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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, May 8, 2017

Snail's Pace Race


A fun game for beginners based on color, no reading required.

Work on visual discrimination, manual dexterity, in-hand manipulation, palmar arch development, social interaction skills, executive functions, process skills, play and leisure exploration and participation

In the box: Game board, 6 snails, 2 dice

A simple game for beginners based on color - no reading required. The game board is a whimsical garden scene with six rows/lanes, one for each on the six snails. The board is approximately 18 7/8" x 8 7/8". The wooden dice each have six colors, one color per side, that match the six snail colors (pink, blue, green, yellow, orange, red). The wooden snails are going to race through the garden, starting on the spaces with the arrows and ending on the spaces with the snails. My board actually has circles instead of snails, so it must be an older version. To play, open the board and place the six snails on the end of the board with the six colored arrows. There is one space with a colored arrow for each colored snail. Taking turns, each player with throw both dice. The two colors that come up will indicate the two snails (by color) that will each move forward one space. The first snail to reach the finish line wins the game. There are no winners or losers amongst the players, just the snails. Made by Ravensburger, it is a quality game. 

 

 
Try this:
  • Use only one die per turn for a longer game.
  • Cup the hand before shaking the dice. If the individual has difficulty with this, place a small ball in the palm and ask the individual to cup the hand around the ball. Then remove the ball and drop in the dice.
  • Keep the hand in the cupped position a little longer while shaking the dice by reciting Mary, Mary Quite Contrary, how does your garden grow...
  • Set up the game by placing one snail at a time in the player's palm and asking him to bring it to his fingertips and place it on the correct space on the board. Place the snails facing the wrong directions, upside-down, etc., so that the individual will have to manipulate them in-hand to orient.
  • Predict who will win after each turn (who is closer to the finish line).
If you are interested in purchasing this game or just want more information about it, click on the image below. 
 

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