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.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Lauri Tall Stacker Number Express

Work on visual discrimination, visual memory, eye-hand coordination, manual dexterity, in-hand manipulation, coordinated use of both hands, sequencing, counting, color recognition, number recognition, following directions, proprioception, play and leisure exploration and participation

In the box: 18 plastic pegs, 5 2-piece rubber train car puzzles

Clear the tracks for this 5-car train for stacking pegs. The five cars are numbered 1-5 and each number is removable. There are also holes for pegs that match the number on the car. For instance, the #5 car has five holes for pegs, the number four has four holes, and so on. Count the pegs as you put them in the car to reinforce the number. Pegs can be stacked on top of each other, but there are only 18 pegs so there are not enough to have a two-high stack in each hole on each car. If you leave the pegs out you can also hinge the cars together so the train can stand, as in the picture above. Each car is about 4" wide.

Try this:
  • Take all the numbers out of the train cars. Place them on the table in front of the individual. Give them one car at a time and ask him to find the matching number. Placing the number in the car will reduce the options for each car after it.
  • Give the individual one car at a time and call each peg color that you would like the individual to use as he fills the car.
  • Stack two or more pegs. Show them to the individual and ask him to remember the colors and order. Verbally say the colors several times. Hide the pegs and ask him to make the same stack in the same sequence. Bring the stack back out and check his against yours.
  • Put a peg upside-down in the individual's hand for placement in a train car. Ask him to turn the peg in-hand without setting it down to get it right-side-up.

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