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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.


Sunday, October 25, 2015

Knock Your Blocks Off

 
Work on manual dexterity, in-hand manipulation, arch support, spatial relations, eye-hand coordination, visual discrimination, social skills, play and leisure exploration and participation 
 
In the box: 28 wooden blocks, 4 structure guides, 1 demolition die, 30 victory tokens
Ages 8+, 2-4 players
 
A visual puzzle with a fine motor challenge. The object of Knock Your Blocks Off is to be the first player to collect 8 tokens by building, attacking, and defending block structures. Each game is played over several rounds, and each round is made up of a building phase and a destruction phase. Build structures per the structure guide and then use the demolition die to knock your opponent's crown die off of his structure. To set the game up for play, give each player six building blocks of the same color, a crown block, and a structure guide. Place the victory tokens off to the side and the demolition die between the players. 
 
BUILDING PHASE - all players roll their six blocks like dice and build any one of the structures pictured below.  
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To be correct, all of the sides of the dice facing you must match up, color to color. Example white touching white, purple touching purple, etc. The first person to accomplish this places his crown die on top of his structure and grabs the demolition die. At this point there is a pause as everyone finishes their structures. The person with the demolition die scores a victory token.

DESTRUCTION PHASE - Choose your target, the structure to either your right or left. Throw the die to determine your method of attacking. There are three methods and the destruction die has 2 sides for each method:
  • Boulder - Set the demolition die flat on the table and flick it toward the structure.
  • Ogre - Toss the die underhand toward the structure.
  • Dragon - Hold the demolition die above the structure and drop it.
Using this method, you will have one chance to knock the crown off the top of their structure. If you succeed, you win another victory token. If you fail, your target opponent wins the token. The dice is then passed to the opponent and he chooses a target. This is repeated until everyone has a chance to attack. Then the Building stage beings again and the steps are repeated until someone wins 8 tokens.

Try this:
  • Practice building the structures before playing the game.
  • Skip playing the game. Using the reference card for ideas, build structures and have the individual copy them, making the same color/white pattern.
  • Practice keeping all six cubes in your extended hand as you shake them. Try not to drop any.
  • Build one large structure using all the cubes, matching white to white and any color to any color.
If you are interested in purchasing this item or just want more information, click on the image below.

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