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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, March 4, 2016

I SPY Eagle Eye Jr.

Work on visual discrimination, figure ground, visual form constancy, manual dexterity, finger isolation, social interaction, play exploration and participation
 
In the box: 4 double-sided game boards, 24 2-sided cards, 1 "dinger" bell
 
The instructions start with four words that I love to hear - Multiple ways to play. Or another way to say it - More for your money. As you can see above, each of the four cards has a colored border around the entire edge. Each card is also printed on the back with a different color border, eight different cards and border color in all. When you look at the deck of the cards sitting nearby, you will see that each card also has a colored border. The items on the big card will be pictured on the smaller cards that have the same color border. Easy to quickly separate if you want to use less than four boards in a game. Each smaller card has two pictures on each side (four total). The pictures are the same as on the board, but are often in different orientations. For instance, a horse may be standing on all fours facing right on the board, and angled up so that it looks like he is on his back legs and facing left on the card. The bell is easy to ring with a tap to the red button on top.
 
Here are the different game versions:
  • Beginning Game - Put the bell in reach of all players. Place one board in the middle and one of the color-coded cards next to it. First player to find one of the items can ring the bell. Play until all items are found.
  • All-Play Matching Game - Put the bell in reach of all players. Give each child one board and a smaller card with the matching color boarder. Each person finds both items on his own card. When everyone is done, turn the cards over and find the other two items.
  • All-Play Matching Game 2 - Give each player a board and all the cards with the same color matching border (six cards). Each child searches his own board to find all 12 items. First done, rings the bell.
  • Listening Matching Game - Lay out the game boards. One person keeps the cards and calls out a border color and one of the items. First one to spot it rings the bell.
  • Reading Matching Game - Lay out all the game boards. One person calls out a border color and reads the riddle on the card. After each item is found, the finder gets to ring the bell.
  • Solve the Riddles - Read the riddle at the bottom of a game board and find the objects listed.
Try this:
  • Let the kids do the sorting. Mix the cards for four game boards, lay the boards on the table, and ask the players to sort the small cards onto the matching game boards.
  • Play the listening game but don't tell the border color, just the object.
 

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