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.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Cheese Louise

Work on visual discrimination, eye-hand coordination, visual closure, spatial relations, manual dexterity, in-hand manipulation, thinking skills, coordinated use of two hands

In the box 48 cheese challenges (48 sandwich cards and 48 cheese pieces)
Ages 6+, 1+ players

This game turned out to be a little more complicated than I had anticipated. The object of the game is to find the piece of cheese that will fit on top of the sandwich and cover all food, so that what peeks through the holes is only bread. See picture on right, below.

 The cheese slices are made of thin yellow foam and each slice has one large circle and two small circles. The sandwich cards are printed on one side only. Choose a sandwich card and then start searching for the matching cheese. The difficult part is that each piece of cheese you check may be upside-down, backwards, rotated to the right, rotated to the left. It is tedious going through piece after piece of cheese, checking every angle on both sides of the cheese to find the match. With so many cards, kids can loose interest after completing just a couple. Come up with a strategy before starting, such as finding the biggest empty space on the card and looking for a piece of cheese with a large circle in that area. A great opportunity for practicing in-hand manipulation skills as the cheese can be spun in one hand as you try different angles.
Try this:
  • Start with only a few cards and the matching cheeses. Increase the number of bread cards or sets as the individual succeeds.
  • Choose the bread and cheese card matches before starting. Have the cheese slices in the correct orientation to start with an easy game.
  • Choose the bread and cheese card matches before starting. Lay the cheese slices right-side-up, but in the incorrect orientation.
  • Choose cheese cards with the holes in positions that are easier to check for, such as in the corners, and use those matches first.
If you are interested in purchasing this game or just want more information, click on the image below.

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