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 20, 2016

Pattern Play .

Work on spatial relations, visual discrimination, visual closure, in-hand manipulation, figure ground, fine motor precision, manual dexterity, palmar arch development, executive functions, play and leisure exploration and participation

In the box: 150 plastic tiles, 1 black plastic grid, 16 pattern cards (32 designs)

Choose a pattern card, then use the triangles to make the picture on the grid.  Good if you are working on diagonals, as all pieces are triangles. The pieces each have a very tiny stem coming out of the top, middle. It's possible to pick up the piece by this small stem, but difficult, and could be tedious to have to do over and over. The orange and red colors are VERY close and hard to tell apart, even in the best light. I have used this many times, and I usually just separate the red and the orange into two different piles to reduce frustration. The red and orange colors on the cards are two very distinct colors, so the orange may be mistaken for yellow. The grid is not square, it has one extra row in one direction that the other. Make sure you have the grid oriented before you start as it is hard to tell for the kids but you will eventually find out when their picture does not fit.

Try this:
  • Lay the pieces flat on the table to practice picking up items off a flat surface.
  • Pick up the pieces by the small stem. Difficult to do.
  • Turn over one of the other cards and place it over all but the line you are working on if the individual has trouble singling out the line they are working on or keeps losing his place.
  • Count squares up & down, left to right, to help show where things are positioned.
  • Make a pattern sheet instead of using the pattern card.  Give coordinates and colors, such as  A1 = red, blue. A2 = blue, blue.
  • If the individual is using a pattern sheet and cannot see the finished picture, have him guess as he goes what the finished picture will be. 
  • Hold one or more pieces in the palm and move them one at a time to the fingertips to rotate and place.
  • Put away by picking the pieces up by the handfuls.
  • Put away by picking the pieces up one at a time and squirreling them into the palm. How many can be held without dropping?
  • Give the individual the grid, a picture card, and only one color of triangles. Ask him to place them on the board before moving to the next color. This can be very difficult to do for many.
 If you are interested in purchasing this game or just want more information, click on the image below.

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