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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, April 15, 2016

The Great Feelings Chase



Work on recognizing and understanding feelings 

In the box: Game board, 6 dog markers,6 sheets of feelings cards, 1 die

This is an older game from the Center for Applied Psychology that was designed to teach children about feelings. The object of the game is to advance around the game board and collect all 10 feeling cards, one from each dog, to complete a simple puzzle. The picture of each dog on the board matches the feeling associated with him. Each time you land on or pass a different dog on your turn, you must give an example of a time when you experienced that particular feeling. The 10 feelings are calm, loving, ashamed, angry, happy, proud, sad, excited, afraid, and smart. Below is a picture of the board.
 

As you travel along the path you may land on certain squares with instructions to follow. Some examples of these instructions are:
  • Pretend that you are a watch dog.
  • Act like a dog who is scared of taking a bath.
  • Act like a dog who is meeting a stranger.
  • Act like a dog who is lonely.
Try this:
  • Play a cooperative game. Use only one dog marker for the group and take turns rolling the die and moving. Each person relates their experiences on each turn and all players follow instructions on squares.
  • Ask for ideas why a dog may be feeling a certain way, such as what may have happened to the dog before you arrived to elicit a feeling of loneliness (owners just left on vacation) or happiness (just got a new chew toy). 

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