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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.


Sunday, June 5, 2016

Perfect Sense


Work on sensory awareness and regulation, social skills, manual dexterity

In the box: game board, 1,800 riddles on 180 cards, 6 pawns, 1 specialty die

A game of riddles that focuses on five senses - taste, touch, sight, hearing, and smell. The object of the game is to be the first person to advance from start to finish on the game board by guessing the answer to riddles. Each riddle has five rhyming clues that describe a single answer, one for each sense mentioned above. The more clues it takes you to guess the riddle, the fewer spaces you get to move forward. Each of five sides of the die show one sense, the sixth side has a question mark. Place the board in the middle of the table to set up. Each player will choose one colored pawn and place it on the square labeled START. The first player throws the die to determine which clue to ask first. If he throws the question mark, he gets to choose the sense to start with. The player to his left will choose the first card in the box and start by reading clue related to the sense that is shown on the die. If the player answers on the first clue, he moves ahead five spaces. If not, the second clue is read. If the player answers on the second clue, he will move forward four spaces on the board. This continues until all clues are read or the player answers correctly. Clues tend to get easier as they progress down the card. However, the order of senses is not the same on each card. Someone else reads the clues to you, you do not see the card. Therefore, will need to be able to hold and process auditory information with no visual cues. This will be difficult for some, so know your audience before starting. If this is the case, you could always cover the answer at the bottom with masking tape and allow the individual to read his own clues. Answers will be commonplace to most, such as crocodile, park bench, diaper, pet shop, money, closet, dolphin, comb, bicycle, orange and rainbow. 

An example of the card with the answer shoes:
  • Hear - To be silent, you must put me aside, especially when you run and hide.
  • Touch - To use me well, just tie a knot. If you trip, it means you forgot.
  • Smell - When it comes to odor, some smell terrible. Buy some new ones if it gets unbearable.
  • Taste - It's easy to tell if he has good taste. Check them out. They are below the waist.
  • See - I'm empty at night. This you will see. But I'm full by day. What can I be?
Try this:
  • Take the opportunity to talk about senses before or after playing the game, perhaps in conjunction with talking about a sensory diet, teaching self-regulation, or when teaching self awareness of sensory thresholds.
  • Choose one card and read one riddle. Then see how many different answers you can come up with. For instance, use the card with the answer socks. For smell, read "If you wear me way too long, I'll start to smell really strong". Or for touch, "When I am wooly, you may itch. Poke a hole and I'll need a stitch". Both questions lend themselves to a number of answers and can open conversation.
  • Choose one sense to focus on. Read only the clues for that sense off several cards. Are the clues enough to give away the answers? You may have to go through the cards ahead of time and stack the deck.
If you are interested in purchasing this item or just want more information, click on the image below.

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