Thursday, January 3, 2013

Oh Go, OgoSports!

Happy New Year to you all.  I hope that the holiday season treated you all well and that the new year brings you much health and happiness.

Thanks to a dear friend (Thank you Alice Szigethy), I was recently introduced to a Brooklyn based toy company.  Two common interests that Alice and I have is our love of children and finding really cool toys/products for said children.  When she told me about OgoSport, I had to check them out.  She had seen them at one of the holiday markets in New York City and was already on the prowl to sell them at her store in Lake Hopatcong, Main Lake Market.  Without even seeing their products in person, I ordered half a dozen toys online and anxiously awaited their arrival.  I am fairly certain that I played with the OGOBILD Kit much longer than my almost 3 year old daughter!  This product is reasonably priced ($16-$34 for varying sets) and very well made which is another bonus.

Being a pediatric occupational therapist, I am constantly on the search for cool toys that will work on improving fine motor skills and build hand strength.  The tricky part is finding toys that will accomplish that without being present as "work", but will be fun for the children.   If I can find toys that will do that, I see progress so much faster with them.  These OGOBILD toys do just that.  One of the things I love about them is that they are easy enough for the younger children (toddler age) to push the pieces in and out but challenging enough that the older children can still have fun and enjoy them as well.  What I love most is that while they give you ideas on what to build, you can really encourage a child to use their imagination when using the OGOBILD toys.  There is a ton of therapeutic value behind these toys and I can't wait to start using them with my kids at work.

What will OGOBILD toys work on?

*Increase grasp strength and in-hand manipulation skills-encourages using a fine pincer grasp which helps in improving strength and being better able to use your hands.
*Improve eye-hand coordination-being able to put the pieces together
*Improve bilateral coordination -must use two hands to hold the pieces in order to put them together
*Improve visual motor/perceptual skills-being able to follow the step by step picture directions; finding the right pieces when all spread out
*Improve attention-by adding more pieces to a project, you can increase how long they attend to the task at hand
*Improves motor planning, sequencing and organizational skills-being able to follow the steps accurately and putting things into order will help with improving a child's ability to sequence and organize themselves for successful completion of the task at hand
*Facilitate imagination skills-once the project is complete, I would have a child tell a story about their finished product.  Does it have a name?  Where does it live?  Build more characters and create a story.
*Improve social skills/ability to work with a friend-have children who struggle with play/social skills, work with a partner to complete a project.  A grownup can supervise, but should really stand back as much as possible in order to let the children resolve conflicts.
*Improve confidence and self-esteem-when a child is able to complete a task, especially one that might be a bit more challenging, it builds confidence and encourages them to try new and even more difficult things.  I love seeing a child's face when they have accomplished something they thought impossible.  And what happens after that is always amazing!  They are more willing to try new things with less encouragement from a grownup.

Check these toys out....I know they won't disappoint!  I would be interested in hearing feedback from all of you what your children think of them.  Maybe even share some pictures!  As always, I am just a click away if you want to email me with any specific questions or thoughts.

I am really excited to take my blog to the next level this year.  I have a lot of things to share with you all and hope that my ideas help your child or the children you work with become more confident with themselves.

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