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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

United States Bingo



Work on visual discrimination, spatial relations, visual closure, visual memory, visual scanning, manual dexterity, in-hand manipulation, geography, social interaction

In the box: 12 game cards, 72 small card chips, drawstring bag, small map of the US
Ages 5+, 2-12 players

Learn geography while playing a game! Bingo cards show states divided into geographical regions, such as the Great Lakes states, Virginia and the capital region, and the desert states. Each card shows the states in that region and six products/industries that the region is known for.


For instance, the desert states include Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah. The six areas that need to be covered with the card chips are oil, machinery, pueblo, sheep, mining, and Las Vegas. The cards and chips are both thick cardboard with a wipe clean surface. To play, give each player a card or two. Place the chips into the cloth bag (not shown) and choose someone to be the caller. That person will pick the chips out of the bag, one at a time, and read the product/industry out loud. The first person to identify it as his chip, gets it to place on his card. When someone has covered all six areas on his card, he yells BINGO and wins the game.

Try this:
  • Lay the chips all flat and face-down onto the table, instead of in the bag. Pick them up one at a time, and if they are upside down, turn them in the fingers to orient them correctly.
  • Test yourself. After playing several games, ask someone to read you the regions and see how many of the state you can remember. Can you remember any of the industries or products?
  • Lay the chips all face-up on the table. Give the individual one card at a time and ask him to find the chips he needs to complete the card. Place the chips in different orientations so that it maybe more challenging to recognize them, as well as giving an opportunity to pick them up and turn them in the fingers for placement.
  • Start with one card and the six matching chips. Then give the individual two cards and the 12 matching chips, then three cards and 18 chips and so forth.
If you are interested in purchasing this item or just want more information, click on the image below.

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