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, December 4, 2016


Work on visual discrimination, visualization, spatial relations, position in space, visual closure, visual form constancy, eye-hand coordination, manual dexterity, in-hand manipulation, coordinated use of both hands, executive functions, leisure exploration and participation

In the box: 18 plastic pieces, 64 challenges

Another brain building game from FoxMind. Tangramino is one in a series of four award-winning games using logic and spatial skills to build 3D models from 2D models. Puzzles are built flat on the table, use anywhere from four to all 18 pieces, and advance in difficulty as you go through the book. The pieces are solid plastic, all orange. The game includes a very nice spiral bound book that will lay open as you build. The answers are all in the back of the book. There is a helpful chart in the front of the book that will show what each piece looks like in different perspectives (front, rear, right, left, below, above). I have primarily used this series of games with high-functioning teens as the later puzzles in the books can be quite challenging. For a beginners tangram puzzle, try Tangoes Jr.

The four different games in this series are Equilibrio, Perspecto (used to be called Cliko), Architecto, and Tangramino, and they all use the same 18 pieces. Here is some information on each game:
  • Equilibrio - Build structures upright, some with challenging balance aspects.
  • Perspecto - Build structures from a variety of perspectives (up to three views per puzzle). The old name for this game is Cliko. The Perspecto puzzle book is the exact same book as the Cliko book, just a new name.
  • Architecto - Build structures upright.
  • Tangramino - Build structures flat on the table.
You can buy each game with the book and the pieces as a set, or you can buy the books separately and one set of pieces separately, as all four games use the same 18 pieces.

For more of this type of activity, see my post on What's in Your Therapy Box? Pattern Blocks Edition

Try this:
  • Build the model on top of the book first, then move to building it beside the book. Images in the book are the correct size to do this.
  • Orient a puzzle piece and place it on the model if an individual gets stuck or cannot orient the piece correctly. Then pick it up, turn it askew, and hand it to the individual to orient. The individual may not be able to "see" the shape as it would look in a different orientation and a visual demonstration like that can help a great deal.
  • Use consistent directional and positional language as you cue.
  • Start by examining each piece and comparing it to the chart. Discuss how one piece can look different when looking at it from different perspectives.
  • Copy the chart so that you can use it as a reference while you are building.
If you are interested in purchasing this item or just want more information, click on the image below.


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