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.

Games by Name

This is an alphabetical list of the games and toys that I have blogged about. Click on a game to read my post and see ideas for use in therapy. I frequently add new games, so check back again.

3D Feel & Find World Icons
A Charlie Brown Christmas Game
ABC Cookies


Action Rhymes


Alphabet Acorns 

Alphabet Alligators

Alphabet Squiggles

All-Family Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer Trivia

American Girl Paper Punch Art
Angelina Ballerina's Dancing Game
Angling Fever 

Angry Bird - Bird Toss

Angry Birds Space & Happy Holidays
Angry Birds Holiday Card/Dice Game
Angry Birds Knock on Wood
Angry Birds on Thin Ice

Angry Birds Playground Under Construction

Angry Birds Space

Animal 2 X 2

Animal Bingo 

Animal Friends Cube Puzzle 

Animal Memo by Plan Toys
Animal Upon Animal
Animal Soup

Ants in the Can

Ants in the Pants

Apples to Apples 

Armies vs. Aliens Dice Game 
Avalanche Fruit Stand

Back Spin

Backseat Drawing


Banana Slap

Barbecue Party 

Bare Books DIY Games
Barnum's Animals Crackers Game

Basket Case


BBQ Blitz
Be the Top Banana
Bean Boozled

Bed Bugs



Big Sneaky Puzzle
Bill & Betty Bricks
Bill Ding


Bingo Bunch 


Bizarre Builder Monster Parts 

Blind Spell


Block Buddies

Blokus Junior
Blunders Manners
Boa Bella

Body Awareness Fun Deck

Booby Trap

Bop It! Bounce

Bop It! Smash

Bounce Off

Bounce Off - Blow Out
Bounce Off Party!

Bowling Dice

Brain Box - The USA

Brain Builder Peg Set 

Brain Builder Peg Set Cat and Mouse 


Bright & Beyond Preschool Playtime Activities

Brown Bear - Panda Bear What Do You See?

Brownie Match
Bubble Talk
Bug Balancing
Build-A-Cake by Wilton
Build A Robot 
Bulls & Cows

Bully Free Zone In A Jar

Bunny Peek-A-Boo

Bunny Popper

Busy Bugs Learning Set

BusyTown I Found It

Buy it Right!

Campbell's ABC Soup Game

Can You See What I See 


Candy Land Minnie Mouse
Captain Clueless
Card Holder

CardLine Animals

Carnival Table Tennis Toss Game

Carousel Bells

Cartoon It!

Castle Logix

Cat & Mouse

Cat Crimes 

Cat Stax

Catch & Count Fishing Game 

Cats vs. Dogs

Catch the Match



Charades for Kids

Cheese Dip 

Cheese Louise

Chef Pop de Pop

Chicks Go Boom!


Chocolate Fix

Chop Sticks

Christmas Bingo

Christmas LEGO BUild Up 40253 

Chutes and Ladders
Circle of Friends Matching Game 

Clothespins! Game

Cloud Matchmaker

Clumsy Thief 

Coconut & Monkey King

Color Code

Color Counts


Color Match Tri-Ominos

Colorations Wet & Stick Fuse Beads 

Colored Wooden Block Stacking Game 

Community JINGO 
Complete-The-Picture Magnetic Letter Match 
Conector Logic 

Connect 4 Five Ways

Connect 4 Launchers

 Connect 4 Spiderman

Connect 4X4


Construction Sandbox

CooCoo The Rocking Clown

Cookin' Cookies

Corduroy's Birthday Games
Count Your Chickens 

Counting Money Puzzles

Counting Money Puzzles - Level 2
Cover Your Tracks
Crab Stack
Cranium Dice 

Cranium Puzzles Plus

Crayon Rubbings

Crazy Cakes

Create-A-Burger Sequencing Stacker 

Create A Mosaic Puzzle
Creative Animal Geo Blocks

Creative Peg Board

Croquet Animal Game



Cup and Ball

Cupcake Race


Curious George Take it Away 

Cutting Fruit Playset
Dance Maker
Daisy Girls Daisy Town Magnetic Dress Up

Day & Night

DC Superfriends Matching

Design & Drill

Diamond Painting

Dig-N-Dinos Monopoly Jr.

Diggity Dog
Diggity Dogs
Dinner Winner
Dinosaurs: Mystic Islands

Discovery Garden

Dive into Shapes

Dog Dice

Dog Pound

Doggone! Domino Game

Doghouse Game
Domino Rally Treasure Hunt 

Doodle Quest

Dora's Carnival Fiesta

Dora Fashion Tracing Plates

Dora to the Rescue! Mega Bloks

Dot-2-Dot Lacing Construction

Double Trouble - Confectioners Delight

Dr. Eureka
Dr. Microbe

Dress Up Dolls - Dream Dresses


DUPLO Fairy Tale

DUPLO First Rocket
DUPLO Grow Caterpillar Grow

DUPLO My First Build

DUPLO Snow White

Dwarves and Dice

Ed Emberley's Drawing Book of Faces

Ed Emberley's Fingerprint Book

eeBoo Memory Games

Egg Relay Race 

Electronic HyperSlide
Elefun and Friends Mouse Trap 

Exact Change

Excellerations 3D Spatial Relations Activity Set

Excellerations Engineered to Build Blocks

Excellerations Spatial Relations Playset

Expo Dry Erase Board and Markers

Extreme Dot to Dot

Face to Face - Teen Edition


Fall Lacing Cards

Family Matters

Fanta Color Daisy


Fast Flip 


Feed the Animals

Feed the Kitty

Feel and Find

Felt Food Family Play Set 


Find It!

Find It! Battle Sports
Find It! Elf on the Shelf

Finders Keepers!


Finger Printing Bug Art Set

First Hand

Fish or Cut Bait

Fish Stix 

Five Straight


Flash Pad 1

Flip Flop Faces


Following Directions Building Set 2

Following Directions Farm Game
Fool the Frog

Froggy Boogie

Frozen Panorama Puzzle

Funky Monkeys

Games that Require a Writing Tool 

Games with Alphabet 

Games with Mazes 

Games with Money 

Games with Tweezers & Tongs 

Gems in a Treasure Chest

Geoboard Design Center

Get a Grip 

Get a Grip on Patterns

Get the Picture
Giant Sight & Sound Tubes
Give A Dog A Bone
Go Fish! 

Go Fish Go Magnetic Maze

Go Getter 2

Go Getter 3 - Prince & Dragon

Go Go Gelato 

Go Nuts! 


Gobblet Gobblers

Goblet Junior

Goldie Blox and the Parade Float
Good Citizenship Flash Cards

Good Manners Flash Cards

Goody Gumdrops by Ed Emberley
Google Eyes
Gopher It!


Granny Apples

Gravity Maze 

Great States

Guess How I Feel?

Gumball Grab

HABA Tack Set

Hands Down

Hangman Riddles
Happy Farm
Happy Feet Two, Feeding Frenzy 

Hats Off

Hats Off!
Have You Heard? 

Hazard Mountain

Headache Pop-O-Matic


Hello Kitty Bingo

Hello Kitty Flip 'N' Match

Hello Kitty Make A Match 

Here Kitty, Kitty!

HiHo Cherry-O

Holiday Charades

Holiday Fluxx Card Game

Honey Bee Tree


Hoot Owl Hoot


Hoppin Poppin Spaceballs

Hoppy Floppy's Happy Hunt
Horse Fair Card Game
Hot Dots Jr.
Hot Hoops 
Hot Potato
Houdini Brainteaser 
How the Grinch Stole Christmas Game

Hula Hippos

Hyper Dash

I Never Forget a Face

I Scream Memory Game

I See You Game



I SPY Dig In 

I SPY Eagle Eye Jr.
I SPY Find it Fast Game 
I SPY Games 
I SPY Go Fish Card Game
I SPY Holiday Wishes

I SPY In Common

I SPY Private Eye

I SPY Quest

I SPY Ready Set Silhouette

I SPY Super Challenger

I SPY Treasure Hunt

Ice Cream Crazy 

Imagicademy Make It & Play It
Imagination Magnets

Imagination Patterns

Imagination Patterns Deluxe


Inside Out 5 in 1 Puzzle

IQ Twist

It's a Charlie Brown Christmas Android App
It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown App
It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown Look and Find
It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown UNO

Jawbones Train & Railroad

Jeopardy-style Christmas Game 

Jeopardy-style Valentine & Dating Social Skills Game 

Jesus is Born Nativity Puzzle
JINGO Back to School 
JINGO Money 
JINGO Thanksgiving 
Jumbo Cardboard Blocks
Jumbo Pegs and Pegboards
Jumping Jack Rabbit 
Jungle Hide & Seek
Jungle Jive Balancing Game

Junior Colorino

Junior Princess Puzzleball

K'NEX Build A Bunch
K'NEX Cookie Monster Building Set
K'Nex Elmo Building Sets
K'NEX Furry Friends 
Kaleidoscope Puzzle 
KeeKee The Rocking Monkey
Kerplunk! Toy Story Alien Freefall

KEVA Brain Builders

Kids Rule

Kidsbook Giant Scavenger Hunt


Kit & Caboodle 

Knock Your Blocks Off

Knot So Fast

KooKoo Puzzles

Lab Mice

Labyrinth Treasure Hunt

Lace & Trace
Lace & Trace Shapes

Lacing & Learning Opposite
Lacing Alphabet

Lacing Pony
Lap Harp 
Laser Maze
Laser Maze Jr. 
Lauri Tall Stacker Number Express
Learn Numbers Flat Fish

LEGO 3 in 1

LEGO 3 in 1 Classic Blue Creativity Box
LEGO Build Up
LEGO Buildip 40253 
LEGO Classic 10702 (Small models) 
Lego Classic Creative Supplement
LEGO Crazy Action Contraptions
LEGO Creator The Race to Build It Board Game
LEGO Decorating the Christmas Tree 2014

LEGO Disney Sleeping Beauty

LEGO Friends Brickmaster

LEGO Friends Hand-Foot-Fun

LEGO Juniors Princess Play Castle

LEGO Race 3000

LEGO Robo Champ

LEGO Thanksgiving Turkey

Let's Match! Merry & Bright
Lewo Magnetic Puzzle and Drawing Board
Life Skills Activities for Special Children - Grades K-5

Ligretto Dice

Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse


Lite Brite Basic Fun Magic Screen

Lite Brite Original

Little Red Riding Hood
Logic Dots


Look & Find Differences

Mad Dragon Anger Control Card Game

Magnetic bumper Cars

Magnetic Colorpillar Maze

Magnetic Designer 

Magnetic Dinosaur Bingo

Magnetic Gumball Counting Maze

Magnetic Mighty Mind

Magnetic Mosaic Kids

Magnetic Mosaics - My First Picture Maker

Magnetic Playboard

Magnetic Shapes Maze

Magnetic Wooden Pocket Dolls

Magneticbook Girl's Outfits

Make 'N' Break Challenge

Make 'N Break Family Game
Making Paper Boats
Mancala for Kids

Mastermind Fairies

Match-It Bible Associations

Match-It Money

Match-It Time Bingo

Max A Cooperative Game 

Mega Bloks Dora's House
Mega Bloks First Builders - Build My 123s

Mega Bloks Junior Builders - 60 Pieces

Melissa & Doug Bead Sequencing Set
Melissa & Doug Beginners Pattern Blocks
Melissa & Doug Catch & Count Fishing Game 
Melissa & Doug Felt Food Sandwich Play Set 
Melissa & Doug Flip to Win Memory Game
Melissa & Doug Jumbo Knob Puzzle
Melissa & Doug Magnetic Pattern Block Kit

Melissa & Doug Magnetic Picture Maker

Melissa & Doug Magnetic Puzzle

Melissa & Doug Mix Up 'N Match Wooden Bear Family Dress-Up Puzzle

Melissa & Doug Pattern Blocks and Boards

Melissa & Doug Picture BINGO

Melissa & Doug Play Money

Melissa & Doug Smarty Pants Pre-K

Melissa & Doug Stretch and Match Geoboard

Melissa & Doug Wooden Bear Dress Up Puzzle 

Melissa & Doug Wooden Jigsaw Puzzles

Melissa & Doug Wooden Pizza Party 

Melissa & Doug Wooden Stringing Beads

Melissa & Doug Xylophone

Melodee Bells

Melodee Express Musical Train

Memory Challenge Civil War

Memory Challenge Holiday

Memory Challenge Marvel Comic

Mental Blox

Mental Blox 360 Degrees
Mental Blox Jr. 

Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown Look and Find Book

 Mighty Mind Aquarium Adventure
Mighty Mind Super Challenger
Mind Your Manners

Mini Chimalong

Mini Muffin Match Up

Mini Pegboard

Miniland Visual Displays
Mix & Match Farm Animals 

Money Bags Coin Value Game

Money Dice
Money J-I-N-G-O 

Monkey Balance Board

Monkey Beach
Monkey Bingo

Monkey Blocks

Monkey Dunk

Monkey Memory

Monkey Mixup

Monkeys Up
Monkeying Around
Monopoly Junior
Monopoly Junior Party 

Monster Match

Monster Munch
Monster Pile-On
More S'Mores

Moustache Smash

Mr. & Mrs. Potato Head 

Mummy Mystery

Musical Pairs Note Matching Game

Muuli (Mule) 

My First Activity Wood Block Set
My First Sorting Bears

My First UNO - Dora

My Plate Builder

Mystery Garden

Mystery-Dish Diner
Nature Fluxx

Ned's Head

Nesting Dogs

Never Land Challenge Game
North Pole Camouflage
Number Construction 

Number Puzzle Board & Pegs

Numbers Memory Game


Oddly Obvious

On The Dot
On the Line

Oodles of Doodles

Ooga Booga


Operation Minion

Operation Rudolph 

Orbeez Water Beads - Butterfly
Oriental Trading Craft Kits, Stickers, Games



Pancake Pile-Up!

Papa Bear

Paper Doll Game
Pass the Bomb Junior 

Pass the Pigs

Pass the Pig Party Edition


Pattern Block Games 

Pattern Play

Pattern Play 3D

Pattern Play by Mindware

Pattern Play Revolution

PeaceTown Conflict Resolution 

Peanuts at Play Set
Peanuts Christmas Bingo

Peanuts Matching Game (Charlie Brown)

Peg Domino

Peg Friends Around the Town

Pegboard Games 


Penguins on Ice
Penguins on Ice - Math Activity Set 


Perfect Picture

Perfect Sense
Perler Bead Pattern Book 

Perler Biggie Beads & Tray and Cards

Pickles to Penguins

Pictopia Disney

Picture Dominoes
Picture Link
Picture Peg 

Pictureka Disney

Pie Face 

Pig Pile

Pig Popper

Pig Popper Target



Pix Mix

Pixy Cubes

Pizza Party Dice Game

Pizza Pileup

Poke-a-Dot - 10 Little Monkeys

Pony Popper


Pop-Up Pirate

Pop Bead Books

Pop Belly
Pop Up Toy

Pop Toob Set

Poppin Hoppies

Poppin' Puzzlers

Positional Word Resource Box

Prank Star 


Progressive Puzzles Discovery Toys 

PU Guessing Game of Smells


Q-Bitz Extreme

Q-Bitz Jr.

Quercetti FantaColor Junior

Quercetti Filo Lacing

Quick Cups


Raccoon Rumpus

Race Around the Clock

Race to the Roof 

Raging Rapids

Rainbow Loom


Ravensburger 35 Piece Shaped Mini Puzzle

Ravensburger Block Puzzle

Ravensburger Jigsaw Puzzles

Ravensburger Puzzle Ball

Ravensburger Puzzleball 72 piece Unicorn

Red Lace, Yellow Lace

Resonator Bells

Respect the Earth
Reverse Charades
Right Turn, Left Turn


Rings and Sticks

River Crossing Jr. Lagoon Adventure 

Rivers, Roads & Railroads

Road Trip Games
Robot Face Race
Robot Turtles
Robots vs. Dinosaurs Dice Game 

Rock Paper Scissors

Rock Paper Scissors 2

Rock the Beat


Roll & Read
Rooster Run 

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer Dominoes


Rush Hour Jr

Rush Hour Railroad

Rush Hour Safari

Safetyville - Child Safety Game

Sandwich Stacking Game

Say Cheese! Dice Game

Scaventure Kids

Scoop Dice Game
Scoop's Surprises
Scooter Board Activities Fun Deck
Scrabble Alphabet Soup

Scram Blitz!

Scrambling Squirrels

Search & Find Cards

Seasonal Poppers

Secret Square

See-Inside Counting Tubes

Self-Calming Cards

Sequence Dogs
Sequence States and Capitals

Sequin Pin Art


Shake N Take

Shell Game


Simon Flash

Sink or Swim

Skip-Bo Dice


Smart Car

Smart Car 5X5

Smarty Farm

Snail's Pace Race

Snap Circuit Jr.

Sneaky Snacky Squirrel

Snout Pass the Pig Card Game
Snowball Fight Card Game 


Snowtime Snow Shield 

Socken Zocken

Sorting Set

Speedy Eddy 


Splish Splash

Spot It!

Spot It! Camping

Spot It! Christmas

Spot It! Fire & Ice

Spot It! FAO Schwartz

Spot It! Freeze

Spot It! Junior

Spot It! Major League Baseball Edition
Spot It! On the Road
Square Up
Squiggly Worms

Squigz Starter 24 Piece Set

Squint Jr.
Squirrel Popper
Star Wars Force Grab


Sticker Scenes

Sticker Scene Christmas


Stone Soup 

Strawberry Shortcake Bowling Set

String Along Lacing Kit

Sudoku For Kids

Super Sorting Pie

Super Stretchy

Supercharged Raceway Game

Superman Exercise Flash Cards

Suzy Seasons Bear

Swingy Thing


Table Top Quoits

Take 10! Count 'Em Up Family Fun
Take the Cake
Tangoes Jr.

Teddy Mix & Match

Teen Talk In A Jar

Temper Tamers in a Jar

Thanksgiving J-I-N-G-O

The Allowance Game

The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse

The Cars Puzzle Book

The Christmas Game

The Dog's Meow

The Eentsy Weentsy Spider Fingerplays and Action Rhymes

The Family Dinner Box of Questions
The Great Feelings Race
The New Touch Game
The Peanuts Movie 300 Piece Family Puzzle

The Orchard

The Original Dinner Games

The Penguins of Madagascar Memory Game

The Poll Game
The Scrambled States of America

The Thanksgiving Box

The Tower

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Twirl & Toss

Therapy Ball Activities Fun Deck

Thin Ice

Three Little Piggies

Three Little Pigs Pop N' Match
Thomas & Friends Mix 'N Match Bingo Game 

Thumb Deck

Thumbs Up!

Thumpin' Thingdoodles 

Tic Tac Toe - Charlie Brown 

Tickety Tock Chime Time 

Timeline Discoveries
Tip the Cows
Tippy The Turtle 
Tipsy Topsy Turvy Thomas & Friends

Tossing Game Center

TracKit - Mary Benbow

Treasure Quest


Tribond Jr. 

Tricky Fingers

Tricky Hands


Troy Outside the Walls
Tumble Jumble Pond Life Puzzle
Tumblin' Monkeys
Turtle Shells Memory Game

Tweezer Tongs Sorting

United States Bingo

UNO Spin To Go
UNO - Who Knew?
Upper Body & Core Strength Fun Deck
Vehicle Tap Tap

Walk the Dogs

Wash & Dry Bingo

Wash My (Under)Pants
Wet & Stick Fuse Beads 
Whac-A-Mole Electronic Game

Whack A Mole Stack A Mole

What Should You Do?

What's in the Cat's Hat?

What's in the Fridge? 

Where is Sock Monkey?

Who's Got the Button? 

Wig Out
Wigglefants Wooden Stacking Game

Wikki Stix Alphabet

Willy's Wiggly Web Cutting Game

Wild Wonders Memory


Wok and Roll

Wooden Peg Board

Wooden Threading Fruit

Woodstock Percussion Chimalong

Yahtzee - Justice Collector's Edition

Yeti in My Spaghetti 


ZINGO! Picture Bingo

ZINGO Number BINGO 1-2-3
ZINGO Sight Words 
ZINGO Word Builder

ZOOB 55 Piece Set

ZOOB 125 Piece Set

ZOOB BuilderZ STEM Challenge

ZOOB DudeMaker

ZOOB Fastback H2H

ZOOB the Game




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