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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Thursday, February 11, 2016

Hoot Owl Hoot

Work on simple strategy, decision making, problem solving, visual discrimination, spatial relations, visual tracking, manual dexterity, working together, taking turns, following directions, play and leisure exploration and participation 
In the box: Game board, 6 owl tokens, 1 sun token, 50 sun and color cards.
Ages 4+, 2-4 players
This is an award-winning, cooperative game with a charming kid's theme that emphasizes working as a team, not competition. Help the owls all get safely back to the nest before the sun comes up. The board has two tracks - one for the sun to travel as it rises and one for the owls to travel to get back to the nest. The sun travels across the top of the board, west to east, and the owls travel on the spiral multi-color track.
On each turn players will either move one owl forward or move the sun forward one square. To win, the team must get all the owls to the nest before the sun reaches it goal. To set up, place the board in the middle and give each person three cards. On each card will either be a picture of a sun or a circle of color. Put the sun token in the box that says SUN START (under the moon), and place the owls in the starting circles at the beginning of the spiral - three owls for a beginner game, four for intermediate, and six owls for an advanced game.  On each turn, the player will play either a color or a sun card. If he is dealt or draws a sun card, that must always be played first. Then his turn is over. If the players chooses to play a color card he is allowed to move any one of the owls forward to the next circle of that color. If that circle is already occupied by an owl, he is allowed to fly over and go to the next circle of that color. This is a strategy to move owls forward faster, as an owl can skip over as many occupied circles as necessary. Since all players can see each others cards, players can plan strategies, such as everyone playing the same color cards, to get to the nest faster. After a card is played (either sun or color), the player draws another card so that he always has three choices in front of him. If all the owls get to the nest before the sun reaches the end of its track, the team wins.
If you are interested in purchasing this game or just want more information, click on the image below.

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