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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 19, 2017

Pass the Bomb Junior

OT and speech come together to Pass the Bomb.

Work on spatial relations, manual dexterity, fine motor precision, tool use, executive functioning skills, process skills, socialization skills, play and leisure exploration and participation

In the box: 55 cards and a bomb

Pass the Bomb is a fast paced game that may qualify as a speech game also. The game is quite simple. Each of the cards has a location and an associated picture. Some of the locations are at a birthday party, in the forest, in a magazine, in a swimming pool, at Christmas, in the sky and in the attic. 


Players take turns naming one item that would be found in that location. As soon each player is finished, they pass the bomb to the next player who looks at the next card and names an item found in that location. The bomb keeps getting passed around until it goes off. The person who has it when it goes off is the loser. Keep playing until all players are eliminated except one, the winner. I'm not real crazy about timed games, but the timer runs randomly, anywhere between 10 seconds and 1 minute. Therefore, those who take a little longer to process and answer will not be automatically overrun by the fast thinkers. It's all about the timer. The bomb is lightweight, hard plastic. It has a red on/off button on the bottom. It ticks audibly about once per second, and when it goes off it makes a lower sound for about one second. Easy enough for everyone to hear. May be annoying to some with noise sensitivities. There is a small door on the bottom of the bomb that you will need to take off to insert the 2 AAA batteries into the bomb. It has a tiny Phillips head screw and needs one of those small screwdrivers (I usually buy my sets at the $1 store.) Batteries not included.

To set up: Mix the cards and set them face down in the middle of the players. Give the bomb to the first player.

To play: Turn on the bomb and flip the deck. After the first person plays he takes the top card off the deck and passes the bomb to the next player. This continues until the bomb goes off. That person is now out of the game and the rest of the players repeat the process until only one person is left in the game, the winner.

Try this:
  • Use only one card per round. Players come up with different words for the same location. Last person to play before the bomb goes off gets the card. Play several rounds and see who collects the most cards.
  • Separate and take each card off the pile while leaving the remaining cards in a stack.
If you would like to purchase this game or just want more information, click on the image below.

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