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 24, 2016

The Original Dinner Games

Work on social skills, simple number and math, memory, creative and critical thinking, social interaction, play and leisure exploration and participation

In the tin: 50 game cards, 1 wild card, 1 How to Play card, 1 Introduction card
Kids ages 6-12

Quick and simple games that only take a few minutes each and can encourage interaction between all gathered around the table. The game consists of a tin box with 50 activities. The activities fall into the following categories:
  • Social Skills Games
  • Silly Games
  • Numbers & Math Games
  • Phonics & Vocabulary Games
  • Creative & Critical Thinking Games
  • Memory Games
Each card is color coded and has the category listed at the bottom so you can identify others in the same grouping. The wild card says "Stay Up Past Bedtime! An adult must agree to the specific night and time." Whoever picks this card evidently gets a special treat.

Here is a sampling of the games:
  • Out of Order Challenge - One person lines up 4 to 5 different items in the middle of the table. An example would be a fork, ketchup, a napkin, a salt shaker. Another person looks at the items for a few seconds, then closes his eyes. The first person rearranges the items, and then tells the player to open his eyes and try to put the items back in the original order. 
  • The Last Bite - Pass a small bowl full of raisins, cut pineapple, baby carrots, grapes, or orange slices around the table. Each person takes and eats one piece. Keep passing the bowl around until there is just one piece left. Whoever gets the last bite wins.
  • What's in the Sock? - One person begins by hiding a secret object in a clean sock. He or she passes the sock around the table and lets everyone feel the object. No peeking! Everyone guesses what's in the sock and whoever guesses correctly leads the next round.
  • I Can... Can you? - Taking turns, each family member challenges the others to a match of some kind. For example, I can scoop up my peas on a fork with my left hand. Can you? I can drink my whole glass of milk. Can you? I can wiggle my ears. Can you?
If you are interested in purchasing this item or just want more information, click on the image below.

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