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.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


Work on spatial relations, visual closure, visual discrimination, manual dexterity, in-hand manipulation, critical and analytical thinking, social skills, play and leisure exploration and participation

In the box: 1 plastic grid playing board, 21 pieces per color, four colors (84 total pieces)
Ages 7+, 2-4 players

A fun game for the whole family - simple to learn and challenging enough to engage young and old alike. Each player will start with 21 pieces of the same color. Each piece is a different shape. Taking turns, each player lays one piece at a time on the plastic playing board. There is only one rule for laying the pieces on the board: Each piece must touch a piece of the same color already on the board, but only at the corners. Try to spread out so that you have a lot of options for laying pieces while trying to block your opponent(s) into a limited space.

All pieces of a single color can only come into contact with each other at their corners.
If you run out of places to play, you are out of the game. Players keep playing until everyone is blocked or until all pieces have been played. To score, either count the number of pieces each person succeeded in playing on the board or else count the number of squares that make up those pieces. Highest number wins. The grid on the plastic playing board is raised so that the pieces won't slid around. Always different each time you play.

Try this:
  • Play alone with one color to get used to placing the pieces corner to corner.
  • Play a game and count the number of corners that are touched.
  • Play a game with the person learning the game and think your strategy out loud as you play so that they can learn how to use strategy.
  • Ask the person to turn the piece in-hand if it needs to be adjusted for orientation.
If you are interested in purchasing this game or just want more information, click on the image below.

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