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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.


Thursday, October 15, 2015

Pictopia

 
Work on manual dexterity, memory, visual discrimination, visual closure, thinking skills, social interaction, play and leisure exploration and participation
 
In the box: Game board, 6 movers, 1 die, 200 cards, 6 scoring dials, 30 wager coins
Ages 7+, 2-6 players
 
This is a Disney trivia game for fans who know their Disney characters. Many characters and movies are represented in this game including Disney Princesses, Jungle Book, Mulan, Lady and the Tramp, Winnie the Pooh, The Lion King, Pinocchio, The Muppets, Tinkerbell, Toy Story, and Alice in Wonderland. A big difference between this and other trivia games is that instead of having to remember an answer with no clues, possibilities will be presented to you in picture form and you just need to recognize it. Pictures are labeled A-B-C-D. Therefore, the game can be motor free and you can just call out the letter(s), or it can be played with non-verbal individuals who can point to the answer.  There are four pictures on the front of each card and five questions listed on the back, as well as the answers. Pictures may be scenes, characters only, partial pictures, pictures from one movie, or pictures from a variety of movies. Here are some examples:
 
Characters from one movie.  Characters from different movies.  Scenes from movies.                   Partial pictures.
Here is an example of a card and the five questions/answers from the back:
 
  1. Which ONE of these characters has a friend named Boomer?
  2. Which TWO of these characters are seen as youngsters at the beginning of their movies?
  3. Which THREE of these characters do NOT live in real cities?
  4. Which ONE of these characters trades their voice for something they want?
  5. Which ONE of these characters would I most want to trade places with for a day?
The game includes a game board, wagering chips, and scoring dials, and you can work your way from one end to the other by answering questions. I don't usually use the board, just ask the questions. 
 

Try this:
  • Work on the process of elimination. The individual may not know what the answer is, but can he eliminate any that are not the answer? This will narrow down his choices and give him a better chance at getting the answer correct if he has to guess. A good test taking strategy.
  • Play without the board. Just ask the questions for a shorter, easier game.
  • Sift through the cards and take out cards that include movies the individual has not seen.
  • Leave the cards in a pile and allow the individual to pick the top card and hand it to you for each question. Cleanly lift the top card without toppling the stack.
  • Use the board to practice throwing the die and advancing, but ignore the symbols. Just move forward one space for each pip on the die for each question answered correctly. I typically ask several questions off each card.
If you are interested in purchasing this game or just want more information, click on the image below.

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