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.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Daisy Girls Daisy Town Magnetic Dress Up Girls

Dress them for occasions, weather conditions, and activities.
Work on visual discrimination, spatial relations/position in space, visual form constancy, figure ground, eye-hand coordination, in-hand manipulation, fine motor precision, manual dexterity, coordinated use of both hands, body awareness, process skills, interest in dressing, dressing or weather, play and leisure exploration and participation
In the box: 18 dolls, 200 clothing pieces
Did you play with paper dolls when you were young (giving away my age here)? These look like paper dolls but are made of wood. With eighteen dolls and 200 outfit pieces there are a lot of options here. Dress the dolls for certain occasions, activities or weather conditions. The dolls are thick and have a thin magnetic sheet under the paper image. The clothing is wood, thinner than the dolls, and has a magnetic sheet backing so the clothing will stick even if the doll is standing upright. The dolls include toddler, tween, teen, mermaids, 2 boys, a dog and a cat (pets even have outfits).  The dolls are thick enough that they can stand unaided (a definite plus over paper dolls). The doll image and the outfit pieces are paper and coated in something so they can wipe clean. Outfit pieces include pants, shorts, skirts, tops, shoes, pajamas, swimwear, and hats. The wooden box measures about 17" x 17" and mine has a piece of paper in the bottom with colored squares and rectangles but no dividers. There is a rope handle on one side of the box. Stand the dolls in the box after they are dressed and tell your own story. This might be a good one to create interest if you are just introducing dressing, to practice choosing clothes for the weather, or appropriate dress for different activities. One drawback - 218 small pieces and nothing to store them in because the box has no lid. I use a baggie.

Try this:
  • Turn all the clothing pieces picture-side-up. Turn in-hand to flip.
  • Spread out the clothing and pick out all of one thing such as all hats or all skirts. 218 pieces is a big figure ground challenge. Reduce the number of pieces as necessary. Add them back in as the skill improves.
  • Make up your own short weather stories. Ask the child to dress one or more of the figures for the weather.
  • Make up your own short stories about activities such as swimming or going to bed. Ask the child to dress one or more of the figures to match the activity.
  • Dress several of the dolls and stand them in front of the child. Ask questions such as "which one is dressed to go to school", "which one is not dressed right for a snowball fight, "which one has a top that does not match their pants".

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