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.

Monday, June 22, 2015


Work on spatial relations, thinking skills, problem solving, leisure exploration and participation, manual dexterity, pincer grasp, sequencing

In the box (pond): 40 challenge cards, 11 green frogs, 1 red frog
Ages 5+, 1 player

Hoppers is a peg jumping game for one person. Set the frogs up on the pond according to one of the challenge cards. Then start jumping over frogs and removing them as you do, until only the red frog is left in the pond. The challenge cards are numbered 1-40 and increase in difficulty as the numbers go up. Cards are rated beginner, intermediate, advanced, and expert. Card number one requires three moves to complete, and card number 40 requires nine moves to complete. The solution is on the back of each card. 

All the pieces fit snugly into the plastic blue box (pond) so it is easily carried.

Try this:
  • Simplify the game for beginners. Make all the moves but the last one, let the individual make the last move. Then make all the moves except for the last two, let the individual make the last two moves. And so on. Adjust as the individual makes progress.
  • Use as a simple spatial activity. Show the individual a card and ask him to put the frogs in the positions on the card. Don't play the game.
  • Look at the back of the card and ask the individual to follow your directions. Give him the coordinates, one at a time, to play the game.
If you are interested in buying this game or just want more information, click on the image below.

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