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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.


Thursday, March 31, 2016

Equilibrio


Work on visual discrimination, visualization, spatial relations, position in space, visual closure, visual form constancy, eye-hand coordination, manual dexterity, in-hand manipulation, coordinated use of both hands, executive functions, leisure exploration and participation

In the box: 18 solid plastic pieces, pattern book with 60 patterns
Ages 5+, 1 player

A multi-award winning game to help develop visual perceptual skills. Use the blocks to build upright structures following the models in the pattern book. There are seven different geometric shapes and 18 pieces total. The book shows 60 individual models. Use the blocks that are indicated at the bottom of each page to build that model. Models use anywhere from six pieces to all 18 pieces. The pattern book is spiral bound and the puzzles increase in difficulty as you go, so the player will continue to be challenged as he advances. Puzzles are shown in 2D, and pieces may look very different from different views. There is a chart included in the book so that you can see each piece from the most common views including front, rear, right, left, below, and above. There is a clues section at the back of the book for the last 20, and most difficult, puzzles. Some of the pieces may be completely hidden and require deduction as to where they are placed. All models are show from the front view. Here is an example from the book:
Equilibrio puzzle.

The four different games in this series are Equilibrio, Perspecto (old name is Cliko), Architecto, Tangramino, and they all use the same 18 pieces. Here is some information on each game:
  • Equilibrio - Build structures upright, some with challenging balance aspects such as the one above that is built on round blocks.
  • Perspecto - Build structures from a variety of perspectives (up to three views per puzzle). The old name for this game is Cliko. The Perspecto puzzle book is the exact same book as the Cliko book, just a new name.
  • Architecto - Build structures upright.
  • Tangramino - Build structures flat on the table.
You can buy each game with the book and the pieces as a set, or you can buy the books separately and one set of pieces separately. I also have the book for Cliko (which uses the same 18 blocks that I have in this Equilibrio set). Both books fit in the box and I just carry them together. I have primarily used this set with high-functioning teens as the later puzzles in the books can be quite challenging.
 
Try this:
  • Start by examining each piece and comparing it to the chart. Discuss how one piece can look different when looking at it from different perspectives.
  • Make a copy of the chart so that you can have it next to the puzzle for comparison if you need help as you build.
  • Models built on cylinders, as the example above, may be easier to construct on a rough surface, such as a piece of paper or cardboard, if a table top is too smooth and offers little friction.
  • Orient a puzzle piece and place it on the model if an individual gets stuck or cannot orient the piece correctly. Then pick it up, turn it askew, and hand it to the individual to orient. The individual may not be able to "see" the shape as it would look in a different orientation and a visual demonstration like that can help a great deal.
  • Use consistent directional and positional language as you cue.
If you are interested in purchasing this item or just want more information, click on the image below.


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