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, December 13, 2015

Road Trip Games

Over the river and through the woods, to grandmother's house we go. Wondering how you will survive the long ride? Here are lots of suggestions for games and toys that can help pass the time in the car.

Magnetibook - Books with magnetic pieces to create your own designs or follow the pattern cards. Comes in lot of different themes.

Find It! Tubes Turn them, shake them, twist them to find the 40 hidden objects inside. Comes with additional search cards and comes in many themes.

Travel Bingo - Search for a traffic signal, a bird on a wire, or a cow in a field to win this old fashioned bingo game.

Spot It! On the Road - All you need is a flat space to set a deck of cards that all can see. A fun game with several versions of play.

IQ Twist - A definite brainteaser. Comes with challenges that increase in difficulty.

Ned's Head - The goal is to look at a card, put your hand into the head, and pull out that object just by feel. A multi-sensory guessing game, I have liked this game from the start. Skip the cards and add your own holiday surprises or small holiday treats. Guess by feel alone.

Melissa & Doug Stretch and Match Geoboard - Stretch the rubber bands around the different shapes on the pictures, staying on the dotted lines. Another favorite, the cards include kid-appealing pictures and the colors are bright.

Imaginets - Create 3D models from 2D picture cards. The wooden pieces have a magnetic layer on the back and stick to the white board.

Kidsbook Giant Scavenger Hunt - If you like the novelty of a BIG book, this is for you. Each page/picture is full color and has 20 items listed at the bottom to search and find.

Lite Brite Magic Screen - Something like the old fashioned Lite Brite, but runs on batteries and has reusable templates.

Chocolate Fix - This game would be perfect for the high functioning individual who has basic problem solving skills and would like to build on that. The puzzle book has 40 puzzles that range from Beginner to Expert. 

Angry Birds Playground Under Construction - A four piece puzzle with 48 challenges.

Pictoria Disney - A Disney trivia game. Choose the correct answer from four pictures.

Pictureka Disney - Pictureka is a well known game that challenges you to find comical images in busy backgrounds. If you are looking for a fun activity that will challenge your visual perceptual skills, this could be it.

Thanksgiving Box of Questions - A good way to include everyone in the fun.

It's a Charlie Brown Christmas Android app - Based on the TV special, features original voices and characters. Lots of interactive fun.

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving Android app - Based on the TV special, features original voices and characters. Lots of interactive fun.

You can have as much fun on the journey as at the destination. Enjoy the ride!

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