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.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Moustache Smash

Work on visual discrimination, visual memory, eye-hand coordination, social interaction, play and leisure exploration and participation, manual dexterity

In the box: 6 moustache sticks, 32 moustache cards
Ages 7+, 2+ players

Match your moustache to a card on the table, by color or shape, and smash it. Sounds like fun, but let me say up front that I am always a little leery about investing in games that include pieces with suction cups. The reason being that my history with these games is that the suction cups do not work that long. Squigz is the exception. I am still using that activity with great success and kids are loving it. Back to Moustache Smash. I found this game this week for $1.50 so decided to buy it. Included in the game are the pieces pictured below: 

 The object of the game is to have the most moustache cards after all of the cards have been played. To play, each person chooses a moustache, which is held under the nose (like a moustache) throughout the game. Remember the shape and color of your moustache, this will be important for winning the game. The cards are mixed and placed in a stack, face down, on the table. One at a time, the cards are flipped face up. If a person thinks that his moustache color or shape matches the card, he tries to be the first to pick it up by smashing it (see box picture above). If he is correct, he gets to keep the card. If he is wrong, he puts the card back and puts two cards from his collected cards under it. The next person to correctly smash the pile gets all the cards. If a Moustache Smash card is played, all players can smash it. The fastest 'stache gets the card. If a Moustache Pass Card is played, everyone passes his moustache to the player on his left. Now you have a new moustache to remember.
Try this:
  • Mix the cards and form a grid as seen in the image above. One at a time, use the moustaches to pick up the three matching cards for each (color doesn't matter).
  • Play a simple memory game by sorting out two of each matching moustaches (color does not matter) and following the rules for memory.
  • Play a memory game by mixing and turning over all 18 cards. Match three of one color to make a set (shape does not matter).
If you are interested in purchasing this item or just want more information, click on the image below.

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