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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, January 22, 2017

Let's Match! Merry and Bright

Work on visual discrimination, figure ground, visual form constancy, manual dexterity, visual scanning, visual memory, eye-hand coordination, crossing midline, social interaction skills, process skills, play and leisure exploration and participation
 
In the box: 48 pieces (24 sets)
 
A Christmas match game. Pieces are round and the image above shows some of the actual pieces. Pieces are 2.5" across at the widest part. Images include bell, snowflake, cookie, teddy bear, candy cane, mitten, gingerbread man cookie, wreath, Christmas tree with ornaments, skate, star, gift, angel, ice skate, ornament, cup of cocoa, and reindeer head. There are 12 sets that could be used for winter also, without reference to Christmas. The pieces are sturdy and 1/16 inch thick.
 
Try this:
  • Set the game up so that sets are on opposite end so that the player must cross midline to find the match.
  • Divide the sets and put one of each set, face-up, on the table. Give the player one at a time and ask him to scan the cards on the table and find the match.
  • Turn several cards face up to start and leave them up until they are taken as part of a set. This will make a long game shorter.
  • Prompt the individual to remember the locations and always turn the cards back over in their present locations to end his turn.
  • Start with fewer sets and work your way up to 24.
  • Play alone to help develop concentration and memory skills. Count the number of plays it takes you to finish or time yourself. Play again and try to beat that number.
  • Play teams. One member turns over one card, the other team member turns over the second card to make the match. No talking or signaling to team members.
  • Turn the cards all face up and make sets. Start with fewer cards if 48 is too many to look at.
  • Take the 24 sets, putting one of each set into one of two piles. Turn one pile of 24 face up on the table. Hand the individual one card at a time from the remaining 24 and ask him to find the matching card on the table.
  • Mix the cards before setting up the game, making sure some are upside down or facing a side.
If you are interested in purchasing this game or just want more information, click on the image below.

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