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.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Never Land Challenge Game

Work on balance, body awareness, coordination and agility (proprioception), motor planning, eye-hand coordination, eye-foot coordination, spatial relations, upper body strength, core strength, shoulder strength, cooperation, social skills, play and leisure exploration and participation   

In the box: 1 start board, 2 treasure boards, 1 destination board, 30 doubloon tiles, 3 vines, 2 vine connectors, 4 vine feet, squishy cannonball, foam feather, foam sword, large red X

Time to move away from the table for some gross motor fun. This game will have them doing crab walks, crawling under vines and walking the plank, where balance is a must! The object of the game is to collect more gold doubloons than Captain Hook by completing 2-part physical challenges. There are a lot of pieces to this game and some simple assembly is required before you begin.

To play, place the Start Here board, the Your Treasure board, and the Hook's Treasure board close by. Spread the 30 doubloons face-down on the floor. There are 2 colors of doubloons - red and blue. Red doubloons will assign you a challenge and the blue doubloons will up that challenge by adding a condition. On each turn, players will choose one red doubloon and then one blue doubloon. Here are some examples:
  • Red doubloons
    • Walk backwards around the vines
    • Hop on one foot to the X and back
    • Tiptoe around the vines 
  • Blue doubloons
    • ...waving the sword like a pirate
    • ...with the feather between your elbows
    • ...with the cannonball under your chin
There are also six doubloons that say "Game Over!" On each turn, a player will draw one red doubloon and one blue doubloon and read the two instructions together as a sentence. If the player feels he can complete the challenge, he say "Yo ho, let's go!" and begins to perform the challenge. If he does not think he can complete the challenge, he can turn the blue doubloon back over and choose another one. He may do this as many times as he wants to get a challenge he thinks he can complete. Once the player has a challenge, he places the two doubloons in the Start Here board. The player then attempts the challenge. If he can complete it, the doubloons are moved to the Your Treasure board where your team will keep all of the doubloons it earns. If the player fails the challenge, the two doubloons are placed on the Hook's Treasure card. Whenever a blue doubloon is turned over that says "Game Over!", it is placed near Hook's Treasure board.  Once three are picked, the game is over. The winner is determined by who has the most doubloons - your team or Captain Hook.  

Try this:
  • Start easy by picking only a red doubloon on each turn and performing a one-part challenge.
  • Play with the pieces before starting a game. Can you balance the feather on your nose or your head? Can you walk with the sword between your knees or carry it with only a finger? Can you kick the cannonball as your walk or walk with it under your chin?
  • Before starting the game practice tiptoeing, walking backward, hopping, jumping, etc.
  • Set up just the vines and use the eight red vine challenges alone.
  • Lay the doubloon cards face up and allow the players to choose the challenges they want to attempt.
  • Place the vines closer together for a shorter course or farther apart to extend the amount of time performing the challenge.
If you are interested in purchasing this item or just want more information, click on the image below.

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