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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, March 26, 2017

Cupcake Race

Build 3 part cupcakes and top with sprinkles.
Work on visual discrimination, figure ground, eye-hand coordination, manual dexterity, grasp, coordinated use of both hands, fine motor precision, in-hand manipulation, following directions, sequencing, socialization skills, process skills, play and leisure exploration and participation

In the box: Game board, 48 sprinkles, 4 party hat pawns, 4 cupcake wrappers, 4 cupcakes, 4 frosting tops, 4 cherries, spinner

You and your friends have been asked to bring cupcakes to a party. It's a race to see which player can be the first to mix, bake, frost and top their cupcake. The first player to reach the party with a completed cupcake and a sprinkle of each color wins a cherry to put on top. There are enough cherries for all four cupcakes, so keep playing until everyone reaches the party and gets a cherry. All pieces to this game are hard plastic and sturdy. The board is colorful and the spinner is right on the board. There is one step in each corner of the board (mix, bake, frost, top). To set up the game, place the board in the middle of the players. Put the cupcake wrappers in the corner marked Mix It, the cakes in the corner marker Bake It, the frostings in the corner marked Frost It, the sprinkles in the corner marked Top It, and the cherries on the big red cherry in the middle of the board. Taking turns, the players will spin the spinner and advance around the board the number of spaces indicated. Numbers on the spinner range from 1-6. Along the path there are instructions on some of the spaces on the board. If you land on a space with instructions you will do one of the following:
  • Sprinkles - If you land on a positive number (+1, +2), take a sprinkle that matches the color on the spinner. If you land on a negative number (-1, -2), return sprinkles that you have already collected. These sprinkles do not get put onto the cupcake itself until you reach the Top It corner.
  • Move Back - Move your pawn back the number of spaces indicated.
  • Lose a turn - Lose your next turn.
As players advance around the board they must stop at or near each corner to pick up one of each of the four cupcake components. First one to the cherry wins. Keep playing until each player reaches the party and is a winner.



Back of the box.


Try this:
  • Start everyone with a completed cupcake and put the sprinkles on as soon as you collect them. 
  • Skip the game and just make the cupcakes, sequencing the four steps.
  • Ask the individual to top a cake with sprinkles as you call the colors.
  • Place several sprinkles at the base of the fingers and ask the player to bring them one at a time to the fingertips to place on the cupcake. The sprinkles are small and smooth, making them more difficult to get ahold of and place. Placing them in the palm and pushing them up from there would be tedious work for this reason.
  • Put the game away by picking up the sprinkles and cherries and squirreling them in the palm one at a time. Drop them into the box when you can't hold any more.
  • Ask the individual to pick the pieces up one at a time, supinate so that the palm is facing upward, open the palm and drop the piece in. Close the palm, pronate, and pick up another piece. Repeat.
If you are interested in purchasing this game or just want more information, click on the image below.

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