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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.


Saturday, March 19, 2016

Monkeying Around

 
Work on visual discrimination, spatial relations, manual dexterity, graded movement, separation of the two sides of the hand, proximal stability, balance decision making, problem solving, social skills, play and leisure exploration and participation  
 
In the box: Tree with base, 32 monkeys
Ages 4+, 1 or more players
 
Hang the monkeys on the tree but don't let them fall into the crocodile pool below! This is a balancing game that requires players to orient their hands and monkeys in different directions as they carefully hang them onto the tree and onto other monkeys. The large umbrella of leaves above the monkeys (image below) is held on with a magnet and the overall weight of too many monkeys, or hanging too many monkeys on one side, will eventually make the magnet let go and the leaves and monkeys will fall. The tree comes in several parts but is easy to assemble. Next to the crocodile, on the base, is a spinner. Spin it to tell you how many monkeys you will be adding on your turn, or just take turns adding one monkey per player. All pieces are plastic.
 
Try this:
  • Call the color and have the players hang them by color.
  • Place the monkeys in a pile and ask the player to pick out and hang all of one color.
  • Use a 1-2-3 die if you have one and practice cupping the hand to throw the die to tell you how many monkeys to hang.
  • Hold one monkey in your hand. Start in sitting and ask the player to start hanging the monkeys from it. Stand as the chain gets longer. How many can you hang in one line?
If you are interested in purchasing this item or just want more information, click on the image below.

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