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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.


Sunday, October 9, 2016

Bounce-Off Party!


Work on eye-hand coordination, manual dexterity, motor planning, visual discrimination, spatial relations, visual closure, figure ground, executive functioning, social interaction, play and leisure exploration and participation

In the box: Six 4X4 plastic grids, 6 ball trays, 18 yellow balls, 18 orange balls, 15 pattern cards

This is a new version of Bounce-Off! that is geared toward group play, although Bounce-Off Party! can still be played by two. There are many similarities between Bounce-Off!, Bounce-Off Blow Out!, and Bounce-Off Party, and a few differences. They all have the same lightweight, easy to use grid, however the first two versions include one 6X6 grid, and the party version includes six 4X4 grids.  They all have the same balls (color vary) and the same type of ball tray. The Party version includes pattern cards, like the original Bounce-Off! (Bounce-Off Blow Out! includes game mats instead of pattern cards). 
The party version includes six grids because it is meant to be played by two teams of three. One person from each team goes head-to-head with a member from the opposing team. Each pair of players gets a pattern card and, playing simultaneously, they race to see who can make the pattern first by bouncing balls into their own grid. Here is a picture from the back of the box to help better explain. I have circled in blue two players that are racing to complete a pattern.


Each winner gets the cards. The team with the most cards at the end of the game, wins. There are also a few cards that require you to push all the grids together and play on one big grid.

For therapeutic value, I don't like this 4X4 grid near as well. Only your own colored balls goes onto your grid so it is much easier to see when you have completed the pattern. With two colors on the same grid the background will include two color balls and if you get blocked, or don't get the spaces you wanted, you must be able to shift to Plan B, and maybe even Plan C. All while keeping track of your opponent and trying to block his win. A lot more strategy and visual perceptual skills involved in two people playing on the bigger grid. ON the other hand, you need to be more precise with bouncing. For those who are not, a 6X6 grid may "catch" a ball that wouldn't fall into the 4X4 grid.

Try this:
  • Play 1:1.
  • Play with a beginner. The small grid with only one color balls may make it easier for him to see his pattern.
  • Look at the pattern card before you begin. Set the balls in the grid to match the pattern. Turn the grid into different orientations and see what the pattern looks like from different angles so you can recognize when you have matched it.
If you are interested in purchasing this or just want more information, click on the image below.

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