What Else Can We Do With The Checker Game?

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Checkers: Not Just A Game

Almost everyone has a game of Checkers in their house! Or parts of it at least.  That box of checkers can be a nice and easy addition to every therapy bag!  Here are some fun activities you can do with checkers without playing the game of checkers!!!

- Checker Math: Write numbers on one side of each checker.  When you turn the checker over to make a king- first you have to add the numbers together on each checker.

Work on math skills while you play, If your student isn't quite ready for mental math, have them write down the numbers first.  

- Checker Tic Tac Toe:  Use your checker pieces on a tic tac toe board instead of x and o you can be black or red.

Using pieces instead, will take away the writing piece of your tic tac toe game but allows for fine motor precision to pick up and place checkers.  You can use tongs or our three point grabber to pick up the checker as well.  

- Sorting or Stacking: Pick up and sort into different cups/bowls or stack in piles.  Use tongs or tweezers to make it a little more difficut.

Work on fine motor strengthening and precision as you sort through the checkers.  You can also draw one shape on each of the checkers and sort by shape.  Work on upper body strength while lying in prone (on stomach).  

- Checkers as Coins: Use them in your coin bank or piggy bank.  Can they fit in the slot?  You may have to use an emtpy coffee can and cut a slit in the top.

- Draw a Shape: On a piece of construction paper draw a shape, now have your child take the checkers and place them on top of your drawing , forming that shape.  Draw large letters or numbers instead of shapes.

Work on tracing and foring letters without a pencil.  

- Checker Alphabet: Write one letter on each checker with a marker, now mix them up and see if your child can put them back in order. 

Add some sensory input and hide them in a bucket of rice or uncooked beans and see what letters you pull out.

Did You Know?

- Checkers was played as far back as 1400 BC

- Checkers is called "Draughts" in Europe.

- 1952 Arthur Samuels created the first checkers program on the computer


Compiled by Lisa Walker OTR 

Get To Know Each Other Games; $10 Off Gift Certificate!

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Getting To Know Each Other Fun

It's the beginning of a new school year, new teachers, new peers, maybe even new therapists.  Getting to know new people can be tons of fun.  Here are some fun games to play in class, in therapy, or even on the playground.

Get To Know Each Other!

Three in Common Game: Break up into groups of 3, now each group has to find three things they have in common with each other and write them down.  Can you find three differences?  Now walk and see if you can find anyone else with similar traits. 

Where's My Shoe?  Have each student take off one shoe, now take that shoe and place it in a pile in front of  the classroom.  Each student has to pick up one shoe and now walk around trying to find who it belongs to.  Is it a girl's shoe? a boy's shoe?

Make it a little bit harder and have your children take off both shoes!

Find Someone Game: Each student writes on a blank index card one to three statements, such as favorite color, interest,
hobby, or vacations. Pass out cards so everyone gets someone else's card. Have that student find the student with their card and introduce themselves. 

Finish the Sentence Game: Write the start of a question on the board (i.e. My favorite color was, my hobby is) and go around the room with each student finishing the sentence. Practice writing, as your students ask the question, write answers on a pad of paper or on the board.  How many students have the same answers. 

When you are finished work on charting the similarities. 

Break up in small groups or work as a large class group to answer these questions and more!

If this was your classroom mascot what would you name him? Where would he live? How old is he? What would he eat? 

This year we are going to learn? We are going to play these games at recess? We are going to make friends doing....

Got an E-Book? Let us know!

Got a Blog? Let us know that too!!

*Newsletter compiled by Lisa Walker, OT

Group Games for On & Off the Playground, New Sensory Tools & Free Fidget too!

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Let's Move - On or Off the Playground!

We all know that movement is vital to development and school performance. But poor weather, limited equipment and time constraints sometimes gets in the way!

So we put together some fun game ideas to help overcome these obstacles.  (Maybe, think about making a list on your phone or keeping index cards for quick reference when you need inspiration!)

"Please Mr. Crocodile, May we cross the River?"  Use 2 painted lines on the playground (or different sides of the classroom, if indoors) are the river banks. Children all stand on the same river bank. The Crocodile (you or designated other) is the Crocodile in the middle of the river. Children shout: "Please Mr. Crocodile, May we cross the River? If not, what is your favorite color?" The Crocodile chooses a color and everyone with that color on ANYWHERE, no matter how little, gets to run across safely. The original game, then has the remaining children run across the river. Get caught and you are the new Crocodile. But how about, you keep choosing colors until only a few remain.Then maybe "guess my number" to see who is safe.

Other adaptations: Jump; Skip; monkey walk; Frog jump across the river. All add a motor planning component.

Dance Statute:  You say "Dance" and each child must dance or wiggle until the music stops or you say "Stop". Then they freeze in place and must hold that position until you say "Dance" again. It can be for as short or as long as you would like. Dancers can be paired or grouped for more of a dance challenge. 

Freezing and maintaining a position requires static muscle control and can actually be more demanding than moving around. So don't always be so quick to say "Dance" again...

Captains Orders: Great group game for memory, processing & motor. To begin have children line up & begin following orders.

  • *To the island: run to designated spot
  • *Scrub the deck: crouch down, make scrubbing motion
  • *Hit the deck: lay on stomach
  • *Clear the deck: jump or push up, must have feet off floor as Captain walks by
  • *Up periscope!: lie on back with one leg raised straight in the air. Twist the raised foot as if a periscope
  • *Captain’s coming: stand at attention & salute
  • *Climb the rigging: pretend to climb a rope
  • *To the Lifeboats: sit & pretend to row the boat.

How many orders can the children remember? How fast can they follow them? How about 2 or 3 rapidly in a row! Can't keep up- maybe to the brigg with you or stand on one foot for a count of 30. Have fun!

Thank You Pinterest Friends!