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.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Miniland Visual Displays

Work on sequencing, manual dexterity
In the box: 36 2-piece stands, 36 plastic cards
I picked this up quite awhile ago when it was very inexpensive. I think they were trying to introduce their products and I see that many of them still don't have any reviews. Even though I have had it quite awhile, I have used it very little. I think the title of the product and the picture on the front of the box, which is a boy getting out of bed and getting ready for the day, are a little misleading. At first it appears that it is a box of self-help skills broken down into visual steps that can be used, as the box says, for visual displays. It is not that. It is a sequencing activity. And in my opinion this set is far too expensive and elaborate to be simply a sequencing activity. All the pieces to this set are plastic and good quality. There is a symbol on the back of each plastic, 2" X 2" card for quick and easy sorting. Each sequence has between three and six cards, or steps. There are eight different sequences and they include getting dressed, getting ready for the day, a girl aging, four seasons, planting and growing a tomato, crossing the street, milking a cow and getting the milk to market, and the stages in a chicken's life. The box front also shows pouring orange juice and recycling, but those are not in this set. I don't really get the point of the stands, as you can just sort the cards on the table top and get the job done. The stands are 2-piece and a little wobbly. There is a lip on the side of each stand bottom  that you can set the next stand in so you can line them up side-by-side and they would move as one unit if you want to move them. The pictures can then be dropped into a slot at the top. The instructions suggest lining them up flat on a table top, vertical in their stands, or using the enclosed Velcro adhesive to adhere them to the wall. I actually tried using the stands for kids that I make a visual display for of therapy activities. I had to reduce my pictures to the 2X2 size, put the paper into the stand, assemble and line up the stands. It is just a lot easier to use the old Velcro strip method that most of us are probably used to. The price has gone WAY UP on this and is now almost $70!

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