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.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Who's Got the Button?

Practice sequencing with 32 patterns and 48 large buttons.
Work on visual discrimination, figure ground, visual form constancy, sequencing, manual dexterity, fine motor precision, in-hand manipulation, process skills, play and leisure exploration and participation

In the box: 16 cards (32 patterns), 48 buttons, 1 answer key card, instruction sheet with additional ideas

This game has been renamed, because the name on my box is Box of Buttons. It's available on the Discount School Supplies website and the picture and description for this game, Who's Got the Button? is exactly what I have in my box. The plastic buttons are 2.5" in diameter and they come in the four colors you see above. The shapes are triangle, hexagon, oval, square and circle. All buttons have four holes. The two-sided, laminated cards are 15" long and 4" wide. Each card has six spaces for buttons. Some will show the actual button and you place the same button on top. Other spaces show question marks and you finish the pattern by adding the correct buttons. The patterns are graded and color coded into four difficulty levels.
  • Level 1 - 8 patterns - All AB patterns. One or two question marks on 6 cards. Seventh card shows six question marks (red, green, red, green, grey, green). Eighth card shows six question marks (blue, yellow, blue, yellow, blue, grey).
  • Level 2 - 9 patterns - AB, ABB, ABC. One or two question marks per card.
  • Level 3 - 10 patterns - AB, ABB, ABC. One or two question marks per card.
  • Level 4 - 5 patterns  - ABB, ABC - The next to last pattern shows only the first button and the rest grey question marks. The last pattern shows all grey question marks and you make up your own pattern.
All patterns are by both shape and color. 

Try this:
  • Cover all the buttons behind the one you are working on if the individual has trouble keeping track of where he is working.
  • Lay the buttons all flat, not piled, for picking up off a flat surface.
  • Pile the buttons so parts are hidden to work on visual form constancy and figure ground.
  • Sort the buttons into piles by color or by shape (or both).
  • Emphasize the pattern by reading it aloud and pausing after each sequence. For instance green blue - pause - green blue - pause - green blue - pause.
  • Put the buttons in a bag so they can't be seen. Call out a shape and ask the individual to put his hand in the bag, feel the buttons and pull out one of that shape. Or ask the individual to put his hand into the bag and pull out all the squares he can find, or three squares, etc. Or ask the individual to put his hand in the bag, feel a button, and tell what shape it is before pulling it out to check.
  • Skip the cards and make a long line of buttons with your own sequence and only one attribute, like square circle square circle, omitting the color.
  • Place one button upside-down in the individual's palm. Ask him to flip it right-side-up, in-hand, before placing. Continue for the whole sequence.

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