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.

Friday, November 6, 2015


Work on visual memory, visual discrimination, visual scanning, manual dexterity, social interaction, play and leisure exploration and participation

In the box: 4 plastic color palettes, 108 color chips, 18 color wheels, 1 cloth bag, 1 5-second timer
Ages 6+, 2-4 players

How colorful is your memory? Play the Palette color memory game and find out. The object of the game is to be the first to fill your artist's palette with six color chips. To earn a chip, you will be given 5 seconds to study the chip color. Then the chip is turned over so you can't see the color and you will now find that exact color on one of the color wheels. Choosing a color with just the slightest difference in shade, tint or hue and you will forfeit the chip. To set up, give each player an empty artist palette. Put all the color chips in the bag or dump them color side down onto the table. Place the color wheels in a stack, color side down. Each player, in turn, randomly chooses one color chip and studies the color for five seconds and then places the chip on the table, color side down. Now he shuffles through the pile of color wheels and finds the color that he feels is the exact match to the chip he just looked at. Turn over the color chip and check. If correct, the player slips the chip into his palette and his turn is over.

If incorrect, he places the chip in a discard pile. Players take turns until someone has filled his pallet with color chips, six in all, to win. 

UPDATE - I like this game much better in small numbers, as in two players. Each play only involves the one person playing, and it is not like he is playing something that will impact others on their turns. There is a lot of down time. I played it with four people today and we spent a lot of time waiting for others to play, and eventually people just started talking to each other while a person was playing. Boring in a larger group IMHO.

Try this:
  • Turn the color chips all color side up in the middle of the table. Deal a color wheel to each player, color side down. At the same time everyone looks at their color wheel and finds their six matching color chips. First one done, wins.
  • Load six color chips into a palette and ask the individual to find the same six colors on the color wheels.
  • Lay all the color wheels within reach of all players, face up. Choose one color chip and place it face up in the middle of the table. All players scan the color wheels. When you think you have a match, put you finger on the color on the wheel. Check for accuracy. If you are right, you get the chip. If wrong, you are out of this round and people keep playing. Play until someone has collected five chips and wins the game.
If you are interested in purchasing this item or just want more information, click on the image below.

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