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, January 10, 2016

Adapting Off-the-Shelf Games and Toys for Therapy - Winter Edition

Winter is a good time to play winter/cold/snow/ice themed seasonal favorites. I grew up in the Midwest but live in the Phoenix area now. I always wonder what kids think when I break out the indoor snowballs and it is warm and sunny outside, but I can't help it, I just have snow in my blood. Yeah, I heard it too. LOL. Just click on any title to go to my post for more information.

Indoor Snowballs - Lightweight but not flimsy. Great for all kinds of target practice.

Spot It! Freeze - My favorite card game with the addition of a timer. Make any blue match, and all other players freeze while you play on.

Spot It! Fire & Ice - Watch for hot and cold matches to help you or hinder an opponent.

Seasonal Poppers - Another fun one for target practice and to help build hand strength. Always a favorite and comes in many different animals and figures.

Frozen Panorama Puzzle - Three different puzzles and three different difficulties so several people of differing levels can play.

Frozen UNO - Cards feature Frozen characters. Play by traditional UNO rules with the addition of a special instruction card.

Pengaloo - Be the first to fill your iceberg with six penguins. A twist on a memory game.

Thin Ice - Place the marbles one at a time onto the igloo. Don't be the one who places the marble that breaks the ice!

DUPLO Snow White - A bit of a stretch in a winter list, but the word SNOW is in the name, right?

North Pole Camouflage - A one person visual perceptual/critical thinking puzzle with 48 challenges that increase in difficulty as you go. Help the polar bears and fish hide from the Eskimo hunters.

Penguins on Ice - Five penguins, each on his own ice floe. Can you pack the ice floes onto the game board so that they all fit and the penguins are in the correct places per each puzzle? 60 puzzles.

Lego Build Up - 24 small LEGO models, perfect for beginners in a therapy session. Includes several Christmas and winter models including penguin, reindeer, candy cane, sleigh.

Snowman Jokes - Free snowman jokes to share with kids and friends. Just download and print out.

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