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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.


Monday, June 5, 2017

DUPLO First Rocket

A beginner's construction set. Make 12 patterns from 18 blocks!
 
Work on spatial relations, manipulation, visual discrimination, figure ground, visual closure, visual motor integration, visual form constancy, bilateral integration, strength, manual dexterity, executive function, creative play, play and leisure exploration and participation 
 
In the box: 18 DUPLO pieces, 3 pattern cards
 
DUPLO First Rocket is a simple construction set for beginners. Designed for typical kids ages 1 1/2 - 5 years, this is a perfect precursor to LEGOs. DUPLOs are much larger than LEGOs, easier for small hands to manipulate and are too large to be swallowed. There is a nice variety of shapes for such a small set and there are 12 different models printed on the pattern cards and on the box. All models are pictured completed, there is no step-by-step guide for assembling.
 
 
Some DUPLO sets do show how to assemble models step-by-step, but you will have to read product descriptions to find them. Most don't. Many of the newer sets are at least adding pattern cards (like these) now.
 
Try this:
  • Start with a few minutes of free play so that the child can get the feel of the pieces and see how they snap together.
  • Start slow if the child is new to DUPLOS, choosing the model with the fewest pieces and working your way up to the more complicated ones.
  • Cover the printed model with a white card. Pull it up one level at a time to expose the block(s) and sequence for building.
  • Give the child a piece at a time if he does not know where to start or how to proceed. Point to the piece on the picture to show where it should go.
  • Keep the unused pieces in a pile so the child will have to search for each needed piece. Turn some of the pieces upside down or on their side so the child will have to recognize them from different perspectives.
  • Advise the child to hold the model in the same orientation as the one in the picture if they are having trouble orienting a piece.
  • Take time for free play at the end.
If you are interested in purchasing this item or just want more information, click on the image below.

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