Friday, December 12, 2014

OT Approved Toy | Gravity Maze



Spoiler alert: I'm totally giving this game to my 10 year old nephew for Christmas. That's how much I love it!

I have long been a fan of ThinkFun Games, so when they recently reached out to me to see if I'd be interested in checking out one of their new games, I jumped on the opportunity! Gravity Maze is a solo play engineering-type game that challenges visual perceptual and visual spatial skills. I found just setting up the game to match the challenge cards to be a visual perceptual challenge! The challenge cards range from beginner to expert, and there are 60 challenges in total. The object of the game is to build a path with the towers, so that when the path is completed, the marble will drop from the start position to the target tower. This is a challenging and fun logic game.


Best for ages: 8 and up


Skills addressed: 

  • fine motor
  • visual perceptual
  • visual spatial
  • problem solving 

 

Other ThinkFun Games I love:

Like I said, I'm a fan of everything that ThinkFun makes, but some of my favorites are Rush Hour, Shape by Shape, and Bug Trails.

Did you know ThinkFun also has great apps for kids? You can check out a review I did of the Rush Hour and Chocolate Fix apps by clicking here

Where to buy:


You can find Gravity Maze at most stores that sell toys, including Toys R Us, Barnes & Noble, and Target. You can also purchase Gravity Maze on Amazon.

For more OT Approved Toys, be sure to stop by my Toy Page.

Disclosure: I received a complimentary Gravity Maze game from Think Fun in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not compensated for this post and all writing and opinions are my own. Links to Amazon are affiliate links

Thursday, December 11, 2014

OT Approved Toy | Oball

Oballs are a favorite of pediatric therapists everywhere! The holes make them great for reaching and grasping, and as baby grows into a toddler, the oball is great for learning to throw and catch. Natalie, a pediatric physical therapist who blogs at Beyond Basic Play, loves the oball, too!
 
Best for ages: newborn - 2 years


Skills addressed: 

  • reaching
  • grasping
  • hand eye coordination
  • visual tracking
  • auditory tracking
 

Where to buy:

Oballs can be found at most stores that sell baby toys. If you prefer, you can order them from Amazon.


For more OT Approved Toys, be sure to stop by my Toy Page and for more toy ideas for babies, check out Holiday Gift Guide for Babies and Mama OT's 15 Toys for Baby's First Year.

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post and all opinions are my own. Links to Amazon are affiliate links

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

OT Approved Toy | Kanoodle

If you've followed my blog for any period of time, then you are probably aware that I frequently partner with Educational Insights to offer honest reviews of their toys that I feel have therapeutic value. What you might not know is that I was a fan of Educational Insight toys and games long before they ever reached out to me for a partnership. So now you know the backstory to how I came to be a partner with Educational Insights.


Today I'd like to share the very first game I ever purchased from Educational Insights: Kanoodle. Kanoodle is a visual perceptual, strategy game that is fun for kids and adults. If you like single person strategy games like Sudoku puzzles, then you'll probably enjoy Kanoodle. Kanoodle consists of 12 pieces of connected beads, each a different shape and color. Use the included puzzle book to choose from over 100 2D and 3D puzzles, ranging from easy to difficult. As shown in the photo above, the puzzle book will show you where to place some of the puzzle pieces, and then it's up to you to figure out how to fit in the remaining pieces!


Best for ages: 7 and up



Skills addressed: 

  • fine motor
  • visual perceptual
  • visual spatial
  • problem solving

Where to buy:


Purchase Kanoodle on Amazon or directly from Educational Insights.

For more OT Approved Toys, be sure to stop by my Toy Page.

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post and all opinions are my own. Links to Amazon and Educational Insights are affiliate links

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

OT Approved Toy | Mancala

The OT in me loves mancala because it's such a fun way to develop in-hand manipulation skills.In short, in-hand manipulation is when you hold onto several items in your hand at one time and then move them out of your hand one at a time. That's exactly what you do with the beads in this simple, yet challenging strategy game!


Best for ages: 6 and up



Skills addressed: 

  • fine motor
  • in hand manipulation
  • counting
  • turn taking
  • planning

Where to buy:


I bought my Mancala game at Target for less than $10. I think you can generally find it wherever toys are sold, or you can always purchase Mancala on Amazon.

For more OT Approved Toys, be sure to stop by my Toy Page.

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post and all opinions are my own. Links to Amazon and Educational Insights are affiliate links

Monday, December 8, 2014

OT Approved Toy | Picture Perfect


Picture Perfect is another one of those toys that seems to be made for OT. Picture Perfect contains a plastic grid that is placed on top of a pattern. The plastic tiles must then be matched up to create a mosaic picture. This is a great way to challenge visual perceptual skills and eye hand coordination. You know what I like the most about Picture Perfect? Blank grids are included so kids can draw their own picture and then match up the tiles to create their own unique masterpiece.


Best for ages: 4-6 years



Skills addressed: 

  • fine motor
  • eye hand coordination
  • visual perceptual
  • color identification
  • matching

Where to buy:


Purchase Picture Perfect on Amazon or directly from Educational Insights.

For more OT Approved Toys, be sure to stop by my Toy Page.

Disclosure: This game was received complimentary of Educational Insights in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not compensated for this post and all opinions are my own. Links to Amazon and Educational Insights are affiliate links

Friday, December 5, 2014

OT Approved Toy | Set


I'm on a roll with the visual perceptual games this week (Shapes Up and Blokus if missed them). I thought I'd finish out the week with one of my favorite visual perceptual card games. In the game of Set, 12 cards are dealt, as shown above. Then everyone visually scans the cards for a "set" of three, linked by combinations of sameness or difference. Once you get the hang of it, it's not as complicated as it sounds.


Best for ages: 10 and up


Skills addressed: 

  • bilateral coordination
  • visual scanning
  • visual perceptual

Where to buy:


I was lucky enough to get this game at a yard sale for 50 cents. If you're not as lucky, you can always purchase Set on Amazon.

For more OT Approved Toys, be sure to stop by my Toy Page.

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post and all opinions are my own. Links to Amazon are affiliate links

Thursday, December 4, 2014

OT Approved Toy | Blokus


If you like Shapes Up, then you'll probably like Blokus. This is another strategic game that challenges visual perceptual skills. Blokus is very similar to Shapes Up, except in Blokus, all of the players are using the same game board. That adds an extra challenge, because now you have to watch out for other players blocking you! The game ends when all players are blocked from laying down any more pieces.


Best for ages: 7 and up


Skills addressed: 

  • fine motor
  • visual perceptual
  • turn taking
  • planning

Where to buy:


Purchase Blokus on Amazon.

For more OT Approved Toys, be sure to stop by my Toy Page.

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post and all opinions are my own. Links to Amazon are affiliate links

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