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.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Magnetic Shapes Maze

Work on pencil grip, tripod grasp, visual discrimination, visual form constancy, figure ground, manual dexterity, fine motor precision, eye-hand coordination, play exploration and participation

In the box: 1 unit, magnetic tool attached
Ages 4+

Practice holding a pencil shaped tool. The board is wood covered by a thick plastic. There are 18 small shape-items in the unit that can be moved around including a postage stamp, baseball diamond, calculator, orange slice, piece of pizza, and a football. There are 6 shapes on the board (square, oval, circle, diamond, triangle, rectangle) which are hollowed out a bit to keep the pieces from sliding once you have dropped them. Hover the magnetic tool over a shape you want to pick up and the magnetic attraction will make it raise to meet the tool, allowing you to move it. Carefully guide the item to the shape where you want to drop it. Lift the magnetic tool from the plastic surface and the piece will release. The magnetic tool is attached to the board so you don't lose it and only the magnetic tool can be removed from the board, everything else is self-contained. The board cannot be opened so you will not lose the small pieces.  Solid construction and items that have kid appeal are typical for Lakeshore Learning products. Push the tool into the slot on the board for storage.

Try this:
  • Use your eyes to track where you are going to move each item before moving it.
  • Move three items into each shape, two correct and one incorrect. Ask the individual to look at each shape and identify the incorrect piece.
  • Once all the items have been moved to the shapes, move them back to the bottom by categories. For instance move all shapes that have blue in them, move all shapes that you can eat, move all shapes that are square, etc.
If you are interested in purchasing this item or just want more information, go to Lakeshore Learning.

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