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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.


Sunday, October 29, 2017

Operation Rudolph

Rudolph is the theme, but not the patient. Whew!
Work on visual discrimination, figure ground, spatial relations/position in space, body awareness, tool use, precise fine motor control, eye-hand coordination, manual dexterity, thumb opposition, rounded web space, separation of the two sides of the hand, executive function skills, process skills, social interaction skills, play and leisure exploration and participation

This is a game of Operation, based on the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer TV Christmas show. I have already blogged about the game Operation, so instead of writing that all over again, I will give you the link to visit that post. Operation post. Below I will post the rules of this game that are specific to this Rudolph version. Here is a picture of the operating table and the pieces.

Set up:
Deal all specialist cards to players evenly. Mix the doctor cards and put them by the board. Place all the small pieces into the holes on the board. Choose a banker and give him the stack of money. 

Play:
The first player will choose the doctor card on the top of the pile. It will show which piece to extract. If you do so successfully, you will receive the amount of money shown on the card. If you do not do so successfully, meaning you set off the roar of the abominable snowman and Rudolph's red nose flashes, someone else will get a try. The player who has the specialist card for that particular part will now try to extract the piece. If he is successful, he will win twice the money the doctor would have been paid (no comment). If he is not successful, the doctor card will be added to the bottom of the card pile and the next player will play. Any time pieces are extracted successfully, both cards (doctor and specialist) pertaining to that piece are out of play and set off to the side of the game. When all 12 pieces have been extracted, all players add their money and the player with the most is the winner.

Don't forget to go to my Operation post for more specifics on this game and for ideas on using it in therapy.

Check out other Christmas games I have blogged about on my Christmas Edition post.

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