Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Let's Face It, This is Fun!

I was at Little Things Toy Store in Brooklyn the other day looking for something for Quinn.  Out of the corner of my eye, I saw something I had never seen and had to have it immediately.  The Magnetibook Crazy Face, created by a french company called Janod, is a brilliantly designed game where you have to complete a face out of magnets.  There are a bunch of cards with pictures of people and then you have to sort through a variety of face pieces to make a match with the card.  There are clowns, girls, boys, sports players and silly faces so it can be appropriate for any child.



A common occupational therapy goal with preschoolers is to improve body awareness.  Children who have body awareness issues often have a difficult time drawing pictures of people because they don't have a clear understanding of their own body and what it looks like.  As a child goes through occupational therapy and their body strength improves, so does their body awareness and their ability to draw pictures of people.  This game, Crazy Face, is a great way to help improve both of these skills.  In addition, it helps to improve visual perceptual and matching skills.  Using a bunch of magnetic face pieces, you are asked to copy a card with a picture of a face on it.  You can grade the challenge for each child; for example, you can show the child the card and have them sort through all the magnets and pick out the right pieces or have the right pieces laid out for them and have them put them in the right place.  I truly love a game/toy that allows you to easily grade the activity for each child's skill level so that makes this toy even more appealing.

When I am in the gym, I like to make this part of an obstacle course.  I have the children do some swings, climb up the ladder to collect a magnet and then crawl through a tunnel where the board is waiting.  Sometimes all that sensory input helps organize them and give them a clearer idea of where their body is in space and they are more successful with putting the piece in the right place.  I have already tried this with a handful of my children at work and they love it!  When it was time to put it away and move onto something else, they asked for another turn.  I say that is a true sign of a fun toy!

I found this toy at a local toy store in Park Slope.  As always, try supporting your local toy stores when you can.  If you can't find it, ask them to order it for you.  

If you have any questions, I am just a click away.  If you are looking for some other games similar to this, I would love to help you find them.  Don't hesitate contacting me with any toy, game or iPad/iPhone app questions you might have.  



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