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, June 5, 2016

Guess How I Feel?

Work on self-awareness, self-regulation, reading body language, social skills, understanding others feelings

In the box: 16 magnetic facial expressions, 1 printed sheet showing all the expressions, 50 situation cards, 4 blank cards so you can write your own, 1 dry erase magnetic mirror, 4 dry erase markers, 1 guess bag with 20 stretchy bands, 4 pads and pencils, 1 minute timer
Ages 3+, 2-4 players

Guess How I Feel is a game that can cover a lot of ground. There are a lot of possible uses for the game, and here is a starting place that the game box suggests:

Give each player a pad and pencil. Place the deck of situation cards face-down and give the magnetic mirror to the first player. He turns over the top situation card so all can see. He then draws on the mirror with the erasable markers or uses the magnetic pieces on the mirror to show his reaction to the situation on the card. Each child also draws a picture or writes a word on their pad that they feel will be how the player will react. The player then reveals his reaction that he drew and the rest of the players reveal theirs. Anyone who matches, gets to choose a bonus from the surprise bag. There are 20 stretchy bands in this bag, so they won't last long. I personally don't think that giving a prize for matching answers is appropriate for this game. When answers don't match it will be a great time to talk about how different people may interpret and/or feel differently about the same thing, and how to respect other's right to their view even if we don't understand or agree with it. Use the timer if you want to limit each play to one minute.  Here is a look at what's in the box: 

The situation cards in the box show a wide range of situations including a boy crying while receiving a shot, two children fighting, a child waving goodbye to a parent as he arrives at school, an airplane taking off, a moving van, parents arguing, two children whispering a secret, cuddling with mom, a family sitting around a dinner table, a howling dog, and a fireman hugging a child. 
Try this:
  • Ask all players to share how they feel in the situation on the card. For example when my parents argue I feel upset and ask them to stop.
  • Discuss how the same emotion may look different on different people.
  • Discuss how different people might react totally differently to the same thing. For instance, a howling dog may bring back fond memories of a trip to a grandparents farm while another person may cover his ears and hope that it stops quickly.
  • Ask the player to guess how another person would react to a situation and make that expression.
If you are interested in purchasing this item or just want more information, click on the image below.

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