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.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Little Red Riding Hood

Work on visual discrimination, visualization, visual closure, visual form constancy, figure ground, spatial relations/position in space, eye-hand coordination, manual dexterity, executive functions, logic, problem solving, play and leisure exploration and participation
In the box: 1 game board, 1 house, 3 trees, 1 Red Riding Hood, 1 wolf, 5 trail pieces, 1 puzzle book with 48 challenges, 1 story book
Can you make a path from Little Red Riding Hood to the house so she can visit her grandma? Another bright, well-constructed one-player problem solving game with manipulatives that kids love. This is a preschool level game with 24 challenges featuring just Little Red Riding Hood, and 24 challenges with the wolf and Little Red Riding Hood. If you are playing with the wolf, then you need to create two paths, one from the wolf to the house and one for Little Red to escape from the house. The pathway pieces, house, and board are a hard plastic. The characters and trees are a little more flexible plastic. The puzzle starts by showing you where to place the house, the character(s), and some or all of the plastic trees on the grid (game board - see below). The puzzles with just Little Red Riding Hood start out needing only one pathway piece to complete so that you can teach the game slowly. Then the puzzles require two-piece pathways, then three pieces, all the way up to five-piece pathways. The wolf puzzles start with two-piece pathways and gradually move up to five-piece pathways also. For some, the first challenge may just be setting up the grid (game board) to work a puzzle. The grid is divided into 16 squares (see image below). Try covering all but the row or column you are placing figures on to emphasize the work area or to eliminate unnecessary distractions. 
Far left - How to set up the game board for puzzle 1 for Little Red Riding Hood game. Middle - The solution for game 1. Far right - The solution for game 24.
Left - Solution 1 for the Red Riding Hood plus wolf puzzle. Right - Solution 24 for Red Riding Hood plus wolf puzzle. Nice spiral book, stays flat.
Try this:
  • Place the first piece if the individual is having trouble getting started.
  • Show the individual how to count the squares if he is having trouble placing the pieces into the grid when setting up a puzzle.
  • Play a round or two as the individual watches and talk through the steps of problem solving so that he can learn how to play.
  • Play a game and then take the path pieces out, turn them so they are not in the correct orientations, and ask the individual to complete the puzzle.
  • Only put out the necessary pieces to solve the puzzle for beginners. As they improve, introduce unnecessary pieces to increase the challenge.
  • Point to the chimney on the house as he individual is setting up the board to make sure that it is oriented correctly.
  • Make a puzzle out of the set-up pages of the puzzles only until the individual gets good at putting the pieces on the correct places on the grid (game board).
If you are interested in purchasing this item or just want more information, click on the image below.

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