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!

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Monday, February 12, 2018

Tickety Toc Chime Time

Work on visual discrimination, figure ground, spatial relations/position in space, eye-hand coordination, manual dexterity, thumb opposition, web space development, coordinated use of both hands, vestibular and proprioceptive perception, gross motor movement and coordination, motor planning, process skills, executive functioning skills, socialization skills, play and leisure exploration and participation 

In the box: Game board, spinner, 40 game tiles, 4 character movers, 4 mover bases

Let me start by saying this is not a game to teach someone to tell time. It is a simple game of following directions, learning colors, and simple counting. It is also one of those few and far between table games with built-in gross motor involvement. The game board, as you see above, has gears. It comes as three large jigsaw puzzle-type pieces and is easy to assemble. The gears are interlocking, and as you turn one of them, they all turn. As the blue gear moves, it will count up from one to 12 (like a clock). When it gets to 12, chime time, the game is over. As the players advance around the board and turn the gears, they will choose game tiles and be challenged to a variety of activities. Complete an activity and win the game tile. At chime time, when the game is over, the one who has collected the most tiles is the winner. Game tiles include gross motor activities and will require getting up and doing things. If there are activities that a player will not be capable of doing, just remove those tiles before the game begins. Here are the three different categories of game tiles and examples of activities.
  • Play time - There are numerous small objects pictured around the border of the game board. This category challenges you to find specific items.
    • Find Tooteroo's bandana.
    • Find Chikidee's yarn basket.
    • Find Madame Au Lair's fruit bowl.
  • Pretend time
    • Pretend to be a monkey
    • Pretend to be a fish
  • Exercise time
    • Fly around the room 3 times
    • Pretend to climb a ladder
    • Dance like a robot
    • Do two hops on one foot
Be the player who has collected the most tiles by "chime time" (12 on the blue gear).

Set up:
Assemble the game board as instructed and place it in the middle of the players. Separate the game tiles by character/color (Red - Battersby, Yellow - Chikidee, Blue - Madame Au Lair, Green - Tooteroo) and stack each pile face-down by the board. Put the multi-color clockhouse tiles near the game board. Each player chooses one character pawn and places it on start.

Spin the spinner. If you spin a color, advance to the next space of that color on the game board and your turn is over. If you spin 1, 2 or 3, choose any of the large gears on the board and turn it until you see the same number of characters in the window(s) as the number showing on the spinner. Now ALL PLAYERS check to see if there is a character in a gear window adjacent to the space they are on. If so, each player may choose a tile card that matches their character and may perform the activity on the card. Each player that is successful gets to keep their card. If you spin the word SLIDE, go to the slide space on the board and collect a clockhouse tile. No activity required and this will also count as a tile in your final count. A freebie.

Try this:
  • Examine the game board before playing. There is a lot going on here. Point out the small objects on the borders, play with the gears and watch how they move together, etc.
  • Practice making a nice rounded circle with the thumb and index finger before flicking the spinner.
  • Practice flicking the arrow with different fingers to thumb.
  • Hold the spinner in the non-dominant hand and spin with the dominant hand.
  • Practice flicking the raised part at the bottom of the arrow as well as the more flattened top of the arrow. 
  • Model gross motor movements or assist if necessary for completion and safety.
  • Indicate the quadrant where the PLAY TIME item can be found if the game board background is too busy.
  • Advance around the game board before starting the game, pointing to each space as you go and naming the color.

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