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.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Doodle Quest

Work on visual discrimination, spatial relations, eye-hand coordination, figure ground, visual memory, visual closure, visualization, visual tracing, tripod grasp, writing tool use, coordinated use of two hands, fine motor precision, manual dexterity, attention, estimation, executive functions, social interaction, play and leisure exploration and participation

In the box: 4 boards, 36 quest puzzles, 4 erasable drawing sheets, 4 dry erase markers, 4 erasers, 4 fish stencils, score pad

A fun game that combines visual perception with fine motor precision. There are 36 different challenges that increase in difficulty as you go. Each person will get a blue board with a clear plastic drawing sheet over it. The goal is to look at the picture card and then draw on your blank sheet, estimating where the lines or circles should go to complete the challenge. For instance, on the card below, the challenge is to circle the 3 groups of green fish without touching either the green or the purple fish.  Once you have completed the challenge, you will have three circles on your drawing sheet in the positions that you think are correct.  To find out how close you got, put your clear drawing sheet on top of the challenge card. Trickier than you might think. Challenges include tracing paths, drawing pointed teeth on a shark, circling objects such as scuba divers or fish. Challenges always require you to complete the task without running into other obstacles. There is also a red fish stencil. Some challenges require you to trace around the stencil, drawing fish in particular areas. I like this game. It is a workout and I have used it with kids of multiple skill levels. For some, if they are able to, for instance, circle the groups of fish (below), I will not be critical about running into neighboring objects.

Try this:
  • Put the challenge card under the clear drawing sheet at the start and complete the challenge to get a feel for where you are supposed to be.  Take the card out, erase, and then complete the challenge.
  • Talk about how the individual's work is off, giving visual and verbal cues for correcting, such as this circle is too high, this circle is too close to the edge, etc. Then try again.
  • Allow the child to analyze his own work and tell you what needs to be changed in spatial terms.
  • For younger kids, put the challenge cards under the drawing sheets and complete that way.
If you are interested in purchasing this game or just learning more, click on the link below to go to Amazon.com.


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