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.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Goldie Bloks and the Parade Float

Work on manual dexterity, coordinated use of both hands, visual discrimination, visual form constancy, visual closure, building a 3D model from a 2D model, spatial relations, problem solving, frustration tolerance, play and leisure exploration and participation 

In the box: Story book and 34 pieces

Goldie Blox has a series of Read-and-Build activity kits that are designed to introduce simple engineering concepts. The engineering concept for the parade float is wheel and axle. The box includes a short story book and 34 pieces so that you can make six different models related to the story. The story is about three friends that enter the Miss Princess Pageant. When friend number one wins, friend number three is so upset she cries a river. So they decide to work together and make a parade float and let friend number three ride on it. The step-by-step pattern for the parade float is integrated into the story and then five additional models are pictured after the story. The five additional models are images of the completed models, no step-by-step directions. My biggest complaint about this activity is that the pieces do not snap together securely and therefore do not stay together as you are building or when you try to play with the models. Pieces fall off and you have to keep adding them back on until you finally get frustrated enough to put it away. It is a great concept, so quite disappointing. There are several different stories in this series, each with different parts and models to make. Maybe some of them are better. It won a best toy award, which now makes me wonder if someone really checks these games out before handing out those awards.

In the box.
Left - Step-by-step instructions for the float.  Right - Models at the end of the book.

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