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, November 15, 2015

Angry Birds Holiday Edition Dice Card Game

Work on following directions, visual discrimination, visual form constancy, finger flicking, palmar arches, manual dexterity, in-hand manipulation, shuffling and dealing cards, analytical and critical thinking, eye-hand coordination, body awareness, sequencing, social interaction, play and leisure exploration and participation
In the box: 36 structure cards, 20 special power cards, 2 dice, 1 king pig
Ages 5+, 2-5 players
Based on the popular Angry Birds app, this card/dice game is designed for the holidays with details of holly, snowflakes, candy canes, and elf/Santa hats printed on the cards. The object of the game is to be the first to knock out (get rid of) your structure cards and knock over the king pig with a flick of the finger. Structure cards picture five different colored angry birds (see above). The dice also picture the five different colored angry birds, one on each side, plus one side with all five birds as a wild card. To set up, deal 2 power cards and 6 structure cards face down to each player. Lay your structure cards face up on the table in the order you want to knock them out. This is your castle. In turn, each player will throw the two dice hoping to throw an image of the first bird, or the first AND second birds, you want to knock out. If you succeed, you get to discard that card(s), play a special power card if you want, and your turn is over. If you don't succeed, you can either play a special power card or end your turn. Special power cards give additional options for play including:
  • +1 card - Play this card to force an opponent to add one structure card to his castle.
  • Pig card - Play this card on an opponent and give him one of your structure cards.
  • Re-roll card - Play to re-roll the dice on your turn or to force an opponent to re-roll the dice on his turn.
  • Boom! - Play this card to knock out one of your structure cards instantly.
  • No launch - Play this card to make an opponent lose his turn.
Once you have gotten rid of all your cards, on your next turn you may set up the big green pig, set the die on the table, and use one finger to flick the die toward the pig. Knock it over and win the game. Don't knock it over and wait until your next turn and try again. The successful winner must knock over the green pig to end the game.
Try this:
  • Ask the individual to hold the cards in the non-dominant hand and push each card off the top with the thumb while dealing.
  • Place a small ball in the palm and wrap the fingers around it to prepare to cup the hand for shaking the dice. Ask the individual to squeeze the fingers together and hold. Lift the ball and add the dice. Ask the individual to shake the dice for a count of 10+ seconds to keep the hand in that position a little longer.
  • Practice fanning the cards. Hold them in the non-dominant hand and separate the cards by pushing each one to the right using the thumb. Be patient, can be difficult for some.
If you are interested in purchasing this game or just want more information, click on the image below.

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