Posts tagged ‘Visual Perceptual’

Games We Love: Rush Hour Jr.

Why We Love It: The perfect blend of visual perceptual, fine motor and motor planning skills, Rush Hour is a favorite for staff and children. The concept is simple: place the cars on the grid to match a picture, then slide the cars to allow the ice cream truck to drive out the door. There are 40 cards of increasing difficulty, with each level building on the problem solving lessons learned in previous scenarios. Puzzles can be solved again and again because it is practically impossible to remember the solution sequence.

This is a great activity for children who get lost in multi-step tasks and those who need to work on their problem solving skills. Take the game a step further by hiding the pieces in a bucket of dried beans, creating a scavenger hunt around the room or having your child “deliver” the pieces little by little by riding their bike, doing animal walks or even an obstacle course. Also, the solutions are printed on the back of each card. If your child is learning the concepts of left and right, give the instructions to solve the card and have your child follow them.

Why the Kids Love It: This is one of the most requested games in the clinic. Younger children enjoy the concept of rescuing the ice cream truck, and older children enjoy the challenge of harder levels. The game pieces are brightly colored, but not juvenile. There is a real sense of mastery as the child moves from “Beginner” towards “Expert” levels.

Manufacturer Age Recommendations: 6-8 years

Our Age Recommendations: Younger children (4-5) can copy the grid like a puzzle. Older children (9-11) with visual perceptual and motor planning difficulties may benefit from this “Jr” version of Rush Hour before moving to the more advanced edition.

Available in toy stores and online.

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Holiday Gift Ideas – Later Elementary School

The holiday season is here! This post is the third and final in our series on holiday gift ideas. If you have a child in the later elementary school grades, this list is for you. As always, we limited our suggestions to games under $25 that are available from toy stores and department stores- not “therapy” toys – so they are easy to find and will blend in with other holiday presents.

Click on the name of the game for a link to the manufacturer’s website. We also listed the underlying skills that can be addressed during play. Have fun!

Holiday Gift Ideas – Early Elementary School

The holiday season is here! This post is the second in our series on holiday gift ideas. This list includes some of our favorite games and toys for our children in the early elementary school grades. Just like the preschool list, we limited our suggestions to games available from toy stores and department stores- not “therapy” toys – so they are easy to find and will blend in with other holiday presents. Plus, everything on this list is under $25!

Click on the name of the game for a link to the manufacturer’s website. We also listed the underlying skills that can be addressed during play. Have fun!

Apps We Love for OT – Sticker Sudoku

App Name: Sticker Sudoku

Why We Love It: Anyone who has played Sudoku before knows the visual perceptual and problem solving skills required to solve these puzzles. But all those numbers and boxes can be confusing to younger children. Sticker Sudoku is the perfect app to introduce the concept of the game. Instead of numbers, the grid is filled in with friendly animal “stickers”. The grid itself is only 4×4 (rather than the traditional 9×9).  Each column, row and group of 4 boxes must have one of each of the animals to correctly solve the puzzle. One useful aspect of this app is that if the child incorrectly places an animal, it turns upside down, but stays in place. This allows for discussion of why the placement is incorrect and allows the child to use problem solving skills instead of simple trial and error. The visuals are clear, without distractions. The only thing that would make this app better would be to have multiple levels of difficulty, but for a free app, we won’t complain.

Why Kids Love It: The animals are cute without being too juvenile. Many kids have seen parents or siblings play Sudoku and they love mastering a game that adults play.

Available from iTunes – FREE

Apps We Love for OT – Memory King

App Name: Memory King

Why We Love It: This app is a great way to play a classic game of memory, without all the hassle of setting up the pieces, making sure you have two of each picture, and trying to keep an organized grid of cards. This app has a wonderful variety of settings to tailor fit the challenge with the child’s abilities.  It can be played with 1-4 players, you can set up a grid of 2 pairs to 32 pairs of cards, have the cards remain face up for 1/2 a second to 5 seconds, even record your own customized audio labels for each picture! During multiplayer games, the background color of the screen changes for each player to help track whose turn it is. The free version includes pictures of animals and toys, plus there is the option to purchase expansion packs for $0.99 each,  such as numbers, letters, food, marine life, zoo animals and more. But don’t worry, the expansion packs are hidden within the Settings, so the kids won’t accidentally make an in-app purchase.

Why Kids Love It: After each match, the friendly voice on the app provides feedback such as “You did it!” or “Good work!”. Fun sound effects keep the kids attention, too.Every match earns the player 50 points, and there are speed and accuracy scores at the end of the round.

Available: iTunes FREE

Apps We Love for OT – Shape Up! Busythings

App Name: Shape Up! Busythings

Why We Love It: This adorable app promotes visual scanning, finger isolation and fine motor control without sacrificing fun. There are two levels of play: tap inside the shapes or trace around dotted lines to fill in the shapes. When all shapes are complete, a unique character comes to life and dances, jumps or twirls around the screen. The tracing does not have to be precise for the child to succeed, making this app ideal for young children or children who have difficulty with fine motor control. The visuals are clean and simple without ads or distractions.

Why Kids Love It: Kids can choose from 20 different colorful and engaging characters. The animations and sound effects bring giggles and smiles to kids and adults.

Available: iTunes $0.99

Android market: $1.54