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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, November 26, 2017

3D Feel and Find World Icons

Very similar to the original version.
Work on tactile discrimination, visual discrimination, visual form constancy, figure ground, spatial relations, eye-hand coordination, in-hand manipulation, manual dexterity, coordinated use of both hands, executive functioning skills, process skills, play and leisure exploration and participation

In the bag: Cloth bag, 20 wooden pieces, 20 wooden matching tiles

I have already blogged on Feel & Find, made by the same company (Guide Craft), and this one doesn't differ much. What you will receive with this version is a drawstring cloth bag and 20 wooden sets. A set consists of one shaped piece, such as a heart, and a wooden tile with a cut-out of the same shape. There are two basic differences between the sets. First, the wooden tiles for this set are circles, and the original Feel & Find set has rectangles. Second, the cut-outs on the circles on this version are painted the same color as the matching piece. The cut-outs are not painted in the original version. This set includes what they describe as world icons, which I thought might be the Eiffel Tower shape or a pagoda, etc. Nope, just means shapes that might be recognized around the world. Which is what you got with the original versions - trees, animals, people, geometric shapes, etc. Shapes in this set include people, bird, apple, house, heart, turtle, tree and car. 

Try this:
  • Start with deep pressure to the hands.
  • Spend time concentrating on how to feel, practice carefully feeling the item for clues. Ask the individual to close his eyes and put one piece in his hand. Ask him to use two hands and tell you about the piece. Cue him to use words to describe characteristics of the pieces such as bumpy, pointed, round, corner, square, legs, head. Then try using just one hand.
  • Close your eyes as above and let the individual put a piece in your palm. Model what you want him to do.
  • Put the pieces in the bag one at a time, allowing the individual to feel each one. Talk about the shape and describe how it feels.
  • If you want a more challenging activity, don't allow the person to see or feel the pieces beforehand. Lay the cut-out tiles on the table in plain view. Have him put his hand in the bag, pick up a piece, and without seeing the piece, find the matching tile on the table.
  • Start slow by putting just one piece in the bag and placing two tiles in front of the individual. Ask him to put his hand in the bag and feel the piece without looking. Then choose the matching tile. Increase the difficulty by adding more pieces in the bag and more tiles on the table.
  • Use as a simple matching game. Put out several or all of the tiles and give the individual the wood pieces to match to the tiles.
  • Put one tile on the table. Give the individual 2, 3, or 4 pieces and ask him to find the piece that matches the tile.
  • Scatter all the wooden pieces on the table. Give the individual one tile and ask him to scan the pieces to find the matching object, only stopping to look at the pieces that are the correct color.
  • Scatter the pieces on the table when setting up the game, but make sure that some of them are upside-down, sideways, standing on their edge, partially covered, or in other incorrect orientations. Present the tiles and do the matching.
  • Ask the individual to choose a tile and hold it in his non-dominant hand. Search for the matching piece and then place it on the tile.
  • Place a wooden tile in front of the player. Place the matching shaped piece in the player's palm. Ask him to bring it to his fingertips and rotate it in-hand to orient it correctly for placement. Make sure you turn some of the pieces into incorrect orientations before placing them into the palm.
For more information, click on the image below.

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