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!

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Saturday, June 27, 2015

Pictureka Disney

Work on figure ground, visual discrimination, manual dexterity, visual form constancy, visual scanning, visual memory, focus, play and leisure exploration and participation 
In the box: 12 game boards, 1 die, 55 mission cards, sand timer
Ages 6+, 1+ players
Pictureka is a well known figure ground game that challenges you to find comical images in busy backgrounds. There are several different forms of this game and this particular one focuses on Disney characters. The blue challenge boards are about 8 1/4 inches long and 4 inches high.

This game comes with three types of mission cards: 1) white picture cards with simple images drawn on them, 2) green cards with categories listed on them, and 3) red cards with specific items listed on them.

To play, lay the boards on the table in no particular order. Mix the cards and set a face-down stack next to the boards. Taking turns, each player picks up one card. If it is a white or red card, all players look and the first one to find the object wins that card. If you are searching for an image from a white picture card, that image will be on both the front and back of its game board, so you don't have to worry about putting boards in any order. If a green card is chosen, the person who drew the card plays. Throw the die and that will tell you how many items you must find in that category before the timer runs out. If he succeeds, he wins the card. The first to win six cards wins the game.  The instructions offer several suggestions for different ways to play.
Try this:
  • Simplify the game by using only one board and the white cards of images found on that board. As the skill of the individual increases, add more boards and cards to the table. Since I use this game for therapy only, I keep all the white image cards for each board paper clipped together so that I don't have to "play" the game each time I want to use it.
  • Choose one white picture card and find the image on one board. Add a second board and find one picture card. Then add a third board and find another white picture card.
  • Use several boards and one set of cards (one white, one green, one red) to introduce a beginner to the different way each card is played.
  • Play a game with cards of only one color to narrow your focus.
  • Play with only one board and cover 3/4 of the board with a white piece of paper to block images if looking at the whole card starts out too challenging. Slowly move the paper to the side as you scan small sections of the board at a time.
 If you are interested in purchasing this game or just want more information, click on the image below.

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