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, March 29, 2017

LEGO Friends Hand-Foot-Fun

Work on visual discrimination, spatial relations/position in space, balance, coordination, motor planning, proprioceptive perception, vestibular perception, body awareness, strengthening, weight bearing, bilateral coordination, sensory input, manual dexterity, fine motor precision, finger isolation, in-hand manipulation, socialization skills, process skills, play and leisure exploration and participation

In the box: 12 touch pads, LEGOs for spinner (77 pieces total)

I've seen LEGO games before but never one that incorporated gross motor movement like this. It's basically like a Twister game with 20 touch pads instead of a mat. The spinner is unique in that you get to make it from LEGO pieces before you play the game. So to start, use the building guide, the 52 LEGO pieces and the 16 stickers to assemble the spinner. The 16 stickers go on top of 16 flat LEGO discs and indicate what you will be placing on a touch pad - hand, foot, both feet, both hands, elbow, and question mark. The spinner is divided into four different color quarters (see images), each color matching the borders on the five different shapes of touch pads. There are five of each shape touch pad. To set up, scatter the touch pads within reaching distance of each other. To play, the first person spins the spinner. The spinner arrow will point to a certain body part in a certain colored quarter. Put that body part on that color touch pad. Balance there while the next person plays. Each time you spin the spinner, move only the indicated body part(s) while keeping any others that you have on pads in place. The game description says "Have fun getting in a tangle". As with Twister, first one down is out.

Try this:
  • Skip the color and allow the player to place the body part on any touch pad.
  • Turn LEGO pieces on the table so that they can't be picked up by the child in the correct orientation. Ask him to turn each piece in-hand after picking it up.
  • Place a LEGO piece in the individual's palm, or at the base of the fingers, in the incorrect orientation and ask him to bring it to the fingertips and turn it in-hand for placement.
  • Give the beginner one piece at a time while building the spinner and point to the piece on the guide to show where it should go.
  • Ask the child to pick up the spinner and hold it in one hand while adding pieces with the other hand so that both hands work together while adding pieces (instead of adding pieces while the spinner is on the table).
  • Show the child how to hold the spinner with the non-dominant hand while "pinching" the new part on with the dominant hand.
  • Place the pieces for each step of assembling the spinner on the non-dominant side so that the individual will have to cross midline to pick them up. Instruct him not to lean to the side as he reaches across.
  • Keep the unused pieces in a pile so that the child will have to search for each needed piece. Turn some of the pieces upside down or half cover them so they will look different from the picture.
  • Advise the child to hold the spinner in the same orientation as the one in the picture to aid in orienting pieces as they build.
  • Catch mistakes as they happen while assembling the spinner, as an incorrectly placed piece may throw off the rest of the project. Tell the individual that his spinner does not look exactly like the picture and see if he can identify the mistake and correct it on his own before jumping in to help.
  • Start a session with this game if this type of sensory input helps the individual organize and prepare for work. 

  • No comments:

    Post a Comment

    Thank you for taking the time to comment.