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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.


Thursday, June 23, 2016

Corduroy's Birthday Games



Work on visual discrimination, manual dexterity, motor planning, balance, movement, social interaction, play and leisure exploration and participation

In the box: 16 large floor tiles, 24 prize tokens (20 small, 4 large)
Ages 3-10, 2 or more players

My favorite puzzle maker, Ravensburger, also does games! It's Corduroy's birthday but you get the gift - 10 games in one birthday box! This is a movement game which requires children to identify floor tiles by attribute(s). The tiles each have a shape (triangle, circle, square, rectangle), a border color (red, green, blue, yellow), and a picture inside the border (Corduroy's face, a birthday present, a birthday cake, a party hat). 

Before you begin any of the games, spread the 16 large tiles on the floor. I would recommend taking shoes off before playing these games because the kids will be stepping on the cardboard floor tiles and there is no coating on them to keep them clean. Now here are the games:
  • Game one - Non-competitive game. Name a color. All children walk to a tile of that color and put their foot on it. More than one child can be on one tile. Now call a color and wait while children find a tile with that color border and stand on it. Now call a picture.
  • Game two - Non-competitive game. Name two attributes this time. There will only be one answer and all children should end up at that time.
  • Game three - Competitive game. Name one attribute, either color, shape or picture. There will be four tiles with that one feature. All children walk to any one of the four. The last child to find a tile is eliminated. Repeat until only one child, the winner, is left.
  • Game four - Competitive game. Name two attributes. There will only be one answer. The last child to get to the tile is eliminated. Continue until only one child, the winner, is left.
  • Game five - Non-competitive game. Name two attributes, such as color and shape. Children must stand on or touch two tiles at the same time, one with each attribute. Hands and/or feet can be used.
  • Game six - Competitive game. Name two attributes. Children must stand on or touch two tiles at the same time, on with each attribute. The last child to do so is eliminated. Repeat until only one child, the winner, is left.
  • Game seven - Competitive game. Put one of the prizes (circle with Corduroy's face on it) on each tile. Name one attribute. There will be four tiles that will match. The first child to a tile with a prize on it picks up the prize. Each time an attribute is called, children should look for a tile that still has a prize on it. When all the prizes have been picked up, the child with the most is the winner. 
  • Game eight - Competitive game. Put one prize on each tile. Name two attributes. Children must stand or touch two tiles at the same time, one with each attribute. Children may pick up any prizes on the tiles they are touching. When all prizes have been collected, the child with the most wins.
  • Game nine - Competitive game. Scatter all 24 prize tokens around the tiles, at least 1 foot apart from each other. Call and attribute. After each child touches a tile he may, without moving off the tile, bend over and collect all the prizes he can reach. Small prizes are worth 1 point and large prizes are worth 3 points. Continue to play until all prizes have been collected. Add up the points and the player with the most points wins.
  • Game ten - Children pair up in teams of two and hold hands. Play any of the above games with the teams.
A simple game to reinforce color, shape, and picture recognition. If you are interested in purchasing this item or just want more information, click on the image below.

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