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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.


Friday, February 24, 2017

Splish Splash

Collect colorful water droplets as they splash out of the pool.
Work on visual discrimination, visual closure, eye-hand coordination, spatial relations, in-hand manipulation, fine motor precision, palmar arch support, process skills, social interaction skills, play and leisure exploration and participation

In the box: 50 wooden droplets, 4 character boards, 1 custom die, 1 wooden pebble, 1 game board insert

This game leaves something to be desired, IMHO, but the makers promise a swimmingly good time. The object of Splish Splash is to fill your character board with the water droplets that splash out of the pool after you drop in the pebble. There is a lightweight plastic insert that can either stand on its own (see below) or sit in the box bottom (see above). I would suggest leaving it in the box bottom because it is very lightweight plastic. In the middle is a little "pool" that holds the wooden droplets.

To play, place all the wooden water droplets into the pool and give every player a character board. In turn, each player will throw the die. Here are the play options, depending on what shows on the die:
  • Splash symbol - Free pick. Take any one droplet out of the pool and place it on your card.
  • 2 or 3 - The number tells you how many times you get to drop the wooden pebble into the pond and see if any droplets splash out. If so, and you need the color(s), put them on your card. If so and you don't need the color(s), return them to the pond. If not, your turn is over.
The box says to drop the pebble from a foot above the box. I did this over and over and nothing splashed out. Then I tried dropping with a little force and droplets flew out of the pond and onto the floor.

Try this:
  • Skip the game and just match the wooden droplets by color to the character boards.
  • Place several droplets in the palm or at the base of the fingers. Ask the player to push them to the fingertips, one at a time, and place on the character board.
  • Cup the non-dominant hand. Hold it in that position as you fill it with the droplets. Take the droplets out one at a time and place them on the character boards.
  • Put the game away by picking up the droplets, one at a time, and squirreling them into the palm.
  • Cup the hand to roll the die. Keep the hand cupped and the die rolling for extra time by counting to 10 or singing the "Splish Splash" song.
  • Reverse the game. Place the droplets on the character boards and instead of taking droplets out of the box, return them to the box per the die roll. Roll and two or three and put that many back. Roll a splash symbol and return one of them to your board. First one to empty their board, wins.
  • Cup the non-dominant hand and hold the wooden droplets. Pick them up one at a time with the dominant hand and toss them into the pool (or the box).
If you are interested in purchasing this game or just want more information, click on the image below.

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