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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, April 23, 2017

Tumble Jumble Pond Life Puzzle

Use 10 four-sided rectangle pieces to create four puzzles.

Work on spatial relations, visual closure, visual discrimination, visual form constancy, figure ground, visual scanning, focus and attention, manual dexterity, in-hand manipulation, leisure and play exploration and participation

In the box: 10 rectangle pieces

Tumble Jumble puzzles are similar to jigsaw puzzles in that you follow a picture on a box, matching patterns and images to complete a scene. They are different in that the puzzle pieces are 4-sided rectangles instead of flat pieces with tabs and blanks. The pieces are very lightweight plastic and have a sticker that wraps around each piece so that there is a different image on each side. Considering this, an OT might rightly stop and exclaim "Think of the opportunities for in-hand manipulation!" LOL Five of the rectangle pieces measure approximately 2 15/16" x 1" x 1", and five measure 1 15/16" x 1" x 1". There are four complete puzzle pictures that are printed on the back of the box. About 1/6 of two of the puzzles are not shown because the puzzle pictures overlap each other, so an additional wee opportunity for visual closure.

The back of the box showing the four puzzles you can make.
The front of the box says "Find the 4 tricky pictures", but I just assembled one and it only took me a few minutes. So they are not those difficult puzzles where the same piece can fit six different ways. However, each picture has some of the same images (koi, frogs, leaves, etc.) so you do have to look closely and reply on the image on the box to complete the puzzle. There is no frame to build in, so the pieces just sit next to each other on whatever flat surface you choose to work on. Tumble Jumble puzzles comes in a few different themes.

Try this:
  • Start with the puzzle with the turtle. It is quite large and there is only one whole turtle in all four pictures, so those pieces should be easier to separate out for a more likely chance for success on the first try.
  • Turn the pieces in-hand as you search for the correct side.
  • Place the pieces all right-side-up and in the correct orientation for an easier assemble.
  • Assemble a puzzle beforehand and place it in the box so that you can take the pieces out and place them all right-side-up.
  • Assemble the puzzle and leave out one piece. Give it to the player in the incorrect orientation and let him finish the puzzle. Then repeat, leaving out two pieces. Then three, then four, etc. until the person is assembling it alone.
If you are interested in purchasing this item or just want more information, click on the image below.

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