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, January 29, 2016

Star Wars Force Grab

Work on visual discrimination, spatial relations, visual form constancy, visual scanning, manual dexterity, palmar arches, play and leisure exploration and participation, social skills

In the box: 15 objects, 4 lightsaber markers, 1 three marker, 1 zero marker, 50 pattern cards, 15 scoring tokens

Lots of little STAR WARS objects and a chance to compare them in orientation to pattern cards makes for a fun game to hone visual perceptual skills. The object is to throw the 15 small objects onto the table and then compare them to a pattern card. Are any of them lying in the same orientation on the table as pictured on the card? There are four pieces pictured on each card and each one has a different color background that corresponds to the colors on the lightsabers. If you notice that one of the objects matches the card, be the first to grab the lightsaber of that color. If none of them match, be the first to grab the zero marker. If three of them match, be the first to grab the three marker. Objects and images on cards are checked for orientation by all players at the end of the round. If the individual(s) are correct, they remove the small matching objects and keep them until the game is over. Play another round with the remaining objects. Repeat this round after round with fewer and fewer of the small objects until they are all gone. Person with the most small objects at the end of the game is the winner. Sorry, I am not a STAR WARS fan so I can only tell you what a few of the objects are: Darth Vader bust, R2D2, C3PO head, Jabba the Hutt. 

Try this:
  • Cup the hand and hold it in position while dropping the small objects into the palm one at a time before throwing. If the individual has difficulty cupping the hand, place a small ball in his palm. Ask him to curl his fingers around the ball. Carefully remove the ball and ask him to hold his hand in that position until all pieces have been added.
  • Pick up the small objects one by one to put away. Squirrel each on in the hand as you go. How many can be held without dropping any?
  • Give the individual a card and ask him to choose the four pieces on the card and place them on the table in the orientations to match the card.
  • Place one card face-up on the table. Place the 15 objects next to it. Make sure that the four objects that are on the card are not in the same orientation on the table as they are on the card. Ask the individual to scan the objects and find the four that match the four on the card. Lay them in the same orientations as they are on the card.
  • Show the individual one card. Ask him to memorize the four pieces on that card. Turn the card face-down and ask the individual to find those four pieces in the pile of 15 objects. Start with fewer objects if the individual has difficulty. Work you way back up to 15, one additional object at a time.
If you are interested in purchasing this item or just want more information, click on the image below.

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