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, November 4, 2018

Sequence Dogs

The dog lover's game of Sequence.

Work on visual discrimination, visual closure, visual form constancy, figure ground, manual dexterity, in-hand manipulation, shuffling/dealing/holding multiple cards, coordinated use of both hands, sequencing, learning states and capitals, executive functioning skills, socialization skills, process skills, play and leisure exploration and participation

In the box: Folding game board, 150 chip (50 each of 3 different colors), 88 playing cards

For dog fans, Sequence has a pooch-themed, 5-in-a-row strategy game. With 84 squares, each showing a single dog, the board is large. There are actually 42 different dogs as each dog appears on the board twice. If you divided the board in half horizontally, one of each dog is printed on the top half and the dogs are facing the person who sits on that side, and one of each dog is printed on the bottom half, and those dogs will be facing the person sitting on that side. In other words, the dogs on the opposite side from you will be upside down to you. There is one card in the deck that will picture the dog for each and every square. The board does not name any dog types, just shows images, but each card names the type of dog and gives some general information about the dog. There are also two fire hydrant cards and two doghouse cards. The chips are a solid color on one side and have the name of the game printed in white on the other side. 

Get 5 in a row (horizontally, vertically, diagonally) anywhere on the board to win a sequence, make 2 sequences to win the game. 

Be the first player (team) to win two sequences. 

Set Up:
Place the board on a flat surface. Give each person a bag of chips. Shuffle the cards and pass out the number indicated on the instruction sheet (depends on how many people are playing). Place the remaining cards in a face-down stack near the board.

During each turn, you will discard a card from your hand, place a chip (white side down) on the matching image on the board, draw a new card and add it to your hand. Be strategic about where you place your chips. Your goal is to get five in a row, but you must also keep an eye on your opponents and block them if they get close to a sequence. You may also play a doghouse or hydrant card as your turn. Play a doghouse card and put a chip on any empty space on the board. Play a doghouse card and remove any chip on the board (unless it is white-side-up. Once you get a sequence, announce it and turn the chips over so that the white side is up. None of these chips can be removed now. You still need one more sequence to win.

Sequence has lots of different themes including the original, states and capitals, numbers, kids, and cats.

Try this:
  • Avoid sitting at the side of the board as no states will be in their correct orientation at that location. OR, place the person who is working on this skill at that site. Two ways to look at it.
  • Pay close attention if you see your opponent has three in a row with empty spaces on either side. You cannot block both ends if he gets four in a row with empty spaces on both sides.
  • Hold cards in one hand and several chips in the other. Bring one chip to the fingertips to place on each turn. 
  • Skip the game. Fold the board in half so that only one of each dog is showing. Sort the cards and take out one of each dog. Mix the cards, and stack them, face-down on the table. Pick up one card and turn it face-up. Try not to disturb other cards on the stack. Everyone looks for that dog. The first person to find it first gets the card. Go through all the cards and see who collects the most. Or just play with one person and find the dogs.
  • Pick up your chips off the board, one at a time, squirreling them into your hand. How many can you hold? Put them away by the handfuls.
  • Sweep all the chips off the board and onto the table after a game. Cup one hand and put it at the edge of the table. Slide several chips into your hand. Now sort them into piles by color, bringing them one at a time to the fingertips to drop.
If you would like to purchase this item or just want more information, click on the image below.

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