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, January 5, 2016

Bounce Off Blow Out

Work on eye-hand coordination, manual dexterity, motor planning, visual discrimination, spatial relations, visual closure, figure ground, attention, concentration, simple math, sequencing, social skills, play and leisure exploration and participation
In the box: 32 balls in 4 colors (red, green, blue, yellow), 1 lightweight plastic grid, 8 ball holders, 4 game mats, 1 timer
Ages 7+, 2-4 players
If you liked the original Bounce Off game, you will probably also like this newer version which includes twice the number of balls and twice the colors of the original, as well as a variety of game mats for seven different ways to play. The balls are just like ping pong balls, light and bounce very easily. The grid is light weight plastic, just like the original. The mats are cardboard and just sit under the plastic grid. They are printed front and back. 
The seven games are as follows: 
  1. Score - The mat has a number for each space in the grid. Everyone bounces in all balls. When done, each player removes balls and adds or subtracts the numbers under his color balls. Highest score wins.
  2. Ball to Ball - Bounce your balls, one at a time across the grid. First ball must land anywhere in the first row, second ball anywhere in the second row, third ball in third row, etc.
  3. All Balls - The mat has four colored spaces for each color (4 green spaces, 4 blue spaces, etc.) All players bounce at once to see who can land their four balls into their four colored spaces first.
  4. Stacked - Players take turns bouncing their balls into the grid to form a three layer pyramid. No particular color order.
  5. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 - Each space has a number. Bounce your balls into the grid and try for the highest score.
  6. Bounce by Numbers - Each space on the mat has a number from 1-8 and a color. Bounce your colored balls onto your color and in sequential order from 1-8.
  7. Boom - There are four BOOM circles on the mat and the rest of the circles are each colored with one of the four colors. Take turns trying to bounce your color balls onto matching color spaces on the grid. If you land on a BOOM, take off all balls adjacent to the BOOM space. First player to bounce in all of his balls onto his color spaces, wins.
Try this:
  • Practice bouncing the balls into the grid before playing a game. It takes a little forward push, aim, graded force, and practice to get the ball to go where you want it to go.
  • Play alone and time yourself. Then play again and try to beat your time or score.
If you are interested in purchasing this game or just want more information, click on the image below.

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