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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, July 5, 2016

Hyper Dash


Work on grasp, manual dexterity, sequencing, auditory memory, eye-hand coordination, visual discrimination, spatial relations, motor planning, balance, coordination, sensory processing, recognizing colors and numbers, simple math, attention, processing speed, timed motor response, social skills, teamwork, play and leisure exploration and participation

In the box: 1 electronic tagger, 5 targets (blue, green, red, orange, yellow)

Hyper Dash is a versatile, fun, electronic game that was the winner of Creative Child Magazine's Top Toy of the Year Award in 2009.

Object of the game: Tag the targets with the electronic tagger unit by following the directions as the tagger "talks" to you. To tag, hold the Hyper Dash unit (tagger) above the target, placing the wide opening over a target, and press down on the handle. You don't have to press hard as the unit senses the wireless signals.

Set up and play: The only set up is scattering the 5 plastic targets. The targets are different colors and each numbered (1-5). They are hollow, like a small upside-down bowl. Place them number-side-up around the play area. If you want to introduce gross motor activity to your game, scatter them far apart. If you want to stay seated, scatter them on the table top, all within reach of the person with the tagger. Now you will turn on the electronic tagger to choose a game and level. Press MENU to hear the games and press GO when you hear the one you want. Then press GO when you hear your number of players. Each game has four levels to choose from.

Here are the four games choices:
  • Game 1 - Hyper Dash - 1-4 players. Follow the commands telling you which target to strike.
  • Game 2 - Team Dash - 1-4 players, 2 players per team. Turn Hyper Dash into a relay race. Listen for the "Dash out" command telling you to pass the tagger to your teammate.
  • Game 3 - Micro Dash - 1-4 players. Hit the targets in sequence as they are give. Sequences get longer as you go.
  • Game 4 - Team Micro Dash - 1-4 players, 2 players per team. Team up on Micro Dash. Two memories are better than one.
Here are the four game levels:
  • Level 1 - Easiest level, calls colors only. Get warmed up.
  • Level 2 - A little faster and harder. Special commands are added (see below). For instance it may say strike red, and then strike number four.
  • Level 3 - Still faster and harder as more special commands are added.
  • Level 4 - Hyper fast, hyper hard, bonus special commands are added.
Here are a few of the special commands you will hear on levels 2+:
  • Double strike - Strike the target twice.
  • Reverse - Strike the previous target.
  • CompuStrike - Do simple math problems to determine the number to strike. For instance 7-3= (strike 4).
  • Bonus strike - Strike any target except the last one you struck.
  • Slow clock - The clock will run slow for a few minutes meaning you have more time to finish the round. 
The unit will keep score for the number of times you tag the correct target. Play again and try to beat your last score.  Requires 3 AA batteries.

Try this:
  • Use for sensory input (movement, deep pressure from striking, etc.).
  • Use at the beginning of a session if the sensory input would help calm and/or organize.
  • Play hand-over-hand.
  • Play inside or outside.
If you are interested in purchasing this item or just want more information, click on the image below.

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