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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.


Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Gopher It!

 
Work on visual discrimination, visual memory, matching, simple strategy, manual dexterity, counting to 3, social interactions, play and leisure exploration and participation
 
In the box: 50 cards
Ages 5+, 2-4 players
 
A card game of collecting sets of gopher food and counting. This game consists of two sets of heavyweight cards: gopher food cards (carrots, nuts, and apples) and gopher trophy cards. Be the first person to collect exactly six points for a single food to win a gopher trophy card. Play several games and see who can collect the most gopher trophy cards.

To play, mix and scatter, face-down, all the food cards in the middle of the players. Players take turns flipping cards in an attempt to collect six points of any one food. A player can turn over anywhere between one and four cards per turn. Each player chooses how many to turn over each turn. Players may keep all the cards they flip unless they turn over two of the same food in a row. If that happens, player loses all the cards that have been turned over on that turn. Therefore, to avoid losing cards, a player may decide to stop before turning over four cards. If cards are won, the player separates them by food in front of him and his turn is over. Once a player has collected a total of six points for any single food, the game is over and he wins. 

Try this:
  • Play as a simple matching game. Turn cards face-down and then flip over two at a time. try to match either food only, number only, or number and food.
  • Add a couple of the trophy cards to the original game. If, while you are turning cards face-up, you turn over a gopher, you turn ends immediately. 
If you are interested in purchasing this game or just want more information, click on the image below.

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