OT Activity of the Day:
Adapt a Game
Target Age Range: 3 and up
By the age of 3 most kids should be able to play simple board games like "Candyland". As the kids get older, the games become more complex and challenging. They are targeting skills sets such as attention, sequencing, fine motor manipulation, and overall executive functioning. While some kids can play games as they are, some benefit from adapting the games to meet their needs.
This game that I have highlighted is called "Pop the Pig". I am going to list the ways that I can adapt just this one game. Hopefully this will give you ideas to adapt your games at home to help meet your child's needs.
1. I will be placing these small hamburgers around the room. This way, when it's your turn, you have to get up and move to collect the appropriate color. This built in movement should help with extending the attention your child has for the game.
2. If I wanted to work on more executive functioning and sequencing, I would have the child read the directions and then describe to me how to play the game. Throughout the game, I may also "play dumb" and forget how to play and have the child recall the directions and sequence the game's steps to me again.
3. If I wanted to work on problem solving and ideation, I would ask the child to come up with a different way to play the game. Many games can be played in a variety of ways. I often forget the "main" way to play games as I'm always mixing it up.
4. If I wanted to work on fine motor manipulation I would add the scissor or regular tongs. You can pretend the hamburgers are too hot to touch so you have to use the tongs to pick them up.
The two most common forms of adaptation for me are to add movement and tongs. I have found that kids are very accepting of playing games differently, and if not, it's always a great way to work on flexibility.