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.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Bop It Smash

Work on reaction speed, manual dexterity, visual tracking, eye-hand coordination, gross motor, sequencing
In the box: 1 piece electronic toy as seen in image below.
Ages 8+
There's a lot to like about this toy, and a little to dislike. This is a talking electronic toy. Hold it horizontally in front of you, one end in each hand, and push the ends together (smash it) to start.  A light will start traveling back and forth, from one end to the other, back and forth, over and over, until you stop it. When the traveling light passes through the middle circle, smash the two ends together to stop it in the circle. There are three lights in the middle that will give you points - the one in the middle (blue, below) is worth five points, and the two on either side of it are worth one point each. The light travels fast and you have to react quickly. Each time a new game starts there is a new pattern that the light travels. Watching a few passes of the light to study the pattern before attempting to smash it often helps. You will have three lives before the game ends. Each time you smash it and miss, the voice gives you feedback. This is the part I don't like, as the remarks are things like "Fail-tastic my man", "Try harder", "Give up", and "Pull yourself together man". The volume can be turned down, but not completely off. Older kids have liked this.
If you are interested in purchasing this item or just want more information, click the image below.

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