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.

Sunday, May 22, 2016


Work on visual discrimination, visual closure, visual memory, eye-hand coordination, figure ground, visual memory, visual scanning, manual dexterity, attention, shifting, shuffling and dealing cards, coordinated use of both hands, recognizing patterns, recognizing number 1-3, counting to three, social skills, play and leisure exploration and participation
In the box: 55 cards
Ages 6+, 2-6 players

Slamwich is a multi-award-winning, fast-flipping, sandwich ingredient card game. The game moves quickly as the players watch for opportunities to slap and collect cards. Games that require slapping may have a calming and organizing effect on those who benefit from deep pressure. The Slamwich cards come in the shape of a piece of bread and have a sandwich ingredient pictured on one side and a Gamewright logo on the other side. There are 11 sandwich ingredients: onions, pickles, Swiss cheese, hard boiled eggs, lettuce, bacon, hot dogs, bell peppers and mushrooms, peanut butter, jelly, and tomatoes. There are three different kinds of cards in the deck: food cards, thief cards, and muncher cards. The object of the game is to be the last player and have the most cards at the end of the game. To set up, deal the cards face-down evenly between all players. Players stack their cards in front of them. If there are extra cards, put them in a pile in the middle of the table. Taking turns, each player will quickly turn over his top card and place it on the pile in the middle of the table. As cards are played, all players are watching for the opportunity to be the first to slap the center pile when they see any of the following:
  • Double Decker - Two of the same cards are played in a row. For example, a lettuce card is on top of the pile and the next player plays a lettuce card. Be the first to slap and win the pile.
  • Slamwich - Two of the same cards separated by one that's different. For example a lettuce card was played, then a pickles card, then another lettuce card. You will have to remember an ingredient that you cannot see. Be the first to slap and take the pile.
  • Thief - Slap this card first and take the pile.
Playing these cards alone can be a game. However, there are also muncher cards to consider. Each muncher card shows a person munching on a sandwich and will have a number in the top corner, either one, two, or three. Once a muncher card is played, the player gets to take the pile, unless he is stopped. To stop a muncher, the person to the left of the player must play one, two, or three cards, whatever number is on the muncher card. If this person plays either a double decker, a Slamwich, or a thief, the muncher is stopped and the game goes on. If the player to the left cannot stop the muncher, the muncher now takes the entire pile and adds it to the bottom of his deck. Once a person runs out of cards, he is out of the game. Play until there is only one person left in the game. There is also a Slamwich game that is sold in a tin. That game has completely different pictures than this game. Supersize slamwich is more of a novelty game in that it plays like the original but the cards are quite large (and a little clumsy to handle).  

Try this:
  • Play a traditional game of memory. Play with two of each of the eleven ingredients, then play with three each for a harder game. Dare you go four?
  • Use as a sorting activity. Hold the deck of cards in the non-dominant hand and push them off the top, one at a time, with the thumb. Place them in piles according to ingredient.
  • Use as a sorting activity, but instead of holding the deck of cards, place them in front of the player in a single face-up deck. Ask him to separate and lift the cards off the deck, one at a time to sort, without sliding cards off or toppling the deck.
  • Stack the deck. Before a therapy session I take the opportunity to stack the deck(s) so that the individual is working on the particular skill I am addressing. No, this is not cheating :). It is making the best use of my time for the greatest benefit to the individual.
  • Start a session with a slapping game and be slow to slap if you think the person may benefit from frequently hitting the cards.
  • Turn all the cards face up in a grid form on the table. Name a food. Ask the player to scan all the cards and find all four of that food. Remove them if you want the game to get easier as you go or have an obvious end, or leave them in place for the most difficult version (the most cards to scan each turn).
  • Turn all the cards face up in a grid form on the table. Verbally give the player a sequence of cards to memorize and find. Start with two and move to three, four, five, however many the player can handle. Many players will benefit from verbally repeating the sequence after you so they have a better chance of remembering.
  • Separate out one card from each food. Lay the rest of the cards face-up in a grid form on the table. Show the individual one of your food cards. Ask him to memorize it. Turn it over and ask him to point out the other three of the same food in the grid. To make the game more challenging, show two cards in a sequence, then three cards, etc. Many players will benefit from verbally repeating the sequence after you so they have a better chance of remembering.
If you are interested in purchasing this game or just want more information, click on the image below.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for taking the time to comment.