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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.


Wednesday, October 24, 2018

I See You Game

 A visual closure game from Golden Books.

Work on visual discrimination, visual closure, figure ground, manual dexterity, socialization skills, process skills, play and leisure exploration and participation

In the box: 2 card sleeves, 5 I SEE YOU! screens, 18 jumbo character cards, 10 My First I SEE YOU cards

Golden Books bring back wonderful memories for me. When I was a child we lived next door to my grandma. She had a huge collection of Golden Books and she loved to read, a great combination for us kids. I can probably, at least in part, trace my love of reading back to those adventure filled afternoons, curled up next to her as she read one story after another. This is also when I decided that I wanted to be a monkey when I grew up, but that's another story. So as soon as I saw the border going down the left side of this box, I knew I had to take a look.

I don't have any other game like this (and by now you must know I have a lot of games). The box calls it the classic game of Peek-A-Boo, and I would call it a classic game of visual closure, the ability to identify an object when only a part(s) of it is visible. As you can see from the back of the box, the game consists of cards, sleeves and screens.

LEFT: Back of the box showing the progression of cutouts on the screens. RIGHT: First and last screens.
The goal is to choose one card and, by putting screens with cutouts which reveal more and more of the picture, see how long it takes you to guess the picture. There are five screens labeled A-D. Screen A reveals just one circle at the top and screen E will be revealing most of the image. There are 2 sets of picture cards - My First I SEE YOU cards and I SEE YOU cards. The My First set of cards each have one simple item on them, including a teddy bear, an apple, a kite, and a computer. The I SEE YOU set has an original picture from one of the old Golden Books including Poky Little Puppy, The Saggy Baggy Elephant, Tootle the Train and Shy Little Kitten. Reading the related books beforehand might make this game more exciting, but you certainly can play it without ever reading a Golden Book. The picture in the image above is The Shy Little Kitten, but you could just say cat or kitten.

Object:
Identify the object on the card with the smallest amount revealed.

Set up:
Place 12 picture cards on the table, face-up.

Play:
Let the player look over the cards. Pick up the cards, choose one without the player seeing it, place it in the sleeve and place the A screen in front of it. Give the sleeve to the player and ask him to identify the object. Give clues or ask questions if you want to help them figure it out. If they don't, take out screen A and replace it with screen B, which will show more of the object. Keep changing screens until the player can identify the object. By the time you get to screen E, most of the object will be visible. Then start a new card.  

You can turn the screen over, it's solid white on the back, before you put it in front of the picture card. It may be difficult for some to separate the picture card image from the colorful image and background on the front of the screens.

Try this:
  • Start with fewer than 12 cards on the table and work your way up.
  • Talk about the things you see in the first hole on card A. I see a tail or fur or ears, do you think it is an animal? Or I see smoke, do you think that would be an animal? What things might have smoke?
  • Encourage the individual to make a guess at each stage, refining their guesses as new information is revealed.
  • Play with several people. Let them whisper their guess to you so that other players can keep playing if they don't know. 
  • Play for points. If a player guesses on screen A, he gets 5 points. If screen B, 4 points, if screen C, three points and so on. See who gets the most points.
  • Adjust the amount of time the player gets to look at the original card line up. Shorter time, more difficult game and vice versa.


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