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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.


Friday, January 29, 2016

ZINGO! Number BINGO 1-2-3


Work on spatial relations, figure ground, visual discrimination, visual closure, visual form constancy, manual dexterity, eye-hand coordination, social interaction skills, fine motor precision, process skills, play and leisure exploration and participation

In the box: 1 ZINGO zinger, 72 number tiles, 6 double sided ZINGO cards
Ages 4+, 2-6 players


ZINGO is a simple version of BINGO. Deja vu alert - This game is similar to ZINGO Bingo, which I previously blogged about, so I am going to copy and paste a little of that information onto this post. However, ZINGO Bingo features pictures where this version features numbers. With only nine spaces on the card and kid friendly pictures, this is a game to learn on. The goal is to get three in a row either vertically, horizontally or diagonally. The ZINGO cards are coded with colored borders. The green border is the easier side, showing a number of objects in each square with the written number below. The red border indicates a more difficult game as each squares has objects to count, but also have addition sign.


To play, give each player a ZINGO card. Load the red plastic zinger with the number tiles. The red zinger is hard and sturdy plastic. It is two pieces - body and lid. The lid comes off so you can load the yellow number tiles. Take the lid off the plastic zinger and stack all the number tiles inside. When ready to play, push the tall part of the zinger forward, them pull it backward again. Two tiles will be dropped into the spaces in front. The first person to match one of those tiles to his card calls the number, takes the tile, and places it on his card. If no numbers are needed, remove them and drop two more numbers in by pushing the top forward and then pulling it back into place. First one to get a ZINGO (3 in a row) wins the game.

Try this:

  • Play for only one orientation at a time. Give the individual an example of what you want by making a photocopy of a ZINGO card and then using a yellow marker to color in three across only. Then play for that particular orientation. Watching for three different orientations can be very difficult for some.
  • Play alone. Lay out several cards, and load the ZINGO zinger. Let the individual push the zinger to release two cards. Scan the ZINGO cards on the table to find places to put them.
  • Sort out only two tiles of each number and play a matching game. Turn all pieces face down and, taking turns, turn over two tiles to look for a match. If you match, take another turn, and keep going until you miss. If you miss and they don't match, turn the tiles face down again and the next person plays. Player with the most tiles at the end wins.
  • Sort out two tiles of each number and lay one of each number on the table, face up. One at a time, present one of the matching tiles and ask the individual to find it in the group. Turn tiles in different orientations.
  • Use a piece of clear plastic (transparency) and cut it to the size of the card. Lay the plastic piece over the card and yellow in the three in a row you will be looking for to provide a guide. Have the individual play on top of the transparency.
  • Sort out one of each number tile. Lay them all in a row from one through twelve.
  • Let the player reload the zinger after a game making sure all tiles are put into place in the correct orientation.

If you are interested in purchasing this game or just want more information, click on the image below

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