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.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Jungle Hide & Seek

Work on manual dexterity, visual closure, figure ground, spatial relations, logic, in-hand manipulation, executive functions, play and leisure exploration and participation
In the box: Game board, 4 pieces, 2 puzzle booklets
Another one-person logic puzzle from one of my favorite game makers, SmartGames. A game with only four pieces has 80 challenges that increase in difficulty as you go. There are two booklets of 40 puzzles each and two sides to the game. The green side represents day and jungle animals you may see during the day, and the blue side represents night and features nocturnal animals. The challenge is to use the four pieces to cover all the animals on the board except the ones shown on the challenge. 
Left - Size of the pieces. Middle - Puzzle booklet. Each line of animals is one puzzle and there are four puzzles on each page. Right -  Night side. There is poor contrast between the dark blue background and the black animals.
The plastic game board comes in two pieces (day and night) that snap together so you can store the booklets and pieces inside. The green side of the puzzle is divided into four sections and you place one piece in each section. The blue side is not divided into sections and the pieces can go anywhere. The blue side is quite dark and it may be hard to see the black animals for some. This game has proved challenging for most.
Try this:
  • Place three pieces on the board for beginners. Let them place the last piece. Next place two pieces on the board and let them finish the puzzle. Then place only one piece for them, and finally let them complete the puzzle independently.
  • Point out one piece on the puzzle that is correct if the individual is struggling.
  • Start with the green side, which is easier because you know there is only one piece per section.
  • Try to complete one section at a time on the green side, instead of randomly putting pieces here and there. Take one piece and try it in all of its orientations in the first section. You will either find a possibility or be able to eliminate it. If eliminated try another piece in the same section. Work your way around the puzzle this way. If you come to a section that you don't have a piece for, then you will have to go back and change something.
If you are interested in purchasing this game or just want more information, click on the image below.

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