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 22, 2015

Scrabble Holiday Edition (Christmas)

Work on visual discrimination, visual closure, figure ground, eye-hand coordination, manual dexterity, in-hand manipulation, sequencing, reading, spelling, critical and analytical thinking, social interaction, play and leisure exploration and participation 

In the box: 1 game board, 100 wooden tiles, 4 wooden racks, 26 gift tag cards, 4 bonus word point cards, Christmas stocking
Ages 8+, 2-4 players

This is the first game I pull out each Christmas. Not for work, for me! Just the outside of the box is inviting - festive fun just waiting to be unwrapped and enjoyed. The board says Christmas from top to bottom, decorated with holiday graphics including Santa, Christmas cookies, and peppermint candy. The tiles have red and green letters on them and are pulled from a plush Christmas stocking. Just that would be enough to add some Christmas cheer to a classic, but this edition offers the options to play the traditional way or to follow the special Christmas rules for an exciting holiday twist. Earn extra points by creating words related to the Christmas season. Can you spell E-L-V-E-S? The more letters your word has, the more extra points you can earn. To-and-from gift tags, in the form of special instruction cards, add the star on the top of the tree. You have the option of playing one each turn to boost your score, trade tiles, take an extra turn, consult a dictionary, or hinder an opponent (bah humbug). Examples of gift tag cards include:
  • Assembly required - Build onto the beginning of an existing word. Triple your score for that word.
  • White elephant gift exchange - Ask all other players for a specific letter. Swap with someone who has it.
  • Let it snow - Play up to six letters individually on the board to form several short words.
  • Bah humbug - One less tile is drawn by an opponent on their turn.
  • Joy to the world - Place everyone's tiles in the center of the table facedown and mix them up. Each player redraws the same number of tiles they put in.
The wooden racks have a groove in them so that the cards can stand up and be seen by you at all times. Let's see... am I forgetting anything? Oh yes! Add a cup of hot cocoa with a candy cane stirrer (sorry, not included), and enjoy!

If you are interested in purchasing this game or just want more information, click on the image below.

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