Using TRAPPED PENGUIN To Grow (part 1)

This post aims to highlight all the ways Trapped Penguin can be used at home to work on your child’s occupational therapy goals. This game is fun for all ages!

Gross motor skills:

  • To work on core strength and shoulder stability, try playing this game whilst laying on your stomach or laying across a gym ball.
  • Practice sitting for long periods of time – this could be at the table or on the floor depending on your child’s goals.
  • Try incorporating some movement into the game – retrieve all the ice blocks during an obstacle course in order to build the base. Use a scooter board to spin the spinner on the other side of the room and have them remember the colour they need to tap whilst they make their way back to the game board.

Fine motor skills:

  • This game involves a bit of set up placing all the ice blocks in their place. This is a great opportunity to work on bilateral skills, using both hands to fit the pieces together.
  • Encourage finger isolation by asking your child to use their index finger to spin the spinner.
  • Practice fine motor coordination and control to only tap one block at a time with the ice pick– you have to be gentle to make sure the penguin doesn’t fall!

Social and emotional regulation skills:

  • Before playing the game you can brainstorm some friendly things to say to one another during the game e.g. “keep trying”, or when someone wins “you played really well” or when someone loses “good game. Do you want to play again?”.
  • Practice waiting, sharing and turn taking whilst playing this game with friends.
  • Just like any game, winning and losing can cause some big reactions. Take this opportunity to support your child if they become upset and practice some self-regulation strategies learnt in therapy. You could also practice empathy and discuss how other players may be feeling at the end of the game.

Cognitive skills:

  • Build problem solving skills and encourage your child to plan which piece they are going to knock out to try and keep the penguin afloat.
  • Take this opportunity to talk about colours and numbers. You could also try working on patterns and try placing the ice cubes in the base in a pattern.

Keep an eye out for part 2 of Trapped Penguin!

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