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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Friday, March 11, 2016


Work on manual dexterity, graded release, grasp, coordinated use of both hands, visual discrimination, eye-hand coordination, visual closure, spatial relations, social skills, thumb opposition, opening web space, balance, proximal stability, sequencing, play and leisure exploration and participation
In the box: 8 wooden pigs, 1 wooden die, 48 cards
Ages 4+, 2-4 players
A whimsical pig-themed, color-matching, stacking game that will challenge you to stack wooden pig heads using a variety of methods. To win, be the first to get rid of all your cards. To set up the game, shuffle the cards and pass them out, face-down and evenly between players. There are two versions for playing this game, with and without the die.
  • Without the die. Put the eight pigs in the middle of the playing area. Moving clockwise, each player turns over the top card from their pile until there are two cards showing that match in number and at least one color. Each player then moves quickly to stack pigs according to the colors on his own card. The pig stack must contain the number of pigs on the cards (1-4) and the colors on his card. The first to finish the stack puts his hands in the air and yells Pigzup! If his stack has not fallen, he wins the round and places that card in a common discard pile. If his stack falls or if his opponent wins, he places his top card at the bottom of his stack. Play continues in the clockwise manner with each player turning over his top card until another match is revealed. Continue until one person has discarded all his cards and wins the game.
  • With the die. Play as above, but before beginning the game, throw the die. This will tell you how you will have to stack your pigs. Here are the options:
    • One hand - Stack the pigs using only one hand.
    • Fingers - Use only the two index fingers, one on each side of the pig head, to lift and stack the pigs. 
    • By the ear - Pick the pigs up by the ear(s) to stack.
The pigs ears are made of felt and the die is over-sized. Blue Orange games are well constructed and they are committed to planting two trees for every one tree they use in the production of their wooden games.
Try this:
  • Stack the pigs in sequence according to the colors on the card. Start with the color at the 12:00 position and move clockwise around the card.
  • Play by yourself so you have two pigs of each color. Turn over a card, throw the die, and stack the pigs. Go through all the cards you want.
  • Stack the pigs using the dominant hand. Then play again using the non-dominant hand.
If you are interested in purchasing this item or just want more information, click on the image below.

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