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


Work on spatial relations, visualization, visual memory, visual discrimination, visual closure, figure ground, manual dexterity, executive functions, social participation, play and leisure exploration and participation

In the box:12 black pieces (3 sets of 4), 12 white pieces, game board (bottom of wooden box lid)
Ages 7+, 2 players

Put on your thinking cap and come to the table ready to focus. More difficult than Gobblet Junior and Goblet Gobblers, Gobblet requires four in a row to win (instead of three) and has four different size pieces (instead of three). It's time to get serious! 

The rules for Gobblet are simple, get four of your color game pieces in a row to win. A win can be vertical, horizontal, or diagonal. Pieces are hollow so they can be placed over other pieces. Players take turns placing one piece on the board. On your turn you have several options: 1) place a new piece in any empty space, 2) place one of your larger pieces over any colored piece already on the board, or 3) move one of your pieces already on the board to any empty space or to cover any other piece on the board. If the piece you want to move is covering another piece, try to remember what is underneath that you will be uncovering. If you can't remember, once you lift the piece you may inadvertently help the other player win! Always keep an eye on what pieces the other player has left and keep your biggest pieces for strategic moves, as they can cover both medium and small pieces. Game board and all parts are wooden and well constructed. Blue Orange plants two trees for every one tree they use to manufacture games.
Try this:
  • Start with a simpler version - just place single pieces on the board, don't cover or move existing pieces. 
  • Talk out loud as you strategize to teach the individual how to plan moves.
  • Allow the players to peek under a piece they want to move until they get used to the idea.
  • Start by working toward a win in one plane only if the individual has difficulty watching the horizontal, vertical and diagonal moves all at once. Then move to the option of two planes, then introduce all three.
If you are interested in purchasing this game or just want more information, click on the image below.

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