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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.


Sunday, November 1, 2015

Crab Stack



Work on visiual discrimination, figure ground, analytical and critical thinking, spatial relations, manual dexterity, social interaction, play and leisure exploration and participation

In the box: game board, 36 wooden crab tokens (9 each of four colors)
Ages 8+, 2-4 players, 20 minutes

Crawl smart or get swept away. The tide is rising and the crabs are looking for safe places to land, trapping their opponents beneath them. The object of the game is to immobilize your opponents' crabs by landing on top of them while avoiding being washed away. The last person who can still move a crab, wins.
To set up, each player chooses a color. The tokens for all players are mixed and randomly placed on the board. The instruction sheet shows the location where crabs should be placed if less than four people are playing. The game begins and each player, in turn, moves one of his crabs according to these rules for Moving Crabs:
  • Crabs move a different number of adjacent spaces depending on their size.
    • Large crabs must move 1 space.
    • Medium crabs must move 2 spaces
    • Small crabs must move 3 spaces.
  • Crabs must crawl over other crabs, and end their move on top of a crab that is their size or smaller.
    • Large crabs can end their turn on any crab.
    • Medium crabs can end their turn only on medium or small crabs.
    • Small crabs can only end their turn on small crabs.
There is also an important Wave Rule which states that all crabs must stay together, connected on the board in one large group. If the crabs become divided into two groups of crabs (no adjacent crab token that connects one group to the other), then one of the groups is washed away, removed from the board for the rest of the game. When a player can no longer move, he is eliminated from the game, even if his crabs are uncovered on later turns. Once all players except one have been eliminated, that person is declared the winner.
 
If you are interested in purchasing this game or just want more information, click on the image below.

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