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, April 21, 2016

Hoppy Floppy's Happy Hunt

Work on color recognition, manual dexterity, finger isolation and flicking, palmar arch development, open web space, coordinated use of both hands, in-hand manipulation, visual closure, visual discrimination, social skills, play and leisure exploration and participation
In the box: 1 rabbit squeezer, 1 spinner, 4 baskets, 16 carrots
For 2-4 players

One more in the series of preschool games featuring large animal squeezers. Not sure how I would feel about this one, since I am not a big fan of Sneaky Snacky Squirrel, but there is a big difference between the two. Sneaky Snacky Squirrel requires, in my opinion, that the acorn be tipped upright to fit into the hole in the tree before you can drop it. With this game, you simply release your squeeze on the rabbit as you hover over the basket and drop it in. Less precision required. There are four like-colored carrots for each colored basket. The carrots are small, but are easy to pick up with the squeezer. The bottom of the box in all these games is decorated inside and meant to be part of the game. Here is a picture of the bottom of this game box with piece sizes:

Help the woodland creatures hunt for the carrots. The object of the game is to be the first person to collect one carrot of each color in your basket. To play, you can either leave the carrots in the box bottom or spread them on a flat surface. I don't leave them in the box as the bunny is fairly big and it is too awkward to use in the small box. Spin the spinner at the beginning of each turn to tell you what to do. Here are the options:
  • Pick up a colored carrot to match the color on the spinner and drop it into the matching basket.
  • Steal any color carrot from another player's basket.
  • Put all your carrots back into the box and start over.
  • Grab any color carrot from the box.
  • Lose a turn.
  • Spin again.
Pick the carrots up one at a time with the bunny squeezer and drop them into your basket. No, the handles on the baskets do not move, they are fixed in that position. I wondered if this would interfere with the dropping of the carrots or require you to twist your hand position, but it does not. A very simple game.

Try this:
  • Skip the spinner, just sort the carrots into the baskets by color.
  • Skip the squeezer and place one or more carrots in the child's palm. Ask him to bring each carrot to the fingertips and drop it into the same colored basket without dropping the others. Work until all carrots have been sorted.
  • Hide the carrots around the room and ask the child to take the baskets or box bottom and find the carrots. Hide some so that only a part of the carrot is showing.
  • Ask the child to hold the spinner in the non-dominant hand while spinning with the dominant hand.
  • Use different fingers to flick the arrow on the spinner.
  • Start with a rounded web space before flicking instead of just pushing it with one finger.
  • When putting the game away, pick up the carrots one at a time and squirrel them into the palm. How many can be held without dropping?
  • When putting the game away, cup the non-dominant hand and hold it in that position as you place the carrots, one by one, into the cupped hand. Can all be held without dropping?
If you are interested in purchasing this item or just want more information, click on the image below.

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