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.

Monday, June 13, 2016


Work on visual discrimination, spatial relations, visual closure, body awareness, executive functioning skills, process skills, manual dexterity, in-hand manipulation, play and leisure exploration and participation

In the box: 1 game board, 4 red knights, 4 blue knights, 4 wall pieces, puzzle challenge book
Ages 7+, 1 player

This one-player game, based on the legend of Troy, may help develop logical reasoning. The object of the game is to build walls around your blue knights to keep them safe inside, and the invading red knights outside. The game comes with a spiral bound puzzle booklet with 60 challenges that range from starter to wizard, and that advance in difficulty as you go. There are five different levels and 12 puzzles at each level. Choose a puzzle and place the nights on the game board in the positions indicated on the puzzle. The paths on the board are grooved so the walls won't slip around once you place them. All four wall pieces will be used on each puzzle. The solutions are all given in the back of the puzzle booklet. The first few challenges show one or two pieces of wall already in place to help teach a new player the game.

SmartGames is a brand that makes a lot of one-person logic games that also help build visual perceptual skills over multiple challenges that increase in difficulty as you go. If you would like to read more about these kid-friendly fun games, check out my post called One-Player SmartGames

If you are interested in reading more about logic puzzles, check out my post on What's in Your Therapy Box? Logic Puzzles Edition.

Try this:
  • Hand the player one knight at a time while he is setting up the board. Place it in his palm upside down or backward so that he will have to manipulate it in-hand to position it correctly.
  • Skip playing the game and just use the knights and the puzzle book as an activity to place the pieces in the correct positions on a the grid.
  • Play a game while the individual watches. Think out loud as you plan your strategy and problem solve. Then take it apart and let him work the same puzzle.  
If you are interested in purchasing this game or just want more information, click on the image below.

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