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.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Mastermind Fairies

Work on thinking skills, problem solving, manual dexterity, visual discrimination, visual closure, social interaction, eye-hand coordination
In each box: 2 towers, 2 tower bases, 10 tower cards, 10 solution cards
Ages 6+, 2 players
Mastermind Towers is a fun, inexpensive game to help kids develop logic and deductive reasoning skills.  The object of the game is to guess the order of the cards in your opponent's tower before he guesses the order of your cards. There are five different characters and two sets of the same cards, one big set (for the tower) and one small set (to work out the solution). Each player gets a set of the small cards and places them in his own tower in any order. Do not let your opponent see these cards. Then each player takes one set of the large cards (five different fairies that match the five fairies in the towers). These cards are the ones you will use on the table in front of you as you work out the solution. It does not matter who sees them. You will need to know the names of the characters, and if you don't they are pictured with their names in the instructions. To figure out the order, players will take turns asking each other yes or no questions. Each question must include two different character names and either the word "above" or "below". For instance, "Is Rosetta above Tinker Bell?" If the answer is yes, place those two large cards on the table, placing Rosetta above Tinker Bell. As you continue to ask questions, you will add the other three fairies to your solution card arrangement. Once you think you know the order of your opponent's tower cards, you may guess on your turn. If you are right, you win the game. If you are not, the game continues until someone is correct. A fun game that can be played over and over with different orders each time.
Try this:
  • Start with three cards for an easier version. Then increase the difficulty by going to a four card tower game, and then five.
  • Play with two people, one to make a tower and one to ask all the questions. How many questions does it take you to figure out the solution? Can you play again and beat that number?
  • Make one tower with six cards and ask the player to put the cards in the same order on his tower.
If you are interested in purchasing this game or just want more information, click on the image below.

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