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, August 2, 2016

Electronic Hyper Slide

Work on timed motor response, sequencing, midline activity, manual dexterity, coordinated use of both hands, executive functioning, visual discrimination, spatial relations/position in space, eye-hand coordination, auditory memory, social interaction skill, process skills, play and leisure exploration and participation
In the box: 1 electronic unit, 4 games discs
Ages 8+, 1-2 players
Pass four colored discs under the electronic Hyper Slide (red bridge-looking object above) per the announcer's instructions to play three different games. There are sensors in the electronic unit that can tell if a piece has passed under and if so, what color it was. The longer you play the faster or harder each game gets. There are three games to choose from but I have lost the instructions and can't seem to find them online. I only remember the rules for two of them.  They are:
  • Fast Pass - One at a time colors are announced and the players have to pass the same colored disc under the hyperslide. The game gives you 3 seconds after calling a color before ending a game so you need to play fast. This time is shortened as the game goes on. The unit will keep score for you and tell you if you have set a new high score.
  • Add One - Like Simon Says, you must remember a sequence of colors. It starts with one color and adds one color each time you finish a sequence. Since the game only gives you the one new color, you must remember all the colors, in order from past turns.
  • Code Buster - Sorry, I don't remember. It has something to do with breaking a color code.
The announcer and music is played rather loudly with no volume control. There are two yellow buttons on the top of the game. Press both buttons to turn the game on and off, and press the single button that is lit to choose game and whether you are playing solo or with someone.  One of the black ends comes off and the discs are stored inside (see below). I am always careful with games based on speed. Not everyone is wired that way and some will perform poorer under timed conditions. Games like these would be more torture than fun and I feel it is important to respect that.

Try this:
  • Play a game alone. Center the game vertically in front of your body, one hand on each side. Push the pieces back and forth using both hands.
  • Play a two-person game to give the individual a short break between each of his turns.
  • Write the colors down for the individual while he is playing Add One. Then quickly recite the colors in order for each turn. Will still require memory work.

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