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.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Turtle Shells Memory Game

Work on visual memory, visual discrimination, spatial relations, figure ground, manual dexterity, play and leisure exploration and participation, social skills, picking up card off flat surface

In the box: 3 plastic turtles, 3 turtle shells, 2 extra large dice, 27 memory game cards (nine sets of three matching cards
Ages 3+, 2-4 players

Turtle Shells offers two versions for play, and neither is your typical memory game. The game comes with three plastic turtles with removable shells in orange, blue, and green. Shells can be mixed and matched on the turtles to form several color combinations. Each card shows one turtle combination, such as blue turtle with blue shell, blue turtle with red shell, or blue turtle with green shell. The cards will not be matched to each other, as in a typical memory game, they will be matched to the turtles. To play, place the 27 cards, face-down, on the table. Randomly place one shell on each turtle. On your turn, turn one of the cards face-up. If it matches one of the turtles, you keep the card. You then switch at least two of the turtle shells. If the card does not match, turn the card back over and your turn is over.  If you remember the different color combinations on the cards that have been turned over, you may be able to make a match on your turn. This is easier said than done as the turtles are changing shells, and therefore colors, on each correct play. The second version requires starting your turn by throwing the two large dice. If the colors on the dice match a turtle color combination, then you get to turn over a card and play as above. The first player to win four (or more) cards wins.

Try this:
  • Separate one card from each set. Place one card at a time in front of the individual and ask him to build the turtle.
  • Lay all the cards face-up on the table. Place a random shell on a turtle. See who can be the first to find the three matching cards. Start with one card, or a two card set for a simpler game.
  • Assemble the three turtles. Throw the dice until you come up with the colors to match one of the turtles.
  • Throw the dice. Make a turtle to match the color combination.
  • Throw the dice. If the two colors are different, make the two turtles that would match. For instance, red and blue dice would make a red turtle with a blue shell and a blue turtle with a red shell.
If you are interested in purchasing this item or just want more information, click on the image below.

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