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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.


Friday, September 8, 2017

Yeti in my Spaghetti

Remove the spaghetti without disturbing the Yeti.
Work on manual dexterity, pincer grasp, graded movement, spatial relations, eye-hand coordination, socialization skills, process skills, play and leisure exploration and participation.

In the box: Plastic bowl, lightweight plastic Yeti, 30 pieces of spaghetti

This is a pretty simple game. As you can see above, there is an orange bowl, a lot of wavy plastic sticks (spaghetti), and a lightweight plastic toy (Yeti). Set the bowl in the middle of the players. Crisscross the plastic sticks on top of the bowl, mixing them up so they are going in different directions. Then place the Yeti on top of the plastic sticks. Now players take turns pulling out one stick at a time. The goal is to get your stick out without causing the Yeti to fall. Play until someone pulls a piece that causes the Yeti to fall into the bowl and they are the loser. The last one to have pulled a stick successfully is the winner. Pretty straightforward. Personally, I wasn't impressed with this game. The Yeti is so big, and the bowl so shallow, that you can pull out one stick and have part of the yeti fall through and touch the bowl. Maybe try your own deeper bowl.

Try this:
  • Push the bowl back a little while setting up to work on reaching.
  • Use your own lightweight toy on top. Make it smaller for a more challenging game (better chance of slipping through a hole).
  • Use two hands for set-up by holding the sticks in one hand and pulling them out one at a time to place with the other hand.
  • Roll the spaghetti piece in the fingertips while removing to get over curves in the spaghetti.
  • Sing On Top of Spaghetti as you play.
  • Follow with sensory play with a bowl of real, cooked spaghetti. Plenty of ideas for using spaghetti on Pinterest.
If you are interested in purchasing this game or just want more information, click on the image below.


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