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.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Vehicle Tap Tap

Use a hammer and tacks to construct cars and trucks from challenge cards.

Work on visual discrimination, spatial relations, visual closure, visual form constancy, figure ground, eye-hand coordination, manual dexterity, fine motor precision, bilateral coordination, tool use, focus and attention, process skills, executive functions,

In the box: 24 vehicle pieces, bag of tacks, 5 challenge cards, wooden hammer

A little pricey, but a fun activity. Construct vehicles by placing pieces on a cork board and then hammering in tacks to keep them in place. The pieces are a lightweight wood with a picture on one side. One piece requires two tacks and the rest only take one. There are circles on the pieces to indicate where the tacks go. The hammer is also wooden. The tacks are not long enough to go all the way through the cork board, so won't scratch the table. The challenge cards are a heavy card stock and have a puzzle on each side, so 10 challenges total. The bottom of the card shows you the pieces that you will need to build the vehicle and the top of the card shows the completed vehicle. The challenges advance in difficulty but are not marked as such. The vehicles range anywhere from four to eight pieces. Five of the vehicles use all the same color pieces and five use mixed colors. Some of the vehicles are fire truck, police car, tractor, tow truck and bulldozer.

Try this:
  • Pull out the necessary pieces if sorting through more than necessary is too difficult.
  • Push the tack in a little so that it stands on its own before hammering.
  • Place the first piece if the individual does not know where or how to start.
  • Orient the piece as the individual watches if he is having trouble. Then pick it up and ask him to place it.
  • Use consistent positional and directional language.
  • Ask the individual to orient the pieces in-hand for placement.
  • Take the pieces out of the box and place them in a single layer on the table if the individual cannot spot them partially covered.
  • Let the individual find the pieces while in the box so that some of them are partially covered and in incorrect orientations. 
If you are interested in purchasing this item or just want more information, click on the image below.

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