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!

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Sunday, April 16, 2017

Tipsy Topsy Turvy Thomas & Friends

Stack the freight and move the train without toppling the works.
Work on visual discrimination, visual form constancy, spatial relations/position in space, manual dexterity, graded grasp and release, focus and attention, motor planning, eye-hand coordination, proximal stability, process skills, social interaction skills, executive functions, play and leisure exploration and participation
In the box: 1 game board, 1 Thomas train, 10 cargo pieces, 20 cards (8 location cards, 6 color cards, 6 cargo cards), sticker sheet
A balance game with a Thomas theme and a unique turntable game board. The goal is to collect the most freight cards by carefully stacking plastic freight pieces into the truck. To set up, place the stickers onto the train. These stickers did not stay on very well. Next, place the game board on a flat surface between players. Place the piece of cardstock under Thomas so that he will stay upright and place him on the board. There is a small rounded protrusion on the bottom of the train and a small hole in the middle of the game board. Placing the protrusion in the hole helps Thomas smoothly turn while still staying in the middle of the board. Place the plastic freight cargo pieces near the board. Cargo colors are red, green orange, blue, yellow, and purple. Mix all the cards together and place them face-down near the board. The cards are nice and heavy stock and shouldn't bend or tear with normal use.
All pictures on the cargo cards are printed in brown, so you will not be able to identify the pieces by color, but will have to identify them by shape. Location cards include Brendam Docks, circus, windmill, Sodor Airport, Sodor Steamworks. To play, choose a card. If it is a location card, place it at the end of the board, matching the train track to the same color train track on the board. Now carefully turn Thomas so that he is lined up with that track. Keep playing until you draw a freight or color card. If you can balance that particular piece of freight onto the train, you can keep the card. Otherwise place that card on the bottom of the stack and put any pieces of cargo that fall off with the other pieces waiting to be loaded. When the cards from the draw pile are all gone (either on the train track or claimed by players), the person with the most freight and color cards wins the game.
Try this:
  • Practice stacking the pieces in the train and taking them off without toppling others before actually playing a game. The space is small and the pieces are smooth.
  • Place the cargo and color cards in a line on the table and ask the individual to match a piece of cargo to each card. 
If you are interested in purchasing this game or just want more information, click on the image below.

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