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Benefits of Playing Board Games

Are you looking for a fun, easy way to address your child’s deficits at home? One of my favorite
activities to complete during OT sessions is playing board games! It is an activity that is fun, but
addresses many different deficits such as attention, direction following, turn-taking, social skills,
and more. Here are my favorite games to play during sessions and what skills they address that
you can use at home.


This game has become a recent favorite of mine! I use this game to address visual attention, turn taking, and following directions. With how I play it, I take turns with my patient and then we look at the two tiles we push through the “Zinger” and we look at both of our boards and see if either board has the tiles that we have. I also use it for hand coordination to pull the zinger and put the tiles back into the slot.

Frankie’s Food Truck Fiasco

This one is a constant in my sessions! I use it as a multi-step direction following with spinning the spinner, pick up a food square with the shape you land on, and putting it on the correct spot on. You can even use it as a one-step direction game, for example “Pick up cake”, “Pick up square”. It can also address hand strength and coordination using the big cat tweezers to pick up the food squares.

Pop the Pig

This is a fun game where your child can push down on the pig’s hat and see his belly get bigger and bigger until his belt pops! This is another game where I use for either one step or multi-step direction following (Pick up red) or (Roll the dice, pick up color landed on, and then press down on pig the number of times that’s on the bottom of the burger). It can also be used for hand strength deficits with your child pressing down on the pig’s hat. Since you are feeding the pig burgers, I have used this game for feeding patients where the pig models what sensory aspect of feeding we are working on in that session (touching, smelling, licking, or biting on non-preferred food).


A classic game but a goodie! I use this one for following written directions, attention, and turn taking. It is also good to address frustration during playing games since you can’t get out of home unless you draw a 1,2, or sorry card and sometimes have to
wait a few rounds before moving!

These are just a few of my favorites that I use, however you can use almost any board games to translate what your child is working on in OT at home!

– Emily Payne, MS, OTR/L