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 31, 2015

Bunny Peek A Boo

Work on analytical thinking, problem solving, manual dexterity, spatial relations, visual discrimination, play and leisure exploration and participation, visual closure, visual form constancy, in-hand manipulation

In the box: Wooden rabbit, 3 wooden building blocks (blue, yellow, red), 60 challenges
Ages 2+, 1 player

An awesome game for beginners to work on visual form constancy, spatial orientation, visual closure, and building a 3D model from a 2D pattern card. There are only four pieces and they are pictured in the challenges from the top, the side, the front, the back, and the bottom. You will be able to see each piece from many views and learn how one piece can look very different depending on how you turn it. 

Challenge cards show same red piece, 3 different views on 3 different cards.
Challenge cards are numbered and rated as starter, junior, expert, and master, and increase in difficulty as the numbers increase. Puzzles will use from two pieces to all four pieces. 
Challenges increase in difficulty.
The answers are included on a separate folded sheet. Cards are loose and not in the spiral book form that Smart Games usually uses. There are 30 cards and each has a challenge on the front and a different challenge on the back, 60 challenges in all. The cards are numbered and there are four different card colors. The easiest cards are green. As they get more difficult the color changes to orange, then burgundy, and the hardest cards are blue. Granted, the box makes this look like it is for 2 year olds, but I am using it with much older kids, depending on their skill level. I LOVE SmartGames but there are a couple of things I have just had to learn to live with. First, they typically picture the very youngest aged person on their box fronts. Some kids will look at the girl on the front of this box and say this is a game for little kids, not me. For those kids I try to leave the box in my cart and bring the pieces up to the table without any fanfare so they aren't offended. Second, their packaging leaves a lot to be desired. Many of their games have a big hole on the front, meaning you have to keep the original packaging intact forever. I usually end up taping a piece of plastic over the front. Sometimes you just have to be flexible. LOL  

UPDATE: When I lay a challenge card on the table and ask the individuals to build the model, some have tried to build the model flat against the table, not standing, as that is how the model looks in 2D. So I have started to hold the card upright while they work from it to reduce this confusion. This game has turned out to be a great investment for me. Kids of many ages have loved it and with only a few pieces, it is not intimidating to most.
Challenge pieces are large and easy to handle.
Try this:
  • Start by showing the child the red piece and challenge cards that show the piece in different orientations, like I did above. Talk about how looking at something from different directions makes it look different. Let him play with the piece and turn it to match the different cards to help understand the concept.
  • Choose a challenge and build the model while the child watches. Then take it apart and give him the pieces and let him build it.
  • Allow the child to identify the error if he builds it incorrectly. If he cannot correct it without help, verbally state the problem and help him walk through problem solving a solution.
  • Build the models on a flat, slightly elevated surface. Some of the models are easier to "see" if you are looking straight into them from the front instead of angled down from the top.
  • Use consistent directional and positional language as you work, such as on top of, behind, on the right, under.
  • Hand the child each piece as it is needed to guide him as he builds if he cannot plan ahead.
If you are interested in purchasing this or just want more information, click on the image below.

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