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.

Sunday, May 24, 2015


Work on fine motor precision, coordinated use of both hands, visual closure, visual discrimination, spatial relations, manual dexterity, eye-hand coordination, leisure exploration and participation, play exploration and participation

In the box: 250 rainbow Bendaroos, 250 neon Bendaroos, 10 pattern cards, instructions for 12 more items
Ages 3+, 1+ players

Bendaroos are versatile enough to use in a thousand ways, so let your imagination run wild. These sticks are made of a wax coating over very strong string. They are similar to Wikki Stix, which are wax over yarn. To my eye, the tow brands look the same, bend the same, and feel the same. Bendaroos adhere to paper and most smooth surfaces with just fingertip pressure. Once you are done with your project, they peel right off to be reused over and over. Each 2D pattern card shows in 5 steps how to create an animal. The key at the bottom of each card shows you the number and color of whole Bendaroos you will need, and number and color of 1/2 Bendaroos. They are easy to cut in half with scissors.

Turtle pattern card for Bendaroos.

This product also comes with a chart for a dozen more things to make including a cheeseburger, scorpion, snail, and ice cream sundae. These patterns are more complicated than the pattern cards. Use them with the Wikki Stix Alphabet Cards. Playing with these will leave you with a slight waxy feeling on your fingers.

Try this:
  • Bend them into the shape of letters.
  • Shape them over written letters to make words.
  • Use them to outline simple objects, such as might be found in a large picture coloring book.
If you are interested in purchasing this item or just want more information, click on the image below.

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