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, August 7, 2016

Bubble Talk

Work on non-verbal communication, reading facial expressions, reading body language, identifying emotions, social interaction, executive functioning, creativity, play and leisure exploration and participation 
In the box: 75 picture cards (150 pictures), 300 caption cards (300 captions)
Bubble Talk is a multi-award-winning game that asks you to match captions to awkward/funny/cute pictures. The captions are already included on the caption cards and the picture cards feature adults, kids, and animals.
It plays like Apple to Apples: 1) A player presents a picture card, 2) The rest of the players each choose one card from their hands that they feel matches the picture best, and 3) The person who presented the picture chooses which caption is the best. "Best" is whatever you want it to be - funniest, most accurate, most absurd, etc. It's totally subjective. I like this game because many of the people in the pictures are posed in awkward positions, and therefore there are quite of range of facial expressions represented. You can even include many of the animal pictures in a game of "What are they thinking". Some of the pictures include whole body shots so that you can also look at total body language, not just facial expression. Go through the deck of cards beforehand to pick out the ones that apply to what you are concentrating on. As I search at Amazon I see that the black box (the one I have) is the first edition and the red box, which is the one they now carry, is the second edition and includes a game board.
Try this:
  • Start simple by featuring just two emotions, such as happy and sad. Sort the cards beforehand so that these are the only two emotions represented. Then go through the cards and let the individual assign the correct emotion to each picture.
  • Discuss how facial expressions may include many different features (eyes, mouth, eyebrows, forehead etc.) and talk about each one before making a determination what emotion it represents.
  • Give the individual a list of emotions to refer to as you play.
  • Discuss what might have happened right before or right after the photo was snapped.
  • Choose one picture and then flip through a stack of cards to find the most appropriate caption. Hold the deck of cards in the non-dominant hand and push the top card off, one at a time, with the thumb.
If you are interested in purchasing this game or just want more information, click on the image below. 

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