a sign that says "Just add snow."
    • It it's nice outside, have your team all try a cartwheel.
    • Teach everyone how to spell a new word: try "neighborhood" or "squirrel".
  • Card 2
    • Make your own instrument using household objects. Play a song on it.
    • Bring back something that is from another country.
    • Find a sleeping bag. Pretend one of your team-mates is a caterpillar turning into a butterfly.
    • Make someone on your team look like a clown, make-up and all.
  • Card 3
    • Find something a wild bird would make a nest with.
    • Find a piece of wood that is exactly one foot long.
    • Find any 3 objects that show the 3 primary colors.
    • Have your team make a sculpture using a bar of soap.
I like this game because it is not just a game to find things and you're done. There is a fun mix of find and do activities that appeals to most kids and can be adapted to many ages, skills and abilities. Adults, kids, and teens can play together and have lots of fun. Encourages resourcefulness, creativity and thinking skills. Cards measure approximately 4 1/2" X 3 1/8" and come in a plastic storage container. Included are 4 pages of simple black outline animal stickers (12 stickers per page) to give to young kids if you want to give prizes or recognition for a job well done.

Try this:
  • Make copies of the cards or type up the lists so that kids can cross things off as they are done. Reduces wasted time re-reading completed items.
  • Set-up craft type stations ahead of time for activities that may require time. Such as have clown items and make up assembled ahead of time (dollar store is a great place to find things) and let the creativity begin.
  • Walk along with younger kids and help direct them. For instance you could place things around the backyard that would naturally occur there and then go looking with the child.
  • Use this as a teaching opportunity. Have a color wheel handy when talking about primary colors, find illustrations in a book ahead of time to review the stages in a caterpillar turning into a butterfly, have a map ready for quick reference and point out the location when finding an item from a different country.
  • Sort through the cards and make your own list to target specific skills.
  • Place an item in a junk drawer and instruct the individual to look there for it to practice finding something in a confusing background. Place the item upside down or half buried to complicate the task.
  • Make up your own game, you don't even need to buy one!
If you are interested in purchasing this item or just want more information, click on the image below. 
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