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, April 18, 2017

Inside Out 5 in 1 Puzzle

Work on Identifying feelings, visual discrimination, visual closure, spatial relations, eye-hand coordination, figure ground, visual scanning, in-hand manipulation, fine motor precision, manual dexterity, focus and attention, play and leisure exploration and participation
In the box: 5 puzzles
These characters are from the Inside Out movie, which I didn't see but I know a lot of the families I work with did. You will have an opportunity to talk about feelings as you assemble these five puzzles. The number of pieces per puzzle is minimal, but because of the irregular shaped pieces and shaped border, I would say this one is not for beginners.
  • Sadness - 25 pieces - blue
  • Joy - 32 pieces - yellow
  • Fear - 26 pieces - purple
  • Anger - 26 pieces - anger
  • Disgust - 26 pieces - green
Each puzzle comes in a plastic bag that is not reseal able, but you can easily store each puzzle in a baggie. In case the pieces get mixed up, the back of each piece is color coded to the puzzle it belongs to. The tallest puzzle, Joy, is approximately 13".
Try this:
  • Talk about scenarios, true and made up, where you would feel the same as the character you are assembling.
  • Discuss facial expression and body language for each character (feeling) as you assemble it.
  • Keep the box nearby so you can refer to the pictures because of the irregular shaped border and pieces.
  • Make the puzzle easier to assemble by giving the individual only one or two pieces at a time as he needs them, by taking turns attaching pieces, by orienting the piece for placement before the individual attaches it, or by giving clues when looking for pieces such as we are looking for an arm, or for part of the hair.
  • Make the puzzle more difficult to assemble by overlapping the pieces in a pile before the individual starts assembly, by making sure the pieces are not turned in the correct orientation when laying them out to begin work, by making sure each piece is flat on the table and picked up from where it lies, and by not using the box for reference.
  • Turn the piece in-hand to adjust it for placement after it is picked up.
  • Assemble a puzzle and leave out a few pieces. Give these to the player to add. Then assemble another and leave out a few more. Work up to the place where the individual can assemble a puzzle independently. 
If you are interested in purchasing this item or just want more information, click on the image below. 

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