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.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Clumsy Thief

Make and steal money stacks by adding 2 cards to equal $100.
Work on manual dexterity, in-hand manipulation, coordinated use of both hands for mixing/dealing/fanning/holding cards, processing speed, executive functioning, adding to 100 in multiples of five, socialization skills, play and leisure exploration and participation

In the box: 94 cards

The box calls it a money game. I was hoping I could use it in therapy for kids with money goals, but it is less about money and more about adding sets of 100. The game includes money cards, thief cards, and jail cards. Each money card has one value on it (see image below). The values on the money cards are $15, $20, $25, $30, $40, $45, $50, $55, $60, $70, $75, $80, $85. This is the only game I've ever seen where the instructions are a comic strip. Kind of fun.

Be the player with the most money at the end of the game.

Set up:
Shuffle the cards. Give each player 7 cards. Place the rest of the deck face-down on the table. This stack is called the bank.

All players look at their cards and make money stacks on the table in front of them. A money stack is 2 cards that equal $100. For instance a money stack could be a $30 card and a $70 card, or a $15 card and an $85 card. When all money stacks have been made the dealer says "GO!" It is now time to steal as many money stacks as you can. All players play at the same time. There are three ways to steal someone's money stacks:
  • Money Cards - You may steal someone's money stack if you have a card in your hand that will add up to $100 when placed on top of their stack. You may add only one card. For instance, if the top card on someone's stack is $60, you may top it with a $40 card and slide the stack to your side of the table. If someone else has a $60 card in their hand, they can add it to your stack and steal it from you.
  • Thief Cards - A thief card can be played on top of any pile and lets you steal that stack. The more cards already in the stack, the better. Another thief card can be played on your thief card and the stack can then be stolen away from you.
  • Jail Cards - A jail card can be played only on top of a thief card. This stack is now safe and no one can steal it from you. No card tops a jail card.
When the stealing is done, that round ends. Now everyone takes one card from the bank and on the word "GO", a new round of building money stacks and stealing begins. When one person is down to one card in his hand he must say "Last card". When any person, or the bank, runs out of cards, the game is over. Add all the money in your stacks. THe person with the most money is the winner.

Try this:
  • Practice adding the different sets of two before playing the game. Because it is based on speed, some people will always be faster than others.
  • Practice dealing by holding the stack in the non-dominant hand and pushing the top card off using the thumb. If the individual has difficulty, start with a shorter stack of cards.
  • Practice fanning the cards by holding your cards in the non-dominant hand and pushing away one card at a time using the thumb.

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