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!

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Tuesday, August 23, 2016


Work on visual discrimination, visual closure, spatial relations/position in space, figure ground, visual memory, eye-hand coordination, manual dexterity, in-hand manipulation, fine motor precision, palmar arch development, sequencing, auditory memory, executive functioning, values, socialization, play and leisure exploration and participation

In the box: 56 ice cream cards, 25 custom dice, 4 marker cards, 24 banana split markers
Ages 8+, 2-4 players

I just recently found this game on Amazon, new, for $3.31. The attraction for me (aside from the price) was lots of dice and ice cream cone pattern cards. As I often do, I ignore the rules and play my own way. The 56 ice cream cards range from one-scoop cones to 5-scoop cones. There are five different colors of ice cream - blue, pink, yellow, green, brown. Each die shows one scoop of a different color on each of five sides, and the cone on the sixth side. Here are a few ideas for playing with just the ice cream cone pattern cards and the dice:
  • Give an ice cream card and the matching number of dice to each player. For example a four scoop cone would require five dice. Build the cone flat on the table.
  • Give an ice cream card and the matching number of dice to each player Build the cone vertically by stacking the cubes in a tower.
  • Use one pattern card and all players race to see who can build it first.
  • Choose an ice cream card and give the player the appropriate number of dice. Ask the player to cup the dominant hand and throw the dice. Place the dice that match. Keep picking up and throwing the dice until the ice cream cone is built.
  • Show the individual a pattern card and ask him to remember the sequence. Saying it out loud may help him remember. Turn the card face-down and ask the individual to build the ice cream cone from memory.
  • Look at a pattern card but don't show it to the individual. Verbally give the order of colors. Ask the individual to remember the sequence and practice out loud if appropriate. After the individual builds the cone, turn the card face-up so he can check the correctness.
Try this:
  • Choose an ice cream card. Place the dice in front of the player and make sure that none of them are in the correct position to match the colors needed. For instance, there are all one color cones and this would work well. Ask the individual to pick up each die, one at a time, and roll in it his fingertips until he finds the correct color side. Don't use the tabletop or the body for support in turning the die.
  • Place one or two dice in the players cupped hand. Ask him to bring them, one at a time, to the fingertips and orient for placement without dropping.
  • Choose a pattern card and place it by the individual. Ask the individual to cup the non-dominant hand. Place the dice that the individual will need to create the cone in the non-dominant. Let the individual hold the hand in the cupped position as he takes the dice out one at a time to build the cone.
  • Repeat as in the last idea, but instead of placing the dice in the player's hand, ask him to pick them up from the table top, one at a time, and squirrel them into the palm without dropping any.
If you are interested in purchasing this item or just want more information, click on the image below.

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