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, July 1, 2015

Connect 4 Spiderman

Work on fine motor precision, manual dexterity, pincer grasp, visual discrimination, visual closure, figure ground, spatial relations, critical thinking, eye hand coordination, crossing midline, spatial relations, social interaction, visual scanning, play exploration and participation

Yes, it's your standard, vertical Connect 4 game. It just looks different because it's rolled into a nice, easy to carry, bundle. The silver pieces at the top and bottom come off and you unroll the game board. The colored pieces and legs are inside. The checkers are red and green and mine didn't come with stickers, but I see on Amazon it says they are Spiderman and villain. Mine are just imprinted with CONNECT 4. The rules for regular Connect 4 apply:

Two players each choose a color. Players then take turns dropping one checker at a time into the game board grid, trying to get four checkers in a row either vertically, horizontally, or diagonally. The first one to succeed, wins.

There is a little lever at the very bottom of the grid. Slide it to the side and the checkers all fall out, inviting you to play again. Slide it back again, and it will block the checkers from falling through during the next game. Connect four comes in many different themes and types of games. A fun game that is familiar to most kids.

Try this:
  • Ask the individual to hold two or three checkers in-hand at once. Each turn, have him move one checker to the fingertips to play.
  • Make a paper pattern of the grid. Color in the circles with red and green. Place the pattern next to, or in front of the grid and ask the person to make the colored pattern on the grid instead of playing a game.
  • Fill the grid with the checkers, in several lines of four going in different directions. Ask the individual to find and point out all the Connect 4's that he can see on the grid.
  • Practice dropping the checkers in the slot at the top. Make a random pattern or just free play.
If you are interested in purchasing this game or just want more information, click on the image below.

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