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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!

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Sunday, May 21, 2017

Scrabble Alphabet Soup

Add spelling to the long list of skill this game can help develop.
Work on visual discrimination, visual closure, spatial relations, visual form constancy, tool use, writing, copying, using a writing tool, manual dexterity, fine motor precision, eye-hand coordination, spelling, process skills, social interaction skills, play and leisure exploration and participation
 
In the box: Plastic bowl with lid, 4 plastic scoops, 104 tiles (98 letter, 4 blank), 2 Fly in the Soup tiles, 72 word cards.
 
A Scrabble game geared toward kids. The rules are simple: 1) Choose a word card, 2) Choose one word rom the card, and 3) Scoop out letter tiles until you have the correct tiles to spell your word. All players play at the same time and if you are the first player to spell your word, you win the round. The unique part about this game is that the tiles are all kept in a round, plastic bowl (lid included) and each player has a plastic spoon to use to scoop tiles out of the bowl. Thus the "soup" theme.
 
 
To set the game up, dump the tiles into the bowl and place it within reach of all players. There are three types of tiles:
  • Letter tiles - Most of the tiles are letter. One letter per tile, printed front and back.
  • Blank tiles - Nothing printed on these, they are wild and can be used for any letter. 
  • "Fly in the soup" tiles - There are two of these orange tiles that have a fly printed on them. If you happen to scoop one up you must return all tiles from that scoop and any tiles that you have already matched to your word back to the pot. Put that fly aside, he is now out of the game. Now you'll really need to hustle to catch up.
Give each player a word card. The word cards each have five words - two 3-letter words, two 4-letter words, and one 5-letter word. Each player chooses one word from his card to spell. No extra credit or points are given for choosing the longer words. On go, all players play at once, reaching into the pot and scooping out letters with their orange scoops. Dump the letters on the table and sort through looking for any you may need. If you find any, place them by your card and return any unused tiles to the pot and scoop again until you have all the letters you need. The first player to collect all his letters yells "YUMMY!" and all play stops. If he is correct, he collects that card and everyone's tiles are returned to the put and all cards the other players were using are placed in a discard pile. Each player gets a new card and round two begins. The first player to collect four cards wins the game. The letters on the cards are not the same size as the actual letters, so you will have to form your word next to the card. Tiles measure 3/4" X 3/4".
 
Try this:
  • Pick your word after you pull out the tiles, not before.
  • Spell all five words, over five rounds, on one card to win a game.
  • Skip the game. Place tiles for one or more words on the table next to the cards and place them in order to spell the words.
  • Look at the letters after you dump them from the scoop in the orientations that they land. 
  • Use a list of spelling words instead of the game card.
  • Place one letter at a time in the individual's palm and have them bring it to the fingertips and orient to place on the table. Spell all five words on a card this way.
  • Pick a three letter word and place those three piles in the individual's palm. Ask him to bring them to the fingertips, in order, and orient to place on the tabletop and spell in the word.
  • Put the tiles away by picking them up one at a time ad squirreling them in the palm. Thro them into the box by the handfuls. How may can be held?
  • Dump all the tiles on the table, leave them in place so tat they are in different orientations. Pick out all of one letter, then all of another, etc.
  • Instead of collecting cards to win, players write the word they won with and whoever writes five words first wins. Get in writing practice.
If you are interested in purchasing this game or just learning more about it, click on the image below. 

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