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.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Wig Out!

Work on visual discrimination, figure ground, visual memory, visual scanning, manual dexterity, coordinated use of both hands, shuffling and dealing cards, processing speed, attention, social skills, play and leisure exploration and participation

In the box: 60 cards
Ages 6+, 2-6 players

Emerge a cut above the rest by becoming the first person to match and get rid of all the hairy cards in your hand. This card game is part of the 12 minute game series, so it moves quickly. Each card in the deck shows the picture of someone with interesting hair. There are 15 different pictures, and 5 of each picture. The object of the game is to quickly make matches so you are the first to run out of cards. If 2-4 people are playing, deal each person seven cards. Hold they in your hand. Place the rest of the cards face-down in a stack between the players. To start, turn over the top two cards from the deck. All players play simultaneously to make sets of 2 or more of the same card and to match cards already on the table. If you have a set of two or more, lay it face-up on the table. Once a player plays a set, any and all players can lay any of their matching cards on that set. If a player needs one of the face-up cards on the table to make a set, he uses it and turns over another card to replace it. If you come to the point where you can no longer play, you must draw cards until you can play. Players race to lay down their cards because the first one to play all his cards wins the game.

Try this:
  • Take two of each picture and play a traditional game of memory.
  • Place one of each card in front of the player(s) and describe the hair without using the color. Have him identify the card.
  • Place all the cards face-up on the table top. Show the player one card and ask him to memorize the picture. Hide the card and ask him to find all the matches to that card on the table.
  • Show the player any one card. Ask him to memorize the person's features. Hide the picture from the player and ask questions about the card such as what color was the hair, was the person smiling, did he have a pointed nose, etc.
  • Hold the cards in the non-dominant hand and push them off with the thumb, one at a time, to deal.
  • Place the deck on the table. Pass the cards out by separating and picking them up off the deck one at a time without toppling the deck.
If you are interested in purchasing this game or just want more information, click on the image below.

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