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.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017


A bingo game that will make you think (about money)!

Work on identifying and counting coins, visual discrimination, visual closure, spatial relations, figure ground, visual scanning, manual dexterity, in-hand manipulation, precise fine motor control, social interaction skills, executive functioning skills, process skills, play and leisure exploration and participation

In the box: 30 player game cards, 40 clue cards.

I was introduced to JINGO several years ago when I bought Jingo Thanksgiving. Jingo is a line of bingo games which are more educational than your typical call-and-cover bingo games. For instance, the Thanksgiving game came with 36 question cards that covered Thanksgiving history and traditions. Instead of calling numbers, the caller reads a question and players cover the answer (if they have it) on their bingo card. The materials are all made out of heavy-weight paper and none of them are laminated. The question/clue cards are perforated and need to be torn apart before playing. Each question/clue card is printed with one question/clue, and the answer (with matching picture) is also on the same side of the card so the players cannot see it. The bingo card, as you can see above, has either coins or a number in each space. No bingo chips or tokens for covering the squares are included. Coins would be an appropriate token for this game. The object is to be the first to complete a pre-specified pattern by covering squares on your card. Here is an example of the clues on the cards:
  • One quarter, one dime, and one nickel are worth this many cents (40).
  • Find the grouping of money that is worth 16 cents (image of nickel, dime, and penny).
  • Find the grouping of money that is worth $5.05 (image of five dollar bill and nickel).
  • You buy a candy bar that costs 80 cents. You pay the clerk with four quarters. What will your change be (image of two dimes)?
There are only three problems like the last one above. Most of them are pictures of money or word description of money (example two dimes and a nickel). Individual will need to be able to do mental math or figure answer together on paper before finding on the card.

To play:  Give everyone a game card and tokens of some kind to cover the spaces. Choose a pattern for Jingo (vertical, horizontal, diagonal, four corners, letter X, etc.).  Ask the questions from the clue cards. When someone completes the chosen pattern on his game card, he yells JINGO! Giving out small prizes is always a fun bonus. Maybe keep the coins that were used to play. 

A colorful playing card, clue cards with pictures, an instruction sheet with examples of bingo designs.

Jingo has a large line of bingo games with quite a few holiday games which are fun for get-togethers. I have also blogged about Back to School Jingo. Read about it here.

Try this:
  • Hold several tokens/coins in the hand, bringing them to the fingertips one at a time to cover the squares.
  • When cleaning up, pick up the tokens one at a time and squirrel them in the palm without dropping. How many can be held?
  • Make a copy of the black and white card (comes with the game) which shows the different bingo patterns (horizontal, vertical, diagonal, four corners). Cut them out and for each game, place the one you are using as a pattern on table for all to see.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for taking the time to comment.