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 6, 2015

Match It! Money

Work on money skills, visual discrimination, visual closure, manual dexterity, in-hand manipulation, counting change, play exploration and participation 
In the box: 30 two-piece puzzles (60 pieces total)
Ages 6+
Money is another kid-friendly educational tool in a line of Match-It puzzles from The Learning Journey. Each puzzle is made up of two pieces and pieces will not fit together if it is an incorrect match (self-correcting). Each puzzle piece has either a tab or a blank on one side, and the other three sides are straight. The pieces are thicker than your average jigsaw puzzle piece and a completed puzzle (two pieces) measures approximately 3" X 6". There are six puzzles that are $1 and change but there are no bills pictured, only change. The rest of the puzzles are below $1 (see examples on box above). Tip: It is easier to add up coins on the coin side and flip through the pictures looking for the match than it is to choose a picture and look for the matching coins, adding coins over and over again as you look at each piece. 
Try this:
  • Have change nearby and count out exact change after completing a puzzle.
  • Have change nearby and count out change using different coins after completing a puzzle, such as three dimes instead of the quarter and nickel that are pictured.
  • Pick up coins while counting, squirreling each coin into the palm and holding them all in one hand.
  • Put the correct change in the individuals hand and ask him to count it out onto the table, moving one coin at a time to the fingertips before dropping.
  • Sort a number of coins into a row, tails-down. Ask the individual to turn all coins heads up. Pick each coin off the flat surface and turn in one hand before replacing in the line.
  • Have change nearby and ask the individual to choose an item he would like to save for. Ask him to pick up the coins that he will need, one at a time, and squirrel them in the palm. Then ask him to place them one at a time in a piggy bank. Emphasize the importance of saving.
  • Place the pieces at different angles on the table. After the individual picks up a piece, ask him to turn it in-hand to put it in the correct orientation.
If you are interested in purchasing this item or just want more information, click on the image below.

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