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.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Mummy Mystery

Work on visual discrimination, spatial relations/position in space, visual closure, figure ground, visual form constancy, executive functioning, manual dexterity, in-hand manipulation, leisure exploration and participation

In the box: 9 square removable tile pieces, a 48 challenge puzzle book, yellow plastic board/storage case with lid
Ages 5+, 1 player

Very similar to the Go Getter games, and manufactured by the same company, Mummy Mystery is a nine piece maze game that will test your logic. Unlike the Go Getter games, which have 12 challenges each, Mummy Mystery comes with 48 challenges. Puzzles range from easy to master, increasing in difficulty as you go, pushing you a little harder with each new challenge. To play, open the yellow plastic game board/storage box and take out the nine pieces and the puzzle book.

The first image above shows the size of the puzzle pieces. The second image shows the storage box with the book inside and the nine purple and gold puzzle pieces on top of the box, which is also the playing surface. The third image shows the puzzle book. On the right is puzzle #25. On the left are solutions to puzzle #24, on the previous page. Each puzzle has more than one possible solution. Choose your puzzle and go to work building the maze. Puzzle 25 shows that there should be a path between the alligator and the camel, and the alligator and the trees. There should not be a path between the alligator and the explorer. There should be a path between the explorer and the mountains, the explorer and the lion, the explorer and the mummy, the explorer and the queen, the explorer and the masks. Whew. This puzzle is about half way through in terms of difficulty. The puzzle piece in the first picture also shows a hidden tunnel entrance (or exit). There are two pieces with this and the character that it is next to can go down the tunnel and come up at the other end. Older kids have liked this. Great way to apply and sharpen those visual perceptual skills.
Try this:
  • Work through a puzzle while the individual observes. Talk through the process as you use trial and error and strategy to find the solution.
  • If the individual makes an error, give him a chance to spot it before telling him where it is.
  • Ask the individual to turn each piece in-hand as he orients it for placement.

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