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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, June 11, 2017

Animal Memo by Plan Toys

Work on visual discrimination, visual closure, visual memory, figure ground, visual form constancy, spatial relations, manual dexterity, social interaction skills, executive functioning skills, play and leisure exploration and participation 

In the box: 24 pieces, white cloth bag

This is a pretty basic memory/concentration game. Twenty-four pieces (12 pairs), two matching pieces per pair, all animals. The pieces are made of wood and are curved on one side so that they will actually rock a little when face-down. Pieces are ~ 2" x 2" and will stand up on-end. There is also a cloth white bag with a rope tie in the box to store the pieces in.
  • MEMORY - Mix the pieces and place all the tiles in a grid formation, face-down on the table. Each player, in turn, will turn over two tiles. If they match, the player may remove them from the grid and place them by their side. If they don't match, turn them face-down again in their original position. Play moves to the next player and continues until all tiles have been claimed. Player with the most tiles is the winner.
  • CONCENTRATION - Mix the pieces and place them face-up in a grid. Take turns gathering the animals in pairs. Someone might give clues such as this animal is purple, or this animal is a tiny insect that you might spot on a leaf or you hear this animal screeching and see him swinging from tree to tree.
Try this:
  • Place the animals in a jumbled pile, with the pictures turned this way and that. Ask the individual to pair them up. Can they recognize the different animals in different orientations?
  • Place two or more animals in a line in front of the individual. Give him the match to one of the animals and ask him to pick the piece that is the same as the one he is holding.
  • Ask the player to stand the pieces up on end in pairs.
  • Place several (2-4) animals in a line in front of a player. Ask him to look at the animals and remember the sequence. Practice saying the names out loud in order. Tell the player to look at them to remember, not just casually glance at them. Turn them face-down. Present the match to one of the animals. Ask the player to turn over the one he thinks will match it. 
If you are interested in purchasing this or just want more information, click on the image below.

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