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.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Find It! Elf on the Shelf

Work on figure ground, visual discrimination, visual memory, visual form constancy, visual scanning, manual dexterity, coordinated use of both hands, stability, motor planning, attention, concentration, play and leisure exploration and participation

What you get: 1 self-contained tube filled with plastic colored pieces and 40 small toys, 27 search-and-find cards
Spin it, twist it, and shake it to search for hidden objects. The small toys are hidden inside among the tiny plastic pieces. You will have the opportunity to identify them from different angles, depending on how they show up in the tube as you move it. The tube does not open, so no chance to spill. All the hidden toys are printed on the top of the tube, so even if you lose the cards you can still play. A few of the objects inside are snowman, red ornament, Santa hat, reindeer, cookies, and mitten. Examples from the search cards include:
  • Find an item that makes noise
  • Find a shiny item
  • Find two round items at the same time
  • Find a plastic item
  • Find a pointy item
  • Find a square item
  • Find three Christmas items at the same time
I find that I can get many of the items to come to the top if I hold the tube horizontally in my hands and, without twisting or turning the tube, shake it toward and away from myself.

Try this:
  • Ask the child to hold the tube in front of him if he lays it on the table top to play. Prop the elbows on the table top for more stability as he turns. Hold the arms in space for less.
  • Time the individual. How many objects can he find in one or two or five minutes. Go again and try to find more.
  • Make a copy of the items listed on the top. Find them all, crossing them off as you go.
  • Make up a story as you find items in the tube. Add something new to the story related to each piece as you find it.
If you are interested in purchasing this item or just want more information, click on the image below.

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