Does your child like marbles? If so, here are two games for you.
These two nearly identical games work on a wide variety of skills, including turn taking, visual motor coordination, in-hand manipulation, gradation of force, visual spatial processing, and counting. The object of the game is to collect the most (or least) marbles, while taking turns pulling sticks. Setting up the game builds many of the skills mentioned above, as it involves threading the sticks through small holes in a tube, which can be challenging, and requires some patience and frustration tolerance. An added challenge can be provided by asking a child to drop marbles into the tube one at a time from their hand, requiring in-hand manipulation skills. The gameplay is quite gratifying for many children, as the marbles fall and plunk down to the bottom.
Honey Bee Tree is a wonderful game for children ages 3 and up. It’s colorful, and uses marble-like bees, leaves as sticks, and can involve pretend play by telling the child to avoid “waking” the bees. Kerplunk is geared toward slightly older children, who may enjoy the competitive elements of the game while forgoing the colorful play themes. The new version has a marble track for when the marbles fall down. What fun!
Blog post written by: Andrew Klein, MS, OTR/L