- They are fun. Kids love them and isn't that the first step? When they are eager to play, they don't realize the work involved.
- They hit visual perceptual skills (especially spatial skills) hard. I work on VP skills diligently as they impact almost all areas of occupation for most individuals.
- They are fairly quick to play for most. Typically one puzzle per page and we usually work through several in a session before moving on to something else.
- The challenges increase in difficulty as you advance in puzzles. Puzzles are ranked, usually in four categories such as beginner, advanced, expert, master. There are often 48+ challenges per game, requiring more and more advanced skills as you go.
- They are great for problem solving and teaching that getting it wrong is not failure, just keep trying until you find something that works.
- Solving a puzzle can give an individual a feeling of success. Many times I work with a middle or high-schooler that has always found school a struggle. After administering the Motor-Free Visual Perceptual Test (MVPT3) I find that they perform at an above average percentile rank. These are the types of games that they can excel at and often really love. So you might wonder why I would give them these games to play when they already rank so high in visual perceptual skills. First, it gives them a sense of success and the knowledge that they can figure things out. They often beam as they play and I often end up leaving the game for them to play over the week. Second, playing one of these games at the beginning of a session sets the tone for creative thinking and problem solving. The drawback of bringing it out in the beginning is that you might have a hard time getting it back. : )
- The pieces are quality, solid wood or plastic, and offer the opportunity to work on manual dexterity, in-hand manipulation, and associated skills.
Below are SmartGames that I own. If you would like to know more about a particular game, click an image to go to my post about that game. And just for the record, I do not do reviews for companies or people upon request. The posts on this blog are my own opinions from my experiences using the games and toys in therapy.