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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.


Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Dance Maker



Work on motor planning, gross motor, balance, coordination, crossing midline, body awareness, spatial relations, motor sequencing, sequence memory, creative thinking

In the box: Dance maker spinner, 3 floor pattern cards, 36 dance in place dance move cards, 24 here to there dance move cards, 12 final spotlight dance move cards

Choreograph your own dances following the moves on these cards. Cards can be mixed and new dances created over and over. There are three types of dance moves and you can either mix and match your own or use the spinner. The spinner board has three spinners, one for each dance move type: Dance in Place, Here to There, Final Spotlight. Each spinner has numbers that correspond to the numbers on the moves. Spin the three dials and use those three moves to make your dance. Here are examples of the three types of dance moves:
  • Dance in Place
    • Four marches followed by four claps.
    • Roll your head in any direction.
    • Double clap, snap with R hand, double clap, snap with L hand.
    • Do four kicks in any direction, front, side or back.
  • Here to There
    • Twirl and turn to your next card.
    • With hands and feet on the ground, move sideways like a monkey.
    • Skip to your next card
  • Final Spotlight
    • Wave at your subjects like a princess in a parade.
    • Lay on your stomach and act like you are watching TV.
    • Legs apart, arms crossed, head tilted, give them the look!
There are also three floor pattern plans to choreograph those moves into actual dances.

Try this:
  • Practice each step individually until you are successful before putting them all together.
  • Alternate one difficult (or multi-step) move with one one-step move, as the example under Dance in Place.
  • Start with all one-step moves. Move to alternating one with two, then all two, etc.
If you are interested in purchasing this item or just want more information, click on the link below.

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