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 23, 2015

Hats Off

Plays in 12 minutes or less.

Work on visual discrimination, manual dexterity, shifting, turn taking, coordinated use of both hands, following directions, separation of two sides of the hands, thumb opposition, social participation, leisure exploration and participation, play exploration and participation
In the box: 56 cards, seven each of eight different hats
Ages 6+, 2-5 players
Hat's Off to this 12 minute matching game from Gamewright. Each of the 56 cards features one hat. The object is to collect the most hats to win the game.
Shuffle the cards and deal four cards to each player. Place the deck on the table, face down. Each players chooses one card from his hand, places it on his head face down, and remembers it. The first player turns over the top card from the deck. All players play at the same time and try to match that card from cards in their hand or the one on their head. The first player to place his matching card on top of the drawn card wins the cards. Place them next to you and the next player turns up a card from the deck. In the course of the game, if the card falls from your head, the first player to yell HAT'S OFF wins the card. The person who lost the card draws another card, remembers it, and places it on his head. After each play, each player should make sure they have three cards in their hands, and one on their head, drawing from the pile as necessary. Play continues until all cards from the pile have been turned over.
Try this:
  • Play a matching game by laying one of each of the eight hats on the table and then sorting the rest of the cards onto the piles.
  • Hold the card stack in the non-dominant hand, push off the top card with the thumb, take it with the dominant hand and deal. Hold only half the deck at a time if the whole deck is difficult to manage.
  • Practice different ways of shuffling.
If you are interested in purchasing this game or just want more information, click on the image below.

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