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!

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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Pickles to Penguins

Work on manual dexterity, coordinated use of both hands, attention, analytical and creative thinking, mental flexibility, processing speed, visual discrimination, social skills, play and leisure exploration and participation 
In the box: 500 double sided picture cards
A game of associations. Working through your line of cards, find more associations, quicker, than the others to use all your cards first and win. To play, deal 25 cards to each player and put the rest of the deck in the middle of the playing area. Each player lines up five of his picture cards in front of him and sets the rest of his stack aside. To start, one of the players takes the top two cards off the middle stack and lays them face-up beside the stack. These are the cards players will be playing to. All players play at once, laying their cards on top of the two piles and stating the association. Once you have used all five cards, add another line of five. The first person to play all 25 of his cards, wins. Here is an example of a line of play:
The top card is a ladybug. Here are some cards and associations that could be played on it:
Firetruck - Both are red.
Giraffe - Both eat leaves.
Helicopter - Both fly.
Panda - Both are animals.
Rock - Both are found outside.
Try this:
  • Practice associations before playing the game. Lay 25 cards face-up in front of the player. State an association. Ask the individual to take off all cards that apply to that category, such as something that grows, or something with fur.
  • Give the individual one card. Set a one minute timer and see how many different categories he can think of for that card. For instance a cat could be something living, something with fur, something soft, etc.
  • Ask the individual to set up a 25 card grid on the table before practicing associations. Ask him to hold a stack of cards in the non-dominant hand and push them off the top, one at a time, with the thumb to separate for placement.
  • Ask "How are these two alike?" or "What do these two have in common?"
If you are interested in purchasing this item or just want more information, click on the image below.

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