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 27, 2015

Scrambling Squirrels

Work on spatial relations, coordinated use of both hands, attention, motor planning, eye-hand coordination, visual tracing, play and leisure exploration and participation 

In the box: Wooden board, back board, grooved stand, metal ball bearings

It's not being manufactured any more that I can tell, but if you ever stumble onto it, grab it. An unique visual motor integration activity that requires your complete attention and careful planning. The squirrel (red circle) wants to carry the nut (silver ball bearing) to the top of the tree and back down without dropping it into one of the holes. Starting with the squirrel at the bottom, pull the strings to follow the brown path up and over the tree. The right hand pulls the string right and the left hand pulls the sting left. Think before you pull or you may be starting over. The hands will be doing something different and this can be quite challenging. We have enjoyed this!

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