OTFC’s Top 10 Resources- Part 7

We’re at the pointy end of discussing OTFC’s Top 10 resources, and we might now look at some more recent additions to the OTFC collection. A game that has become a staple in any OT week is Colour Code. This game looks closely at a child’s visual and spatial perception, particularly figure ground, visual closure and form constancy.   Visual and Spatial perception are areas that ore often seen as challenges for many children. This can be obvious in fine motor skills such as handwriting, but can also be observed in everyday tasks such as dressing. Without appropriate skills in visual perception, letters can be perceived incorrectly, making handwriting tricky, and with difficulties in spatial perception, children can find putting on clothes the right way a challenge. The game is set for ages 5 and up, and uses 18 coloured geometric shapes, each on a see-through tile, that when stacked form a ‘design’. These designs are labelled as challenges in a booklet, and the child can pick a challenge, then stack the tiles in the correct order to recreate the exact composition presented by the challenge. There are 100 levels, and they start at a beginner level and go up to more advanced master challenges. For further information on how the game works, click the link to watch a game demo video. Visual perceptual skills are the main focus of the game, with increasingly difficulty challenges requiring more visual and spatial perception, as well as directionality, figure ground and form constancy. Visual perception skills are targeted, looking at the orientation of the shape, the form of the design and the perception required to layer the tiles. Functionally, These are also skills required for writing, especially knowing how to space letters, where to place them on a line or page and knowing the direction/orientation of the letter formation. A game like colour code can further assist with addressing difficulties in visual perception, particularly in an engaging way, and support visual perceptual problem solving. Placing coloured tiles scattered around the child, so they must find them before placing, adds in the elements of visual scanning and visual discrimination to figure ground. The visual skills required for this game can be quite challenging, and can combine a number of visual perceptual skills in one turn! Much like a “Where’s Wally”, a child must scan and attend, looking for a coloured shape; like forming a puzzle, the child must use their visual closure and form constancy skills to identify how a geometric shape may be placed to create a pattern; and using orientation and figure ground to figure out the direction of the shapes to make the pattern, much like having to write a word on a page. From this, you can see that the game, while appearing straightforward, involves a number of process that really work over visual perceptual skills! While the main focus of the game is to work on visual and spatial perception, it also has a number of other important uses, including the ability to work on sustained attention, problem solving, visual attention and frustration tolerance. The game can be played on the ground or at a table, and especially for the harder levels, the child must attend for longer periods to examine and trial the different orders for the coloured tiles. The sustained attention and increased challenge can also work on supporting frustration tolerance. You can adapt the environment to place all tiles on the other side of a child’s body (e.g. Left), encouraging them to Cross the Midline to obtain tiles (with Right hand), then build. The child is required to work through challenges, sit with frustration, encourage perseverance and attempt tasks independently, before seeking support. Again, this coupled with the visual skills required makes it a challenging, but enjoyable game. For more information about the game, follow the video link above. The game can be found at Games World locations around Adelaide or the online store The game can also be found online at Wombat Toy Shop


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