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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.


Saturday, May 5, 2018

Asteroid Escape

A galactic sliding puzzle with 60 challenges.

Work on visual discrimination, spatial relations, visualization, figure ground, eye-hand coordination, manual dexterity, executive functioning skills, process skills, play and leisure exploration and participation

In the box: Game board, 8 puzzle pieces, clear lid, puzzle book

Navigate your spaceship safely through the asteroid field to solve each puzzle.  The puzzle board measures 5 5/8" square and all pieces are hard, but lightweight plastic. This galactic sliding puzzle has 60 challenges (from beginner to expert) that increase in difficulty as you go. Below is an image of puzzles 17-20. Puzzle 1 will require 6 moves to slide the spaceship off the game board. Puzzle 60 will require 109 moves. The answers are given in the back of the puzzle booklet. The wings of the spaceship are not able to clear over the tops of the asteroids so the pieces must be slid around to clear a path.


Good visual perceptual skills will be necessary to do well with this puzzle, as well as the ability to problem solve and apply logic. 

Answer key.

If you are interested in reading more about logic games, check out my post What's in Your Therapy Box - Logic Puzzles Edition.

Try this:
  • Solve the puzzle all but the last step or two and let the individual complete it. Then solve all but the last three steps, allowing the individual to do more and more of the work independently.
  • Give the individual the direction for each move (north, south, east, west or up, down, right, left) and let them figure out each piece.
  • Use the puzzle book with individuals who cannot solve the puzzles by challenging them to set up each puzzle.
  • Solve each puzzle first while the individual looks on. Problem solve out loud so they can learn how to reason the puzzles out.Then take the puzzle apart and allow them to solve it.
  • Solve puzzles by looking at the answer key and following the arrows. Say each direction aloud before moving, such as left, right, etc.

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