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.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Google Eyes

Use any writing tool to play.

Work on tool use, writing grasp, writing, in-hand manipulation, manual dexterity, process skills, socialization skills, play and leisure exploration and participation

In he box: Game board, timer, 54 cards (162 challenges), 4 pawns, 1 pair of glasses, 3 sets of distorted lenses, 1 die, 1 timer, 1 drawing pad, 2 pencils 

A wacky drawing game that might just help get that pencil in the hand of your reluctant writer. The box says for 4-16 players, but can be easily played by 2 in therapy. This game comes complete with a pair of glasses frames and three sets of vision distorting lenses, so nobody needs to be an artist to play. The goal is to draw clear enough, while wearing the vision distorting glasses, so that someone else can guess what your picture is. The glasses and lenses are all plastic and the lenses are rated easy, medium, and difficult based on how distorted they make your vision. The glasses are large enough for an adult, but also have an adjustable elastic strap connected to the bows in case they are too big. The game board has 41 spaces from start to finish and has special instructions on several of the spaces, as follows:
  • Choose the lens color and matching challenge you want to use.
  • Switch hands (draw with your non-dominant hand).
  • Draw without wearing the wacky glasses.
  • Lose your turn.
The timer is plastic and loud - loud enough to bother me - so you could use a sand timer if you have one in another game. The cards are divided into three categories: Places, objects, and entertainment. Each card has three suggestions of objects to draw and a time limit for each item, depending on its difficulty. As usual, skip the time option if not appropriate. Drawings can end up quite distorted and the fun is trying to figure them out as the person draws. If you have someone who is easily frustrated or hyper critical of their work, this may not be for them. SAFETY FIRST - Don't get up and try to walk around or do other things with the glasses on.

Set up: Place the game board in the middle of the players. Shuffle the cards and place them in a face-down stack near the board. Place all the other game pieces near the board.

Play: All players place their pawns on start. The first player or team throws the die and moves forward on the board that many spaces. The color of the space that you land on will determine the color of lenses that you use and the item on the card that you will draw. Set the timer and draw. If someone guesses your item, throw the die and move forward again. If no one guesses, stay put and the next person plays. First one to finish is the winner.

If you would like to read more about games that require writing or drawing in some form, check out my post Games That Require a Writing Tool.  

Try this:
  • Let the individual choose which item he will draw from the card, or even choose the card he wants to draw from after looking at several. I often do this because it is more about gaining cooperation and focus so we can practice the skills we want to concentrate on than putting someone on the spot.
  • Be aware of the frustration level. If the medium and difficult lenses are causing the person trouble, stick with the easy lenses.
  • Try not to lift your pencil off the paper. Once you lift it up, it can be real difficult to figure out where to put it back down, especially with the medium and difficult lenses.
  • Use a variety of drawing tools like markers, colored pencils, crayons, dry erase markers and board, whatever adds an element of fun.
  • Place the drawing tool(s) upside-down near the paper so that the individual has the opportunity to practice flipping and shifting the tool in-hand to orient it for drawing.
  • Add a little writing as an "after-thought" after the drawing is done and guessed. Write the name of the item or a simple sentence about it.
  • Draw without lenses in the glasses if the distortion is too much but the individual wants to play.
  • Practice looking for the big O in the web space while positioning the tool to draw. 
  • Take the opportunity to practice drawing a few things simply, using shapes, after the game is over but while the individual is in the drawing mode. Keep that pencil going as long as you can. LOL
If you are interested in purchasing this item or just want more information, click on the image below.

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